A few days ago we did a review for Belgian progressive hardcore/metal pioneers BEAR (their Doradus lp on Let it Burn Records). In fact, we got so excited with this album that one thing led to another and we ended up doing an interview with these guys. We managed to steal some time ftom those brainiac metallic hardcore kids in order to learn some more about this monster of a band that answers to the name BEAR.
1. What music did you grow up with and what is the process that led to having such a varied musical landscape? Do you have any formal music backgrounds? Were you in other bands before?
I think I speak for all of us when I say we grew up listening to more heavy music, but learned to appreciate and love all kinds of other stuff during the years. Like funk, free jazz, flamenco...everything that is played with heart or brings something else to the table. That reflects in the music we write. Unavoidably you get influenced by everything you listen to. If you only listen to one kind of music the chances are big you won't be able to step out of that mindframe and get caught in repetition. We were all in other bands before, bringing those experiences into BEAR makes that we can work more focused.
2. What is you it want to achieve with BEAR? Is there a message behind the band and if there were three words to describe BEAR as a whole, what would they be?
We just love to play the music that we do. And like every other band we like to see people enjoy our music. It would be cool to see BEAR influence other musicians or bands in what way so ever. We don't really have a message other than do what you love and believe in, do your own thing, Three words that could describe us would probably be : Non typical metal !
The recording process was fun! It's awesome to hear the things you've been working on for a couple of months come together on an album. We recorded at Red Left Hand Studio with Sven Janssens who is a good friend of ours. He knew what we wanted, we trusted him so we just went for it. The album was recorded and mixed in 2 weeks and we're all stoked about the way it came out. As for Let it Burn we couldn't have wished for more at this point. Chris (the label boss) totally believes in us and was willing to give a band that was only playing for like 6 months or so a record deal. That says a lot!
4. Do you do music as a hobby or do you want to take it a step further in the future? Would you like to have music as your normal job (which is..)?
Well I think when you've been playing in bands all your life like us it isn't just a hobby. And of course we would like to take it as far as possible with BEAR. We love to play together, we've got something going on so it would be a shame to just let it hang. As far as 'normal' jobs go... well I make a living teaching guitar in music schools so I couldn't ask for more :) Our bass player is a teacher too and our drummer and singer are working in the 'graphic design' department.
5. I've seen some crazy action going on from your live videos. How hard is it to maintain top notch musical accuracy while moshing so hard?
Haha, good question! Well, let's say there are certain parts you can let it go and certain parts you have to stay focussed hard on what you are playing. You kind of make out for yourself which are the 'easy go crazy parts' and the 'shit I wish I hadn't made this so technical parts' haha. All of us have kind of a reputation of going bonkers on stage from our previous bands so we've had some good practice in the old days.
6. What are listening to nowadays? Do you still listen to metal and hardcore or have turned to other stuff?
My personal taste has always been a bit eclectic. I like music or bands that try to do something else. We all are big Dillinger and Meshuggah fans. But then again I can enjoy a good Katy B track much more than the umpteenth breakdown hardcore band. And as I said before, you need to keep an open mind to evolve. Serch our drummer and Dries our bassist still also listen to a lot of hardcore stuff aswel as other things. What can i say, when it's good... it's good.
7. What are your main likes and dislikes about the modern metal/hardcore music scene (both industry and people-wise)?
It's cool to see a lot of hardcore/metal bands trying to do their own thing, without copying other bands. More and more kids are trying to make their mark. And you make your mark by standing out, you stand out by doing something else. The only thing we don't like is narrow mindedness but you have that in every scene.
8. What are your current and near future plans with BEAR?
Well currently we are trying to get our record DORADUS heard everywhere as much as possible by playing gigs, doing interviews :). Trying to get it as much media exposure as possible. We'll probably shoot a second music video to support the album. Near plans: well we are already starting to write music for our next album. So we'll be working on that in our spare time.
9. If you were going traveling for a year and could only take one tape with you with 2 albums recorded on it, what would they be?
Damn, that's a tough one! Well it would probably be the things I'm listening to currently being: Camaron (great Spanish singer) and Karnivool (Sound Awake).
10. Do you have any other interests aside from music, i.e. art / photography / literature / politics whatever? How do you spend your free time?
Well yeah, we all have our non musical hobbies. But they are all in the creative sector too. I'll just give you a list of some of our free time spendings: basketball, martial arts, photography, comic books, b-movies, drawing, designing, eating, ... yup a whole lot o' other stuff :)
11. Thanks for the interview and for the great music!!! Please close this interview by telling TYS readers how the new BEAR record will benefit their world.
No prob! You're gonna love it or hate it, either way you will have discovered something new!
Right! So I will just close this by saying a big thanks to everyone involved in this interview: BEAR, Chris Let It Burn, as well as, the guy who took these awesome pix. Music speaks louder than words so remember to check BEAR on their social media. You will be rewarded with some awesome music and remember, these guys BREAK STUFF!