If you can name your kid Björn (Swedish for Bear) why not name your band BEAR. This is a really col band that I’ve just discovered. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-Well we started this band to fulfill our need to do something different. We had all played in other bands that colored outside the lines of traditional metal and our love to do so brought us together. That is what BEAR is about. Doing it different. Going against the grain. And it still remains our mission ’till this day. We want to cater to ourselves AND to other people that are looking for something ‘extra’ in hardcore or metal.

Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-I think being a Belgian band doesn’t really help us no haha. Belgium is a small country and the market for our kind of music is super small here. We know we play a niche oriented style and unfortunately the scene here is very traditional. Thrash and stoner are very popular. That’s why we are so glad we have an awesome label like Basick to back us up. I think without them our reach wouldn’t be half of what we can do on our own.

When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-We make music for ourselves, I think it’s more important that we in the first place can identify with the music. We knew from the beginning it would be hard reaching other people with this style but we just play what we love to play. And if other people dig that, thats just an awesome bonus! So when people love our music, there is a real connection.

What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-The biggest challenge is trying to do something different on every album without losing the essence of what you stand for as a band. We make ferocious music and that has to stay the core. The really cool songs are the ones that write them selves. It’s a cliche but it’s true. The ones that come natural mostly turn out to be the best ones.

I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-We haven’t recorded analogue with BEAR yet. I personally don’t care what kind of method you use. As long as you get the sound that fits you best and makes you happy.

What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-With this album we really tried things that we had never done before. Like our first single MASKS, when jamming it at rehearsal we were like: Nah we can’t do this, this is so far from being BEAR. But then on the other hand, everything we put out as BEAR is BEAR. Some people will accept it, some won’t. We just want to do what we think is cool. If people don’t like it, then they just shouldn’t listen to it haha!

How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-We don’t believe in spreading a message through our music. If you want to change the world, everybody has to start with themselves. The main theme in our lyrics are stories about human fears and the specific behaviour that flows straight out of these fears.

Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Of course it’s super important! The cover is the first visualization of the music. The cover represents the content. So it better be bad ass haha. We also aim to make our album art to stick out visually.

When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-Absolutely! Most of the time the first time you play a certain town or venue the crowd can be somewhat hesitant, not knowing what to expect. But when they see that we go ballistic on stage, they know that it’s ok to join the party. The next time we play the initial hesitation is usually gone and those are the most fun shows. CHAOS!

What do you see in the future?
-My future seeing powers are weak at this late hour, sorry! But I hope we can grow with this new album and do more crazy shows. I love the smaller shows where absolute chaos prevails. Seeing a giant heap of people just going bonkers to your music is electrifying.

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