Alt Pop Band BEAR MOUNTAIN Discusses Their Recent Music, Changes Their Music Has Gone Through And More!
Posted On 20 Sep 2016
Alt-pop band Bear Mountain bring a fresh, unexpected quality to everything they do, both aurally and visually. With an unmatched live performance, featuring a custom light show programmed live throughout their set, the band offers up a completely original aesthetic and sound that’s garnered them widespread attention.
Bear Mountain has shared the stage with everyone from Cut Copy and Bloc Party to MS MR and Hot Chip. After strong plays at this year’s SXSW, the band is bringing their unrivaled show across the country, in anticipation of an incredible new album set to hit later this year.
Learn more about Bear Mountain in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How’s 2016 been treating the band so far?
Very good, thank you! We just got home from the first tour of 2016 yesterday and meeting so many people and seeing lots of old friendly faces was fantastic.
What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you all?
Finishing our album was the biggest highlight definitely. We squeezed every last ounce of energy we had and put it into that album. It’s coming out this summer and we’re very excited to share it.
Can you talk about first forming Bear Mountain? What made you all think that you be in a band together?
It actually started before we were all born somewhere between the causal and astral plane. We made the decision long before we were born and now we’re here in this time space reality fulfilling that decision. I think it mostly has to do with the law of attraction.
How did you come up with your band name? Why name the band after the Jack Kerouac novel, “The Dharma Bums”? Was it difficult to all agree on one name?
I started the band originally by myself as something fun to do and share my music with my friends. I actually just flipped open the book that was on my night stand and scanned the pages until something jumped out at me. Bear Mountain seemed to make sense so that’s what we became.
Since forming in 2011, how do you think the band’s sound and really the band dynamics have grown and changed? How has your sound changed you released your first album, “XO”?
There’s definitely a natural evolution that occurs, and an expansion that we have to go along with as the band grows, and we grow as individuals. Specifically we’ve put more energy into writing better songs, and practicing songwriting as a craft. It’s a pretty exciting pursuit once you decide to write songs because each one is different and you can always get better at it. Also the next song is always right around the corner, so it can be quite exciting waiting and watching and being ready to catch it.
How long have you been working on your sophomore album? What’s it feel like to finally be putting it out?
We’ve been writing it since before our first album came out. We’re always working on songs, and throwing out the majority of stuff we come up with. It feels so good to be sharing it soon.
I’ve read that your live shows are super unique in that you include a custom light show programmed live throughout your set. Can you explain why you started doing that? How do you think it adds to your music and ultimately the performance itself?
I think it only makes sense that we do that, because our music is so visual. If you could only hear the music and not see it, you would only be experiencing half of the sensations. Music and visuals are so intimately tied. The light show and projection mapping all come from Kenji Rodriguez aka Slow Po Rodriguez. He interprets the music, and creates the visuals to accompany it.
What are some bands that have continued to inspire you all through the years and the sound of Bear Mountain? Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
So many, and I bet each one of us would give a different answer. Ones that all of us agree on for sure are groups like Miike Snow, Caribou, Air, LCD Soundsystem, Pink Floyd…Personally I would love to collaborate with someone like Trent Reznor or William Onyeabor, but I hear he doesn’t even make music anymore and only wants to talk about God, but that’s cool too.
How has your tour been going? I love the picture you posted on Facebook of a couple of you in a pool of water hanging out with the quote- “It’s basically sightseeing with a few shows in between”. Have you guys been able to see a lot of the U.S.? Where are you headed to next? What have been some favorite shows you’ve had along the way?
We have seen a lot of the US! Driving along Route 66 and going to the Grand Canyon was pretty incredible. We went through Alabama and Georgia for the first time on this tour which was incredible. Eating catfish in Alabama and Louisiana was great. Really one of the best parts about travelling by vehicle is eating along the way. So much good food.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I just hope it makes people feel something.