(Photo Credit - Rounder Records)
We had the opportunity to interview alt superstars Bear's Den! They released the fantastic album 'So that you might hear me' in April of this year and haven't looked back. They've performed on CBS This Morning: Saturday and are currently on tour! Check out our interview with Bear's Den!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I think music to some extent was a calling for both of us. I think we both figured out quite early that being touring musicians and recording albums was the only thing that really felt right."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"So usually I’ll start writing some lyrics, chords and vocal melodies and hoping it sounds something like a song or music... then Kev and I will get our heads together and work through loads of different ideas. Sometimes those ideas are quite fully formed and sometimes they are very rough and it’s an incredibly collaborative process where between us it takes a lot of thought and hard work to get it to sound like music!" 3. What artists have inspired you in your career? "So many...I think recent artists...Everything from Big Thief to Kanye to Kate Tempest to The National. We both come at music from different places, Kevs love of music started with Guns N’ Roses and eventually led to him studying jazz guitar to an incredibly high standard. I was drawn to songwriters: Dylan, Cohen etc and was always obsessed with writing songs and we landed here somewhere in between all that stuff." 4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them? "I’m obsessed with the prophet 6 by Dave Smith Instruments. Incredibly versatile and features prominently on the new record. Along with the Teenage Enginnering: OP1 and Kev’s Roland TR8 which featured incredibly prominently on the new album. We have a disturbingly large collection of guitars these days between the two of us so that feels too difficult to pinpoint. Walrus Audio and Strymon pedals are killer. On a personal note...not really an instrument but Logic as a DAW has been a big part of writing for us for so long now that it feels like an instrument and it kinda is one." 5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"Live is where we belong really. We’re a live band first and foremost. We always try and make sure we give absolutely everything we can to our performances and have spent most of our time as a band either on stage or in a van or bus. Our songs talk about difficult stuff but performing them is when the catharsis really comes through for us and it’s a huge release for both us and (hopefully!!) our audiences too. I think the most amazing thing about any show or venue is that no room is the same. Audiences are far more important than they think they are and that’s why it never gets boring. The sound is different everywhere you go and the audience reaction and how much that shapes the show is also always unique. That’s the magic."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"I think that’s a hard one. I think personally, I’ve always tried to write songs from a place of looking for answers. I think its a pretty strange time right now in many ways and it feels like so many of us are quite lost and we're no different. I think writing as a way of exploring and figuring out what matters to you fundamentally matters a lot to us. I think we’ve been spoiled by having so many incredible fans with an incredibly deep relationship with our songs and music and whilst I can’t pinpoint why or how, I think we’ve always tried to speak honestly about difficult things, perhaps slightly unconventional things and somewhere somehow people have related. Maybe its because the journey we go on as a band with writing our music isn’t that different to the journey you go on as a listener to to our music." 7. Can you tell us about the writing and recording process of So that you might hear me?
"The album was written in a couple of separate writing trips I went on to the south west coast of England and then it was largely arranged and demoed up by Kev and I in a few bursts at our recording studio in London and at the end of that process we felt that the songs could go further than perhaps we were able to take them. We worked with the man the legend, Phil Ek who helped bring this album to life over the course of 7 weeks in Seattle. We enlisted the help of our unbelievably talented live band to bring their skills and personalities to the table as well. And the record was mixed by another legend called Craig Silvey in West London over the course of two weeks. We’re very proud of it and it was an awesome experience making it."