01. Takeyourshot | 2011-11-09
02. Own Blood Magazine (Deutschland) | 2011-05-30
03. New Breed Of Metal (Bosna i Hercegovina) | 2011-04-28
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 !
3. Tell us a few things about the recording process and your cooperation with Let It Burn Records.
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!
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OBM: How did "Bear" get its start? And what is behind the band name?
BEAR got started for real in the beginning of 2010. Maarten was the last to join us after the musical foundation was already laid down. We recorded our mCD in April 2010, started playing gigs in June, went on tour in August and rounded up the year by signing with Let It Burn Records.
We chose BEAR as a bandname because we were looking for something short and powerfull yet not too cliché in the metal genre. The bandname also represents the music: ferocious and in your face.
OBM: What do you see as some of the main purposes for "Bear" making music?
Because we like playing heavy music and have been wanting to play together for a couple of years. We'd like to try to bring something fresh to the Belgian scene and we put the emphasis on 'try'. ;-)
OBM: Talk to us about the idea behind the title To your first EP "Abstractions"?
All the tracks sound 'Abstract' and straight to the point without getting lost in millions of riffs per song. What are some of the influences behind your chaotic brand of metal?
We all have a love for music that deviates from the main-stream. A lot of our musical influences lay outside the metal scene.
OBM: Can you talk to us a bit about where you were spiritually and mentally while creating this last record?
Mentally we were all in the same place and that reflects on the record. All songs are coherent pieces and fit together well under the name Abstractions. We had the same goal in mind so that eased the process of creating this record.
OBM: Talk to us a bit about the meaning behind the track “Injuries”…
INJURIES tells the story of two people who have to spend the rest of their days in jail. Both locked up for different crimes, it deals with the perception these two people have on leaving their freedom behind. Their memories are their injuries because thats what makes them crave for home.
OBM: What track are you most proud of on "Bear" and why?
I think DECADES represents best what BEAR is all about. It's the first track we've written together and it's fast sometimes slow yet high with a lot of low. The mix of those elements make that we are most proud about it.
OBM: So this is your first EP. Do you feel like To Plant a Seed fully encapsulates your sound or do you feel like you’ll be comfortable moving in different directions creatively as time goes on?
Yeah, we think we're constantly evolving as a band. Our upcoming album 'Doradus' sounds less mechanical though heavier, while you still clearly hear that it's the same band as on the EP.
We don't have a fixed masterplan or something like that... we want to write heavy music that we like and in our opinion fits what BEAR is about.
OBM: What would you say it is about music that drives so many to the roads every year in pursuit of their dreams? What is it for you?
The love for creating something you can be proud of: translating what you've recorded on an album to a live-audience and getting some of the energy back that we've put in the music. It feels very rewarding to have people enjoy what you love doing the most.
OBM: What are some of your favorite cities to play in thus far? Tell us the story…
While we were on tour in the UK, we arrived at the smallest venue ever (in Bridlington). We thought for sure the show would be a fluke but it turned out to be one of the craziest shows to date. The kids their went totally bonkers, giving all they had while the temperature was literally hitting the roof.
Playing our hometown (Antwerp, BE) also rocks because we're slowly gaining a steady fanbase and those guys party with us each show we play.
OBM: What would you say sets "Bear" apart from other Metal acts?
We know we don't play the most renewing music, but we do it with our own flair. When playing live you could say we go berserk and give the people their money's worth. We're not your typical type of hardcore dudes. Or metal heads. We love the colour white, therefor our backline is coloured in white, which sets us apart -visually- from most other acts.
OBM: What do you see happening in the life of "Bear" over the next year?
Rich and Fame!
OBM: Right on! We wish you luck, and thanks again for taking a minute to talk with us! Be sure to check out their new release Abstractions which is available in stores and online now! The last words are yours...
OBEY THE FUCKING B E A R ///
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Intervju sa belgijskim math metal bendom Bear održan u sklopu ovosedmičnog izdanja radio emisije "Nova Era". Saznajte nešto više o historiji Bear-a, novom izdanju koje treba izaći u drugoj polovici godine i ostalim zanimljivostima. Radio show hosted by Samir & Mahe.
Link for Audio-Interview:
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