DozenQ – The Bear Social

This entry is part 16 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

The Bear Social are a four-piece indie/alternative outfit from the South of England who specialise in bringing carefully crafted, ambient sounds to your ears, with male/female harmonies that are both raw and unique.  Conceived of and born on a little rock just below Portsmouth (and WAY above France), the bears got together in the summer of 2011 over a mutual love of writing and playing music, and have been on the up ever since. 

01 How did you get started in music?

Most of us started around our teenage years and a bit younger. Some of us are on different instruments to the ones we started out with – Lewis (our guitarist), started on piano from a young age, before self-teaching guitar in high school. Daryl has been a drummer since middle school, Abbie had been a vocalist for a while before picking up keyboard as well. Ryan (our bassist) had a brief few months on recorder in Primary School, then a good many years musical break before taking up bass during high school.

02 Where did your direction come from?

It’s tricky to say where our direction came from as a whole – the music we were exposed to when we were kids played a big part naturally. Not all of us have parents who were musical, but we were all lucky enough to have family who are very supportive.

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03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Between us, we had quite musically diverse upbringings. Bob Marley, Queen, and Stereophonics are some of the main influences we have in common… But then we start to branch off a bit – our drummer Daryl has a big, big love for reggae, whereas Abbie grew up with psychedelic rock. We all appreciate each other’s tastes and it means we have a big pool to draw from when we’re writing. None of us really despise anyone. Obviously there are musical figures we’re less keen on than others, but we’re not really big on the celebrity-bashing thing that some people are into.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

Some people are a bit cynical at the idea of young musicians writing about feelings and experiences. A lot can happen in 20 years though, and one person’s experiences are just as valid a topic as the next – it doesn’t always have to be world-weary and troubled, but why can’t a young band write about love and heartbreak and all those things? What matters is how someone perceives things, and how they express it.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Lots of male/female harmonies, big, catchy choruses, lots of build ups. Occasionally a bit of chit-chat between songs too. We can be active on stage, but none of us are big dancers…

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

We often start with a key idea lyrically, and a basic tune on guitar or piano before we start to flesh it out as a full band. We deal with love and life and all the usual sorts of things you’d expect from a band our age, but we’re not limited to this.

07 How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

We started off a bit folky/acoustic when we first began playing together. We’re in a very different place now, which is weird to think considering it’s only been two years. If people who see us now saw us back then, they’d think we were a different band entirely. That goes for image too – we make a bit more of an effort when we go on stage now!

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you able to overcome this? If so, how?

Living in different places most of the time has proved tricky for the band. Half the band is studying on the mainland at the moment, while the other half is back on the Isle of Wight. This can be a bit of a problem in terms of rehearsals/songwriting/gigs, but we find ways to get round it. We record practices so we can rehearse along our own, and we swap song ideas over the internet so that we can start thinking about our own parts to contribute when we meet up in the flesh.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We’ve tried out a couple of covers in the past, but our current set doesn’t feature any. That’s not out of any sense of being ‘too good’ for covers, we just don’t want  to throw them in for the sake of it. It has to make sense with our set if we had any covers in there, we’d want to do them justice. We have been toying with the idea of covering a Pink Floyd track, but that’s not official yet!

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

Ideally still playing music, but making a better living out of it! We’d love to go on tour, supporting or being supported by bands similar to us. It’s not a prospect that’s too far out there either, we’ve been in talks with some people about this, and it’d be good to make it a reality in the near future.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

We’d most like to record with people who can get behind our music. Naturally there are some studios and people who are big and famous and exciting, but unless they’re invested properly in your music, the end result probably wouldn’t be what you hoped for.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

We’re currently working on our debut EP. It’s taken a while to figure out what we want to have on there as we wanted to make sure the songs were right before we took it into the studio. Now that the ball is rolling though, we’re aiming to have it out early next year.

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Photos by: Amy Davis 

Originally posted 2013-09-06 19:34:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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