2014 ist ihr Debütalbum Islands auf Rang 1 meiner Topliste gelandet, am 22. Juli erscheint mit Red Earth & Pouring Rain (Partnerlink) der Nachfolger und das ehemalige Londoner Trio Bear’s Den muss nach dem Austritt von Joey Haynes nunmehr als Duo versuchen, den hohen Erwartungen eines zweiten Albums gerecht zu werden.
Gitarrist und Sänger Andrew Davie hat mir einige Fragen zum anstehenden zweiten Album, Biertrinken und der Awesomeness von Banjos beantwortet.
Have you ever been to Bear’s Den Falls?
We haven’t sadly… We’ve been to Bearsden near Glasgow and have walked past a gay bar in Paris called Bear’s Den but never the nature reserve in Massachussets. One day!!
You once said you wanted a „hideaway kind of place where a kid runs off to“ as a band name – why exactly „Bear’s Den“?
I liked the idea of music as an escape. „Where the Wild things Are“ has always been such a strong influence. The idea of escaping through your imagination to a place where you feel like you spend years of time that in actual fact was only 5 minutes.
In the summer „Red Earth & Pouring Rain“ (Partnerlink) will be released. What can we expect from your second album?
LOADS!!! We’ve been playing around with so many different sounds. Synths, electric guitars, thunderous drums, banjos, harmonies, Nashville tuning acoustic guitars… Even an oil tank! We’re super proud of the album and cannot wait for people to hear it!!!
You did record it in Wales – „with the sweet smell of banjos, synths, harmonies and an old battered oil tank thick in the air…“. Why there?
Wales is awesome! We love Wales. Ian Grimble, who produced the album, really wanted to work at Rockfield studios so did we. Some pretty amazing albums have been recorded there.
The info is that there will be much less folk on the album and a lot more influence from the 70s and 80s. What kind of sound are we going to hear and what are the differences to your debut „Islands“?
I think there are some newer elements sonically on this album but beneath it all, the songwriting is still very much us. The songs are some of our most personal and we’re really proud of them. I think with every new element we have introduced, we have tried to be as sensitive in how we use them as we would with any other instrument. Just because it’s a synth or an electric guitar doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful or emotive. We’re massively inspired by artists like Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen and it was cool to explore some of the same sounds that they explored. We still have banjos and acoustic guitars throughout the album. I still bloody love the banjo and the song Gabriel on our album was originally written on a banjo.
Is it also to kind of find your own sound? With „Mumford & Sons“ a huge revival of the banjo has seemed to be set off and lots of bands did sound very similiar to each other…
Not really. We’ve always had comparisons and it’s flattering to be compared but we don’t really hear it. I think, similar to the first album, we just followed the sounds that are most interesting to us and feel the most right for the song in that moment.
In an interview you said, beer sometimes „becomes a bit… like water“ – what is your favorite brand?
Sierra Nevada is pretty great.
How much does it hurt not to drink that much beer with Joey anymore? Has the band process changed since he left?
I actually had beers with Joey about a week ago at a friends leaving drinks and he’s on great form. It’s obviously sad and playing on stage sometimes can feel a bit strange without him but we’re all still really close friends. We’ve recently brought on two extra new guys to play with us live and it’s so much fun to be a part of that too.
Is the band going to stay being a duo or are you thinking about a new third member in the future?
For the meantime, in terms of writing, Kev and I are a duo but when we play live we now have 4 extra musicians who are awesome: Marcus Hamblett (synths/Horns), Jools Owen (Drums/Horns), Harry Mundy (Electric Guitar/Bass) & Christof van der Ven (Acoustic Guitar/Banjo/Vocals) and it’s a huge honour to share the stage with all those lads.
You also are and go on tour this year – what do you prefer the most: open air festival stage or small club?
Both are awesome! Open Air festivals are pretty new to us but they’re incredible and it feels like a massive party. The more intimate shows are also great! We just love playing shows to be honest and we know how lucky we are to get to do both types of show.
Always my last question: what do you do when you feel bored?
Put on some R.Kelly and throw some shapes.
Thanks for the interview.