Interview, Bear Mountain #english
By: Héctor Navarro
Bear Mountain, is an electro pop band from Vancouver, Canada, formed by Ian Bevis, Kyle Statham, Greg Bevis and Kenji Rodriguez. They got popular early this year after releasing their debut album “XO”, which was self recorded, produced, and mixed. They already had some important participation in festivals and shows on US like SXSW and Lollapalooza last spring.
This saturday, Bear Mountain, will be playing on Guadalajara, next to White Arrows, for the very first time, so we catch´em on an exclusive interview, talking about who are they, how they start all this mixing music and visuals, about their sound and a lot of other interesting things…
KV: When, where and how did the project began?
BM: Bear Mountain started very small. I uploaded a few songs to myspace, and then shared those with my friends. They liked the songs, so I kept releasing them and started sending them to blogs. I needed to play some shows, so I asked Kyle to join the band playing guitar. We started playing shows together with a drummer, and Kenji saw us play live and asked if he could join the band doing visuals. We had a tour booked and needed a drummer, so my brother Greg joined.
For how long have you guys met and had been playing together?
BM: As Bear Mountain, the four of us have been playing together for about 1 year. However, Greg and I have been playing together since we were kids, and Kyle and Ian since University.
What´s your music about? Tell us about the core meaning of it.
BM: The music is about capturing a moment. We want to find that special moment of euphoria, and put it in a song. I think everyone is always searching for a special moment, so we try to put that into music.
Tell us about your personal reasons to make music, what´s behind the players?
BM: I think we all make music because we have to. There was never any conscious decision, it’s just natural, and thats why we do it. We do it because we love it, and life wouldn’t be complete without it.
Where do you get the inspiration for the lyrics?
BM: I (Ian) actually have trouble writing lyrics, and I’m trying to get better at it. I try to think of a moment in my life that was meaningful, and I try to re-create that situation .When I’m singing, I try to go back to that place, and feel those feelings again.
Tell us about the process of creating a song… or an album… how do you guys start composing, who starts… etc…
BM: It always starts with an idea that Ian comes up with in his computer. I try to get the song to as close to finished as possible, then I show the band. They give me feedback and we work on it together. Then, we track real instruments over top, and mix the track. It’s a long process, and there are lots of stages, but we like to do everything ourselves and have that level of control.
So you guys have some really unique characters… tell us about this characters. Who are this polygonal-headed persons… what do they mean to you?, where do they come from? What´s the master plan behind those guys? (if it´s not top secret)
BM: They come from a far away Star from the constellation of Alcyone. They are here in peace to help humanity in their path through planet earth. We have been chosen to embody this creatures and will help them deliver their message. The master plan is a graphic comic book series where we will slowly learn about their message.
In your first music video (Faded) you introduced one of therse characters, the pyramid head. In the video, this guy seems like a puppeteer, it has some creepy vibe surrounding him. Please tell us about this, because this is kinda an enigma… your music and brand has some really positive vibe, and this guy seems like the opposite. Tell us about that.
BM: The video does contrast with the general positive message in the music, but that’s really only because we did something different. We wanted to make a video that was out of our comfort zone, and something that was totally different. I think we learned a lot from making that video, a lot about identity and what it means to stick to your guns about your art.
Also, you have some really unique visual show there… tell us about the transition from a music band… to a visual-music band. Where there some really unique challenges in this transition?
BM: The visual aspect of the group is all done by Kenji Rodriguez, who is from Guadalajara. Kenji is in charge of visuals, and we label him as our “creative director”. He performs live with us and maps images onto different objects and projections. He doesn’t actually play any music, but he really is the glue that holds us together. Our band is but different because Kenji is a full member of the group, and he performs with US live. We are trying to create a stadium sized show for a band that is still playing small clubs and festivals. One day the visual show will be huge shoe with big production, but for now we try to create that big show on a small scale.
What do you enjoy the most about doing this?
I love being able to wake up everyday and do what I love. It’s a blessing.
What has been specially difficult for you in this journey of becoming a band known world wide?
I think any band that has a presence on the internet is known worldwide in a way. But for us, we’re so young, we’ve only been together 1 year, it’s been quite a journey. We’re still at the very beginning of our career, so we’re excited about what will come next.
After our Mexico tour, we will be going back through the US and Canada in the fall. We’re working on our next album a lot, and we will hopefully finish that by the Spring. Right now we’re really focussed on building our show bigger, and writing new music.
We’re very excited to be playing Mexico this august. It’s kenji’s home country, and for the rest of us we feel that we have roots in Mexico, so in a way it’s our home away from home.
The first time I (Ian) fell in love was in mexico when I was 13! So I feel like a piece of me lives there.
Find more about them on:
Listen Bear Mountain