natural hibernation and long distance travel, bear astronaut, space traveler, highly untrustworthy, devouring man-fruit,
In 1963, President Kennedy green lighted a new space program that used bears for space travel coined as the bearstonaut project by Brad Neely.
However, before launch the bearstronauts went ape-crap, attacked NASA employees and launched their spaceship to parts unknown.
“The Bearstronauts have gone ape-crap, the mission is a disaster! a disaster!”
Whenever I’m posting about a band I don’t know much about I’ll have a look around and see what other bloggers or whatever have said about them. It’s called research, or in some quarters, cheating. For the purpose of this post, lets say it’s research.
Bearstronaut are a four piece outfit from Massachusetts, who have been around since 2007. They’ve been on tour with Health and Japandroids and released their debut album, Broken Handclaps, in 2009. Listening to the first album, or parts of it on Youtube, you can hear how their sound has evolved and moved on in the past year or so. They’ve put aside the more frenetic aspects of their debut and instead offer up a smoother, more polished, dare I say poppier, sound entirely. I’d even go as far as to say, if you listened to their old and new tunes in isolation, you wouldn’t know they were by the same band.
When I heard Moniker the first thing that went through my head was Friendly Fires. It’s that synth and the beat that rolls into a second layer of sythesizer, laying the ground for the rich vocal that drew the comparison. When I handed the headphones to Miss SS to have a listen, her immediate reaction was Human League and I see her point. Most of the stuff I’ve read about the band has highlighted the 80’s retro feel of the new songs and, true, they’ve got synth in there that would make Fear of Tigers shoot his load. Could you listen to this music while driving a Ferrari Testarossa, with a big haired blonde beside you? Yes you could, but there’s more to Bearstronaut’s than vintage synth pop. They’ve got an instinctive feel for a hook and melody that promises a very bright future indeed.
As it happens, as I was testing the Ferrari out, along a sun scorched stretch of US coast road, I happened upon the band, hitching to Phil Oakley’s beach side residence and in return for a lift they gave me an interview. Here it is – I think they call my interview technique ;cutting edge’
1 – Marty McFly is hanging out of the Delorean – he wants to go! Where and when would you choose to go to?
Michael J. Fox’s house, 1989, to tell him not to make the third one.
2. When you’re recording do you isolate yourself from the outside world. Do you find yourself influenced by stuff you hear day to day and can it change how what you’re working on sounds?
We live together but usually don’t see each other all day while we’re working or doing whatever. We’re always in contact about things we want to try and passing ideas around of things we hear about. Usually at night we sit around listening to music and try and write or come up with things to try. We pool our ideas and try to see if anything pops out. Sometime it works, other times…let’s just say, there was a day when we were really convinced that a disco song about the civil war and riding buffalo was going to work.
3. The best gadget invented?
Nintendo rumble packs?
4. Which bands do you rate at the moment?
Twin Shadow, Robyn, !!!, Earth Wind & Fire, Scissor Sisters, Chaka Khan, and Mark Ronson.
5. IMAX have given you the use of one of their theatres for a night. What’s on the bill?
and Shaft’s Big Score.
I don’t know if IMAX can handle that much hair though.
6. Beatles or the Stones. New Order or Petshop Boys?
Really depends on the setting for Beatles vs. Stones. If you’re driving around, then the Stones, but the Beatles wrote “Rain”. New Order wrote “The Village”…Done and done.
8. What’s the dream scenario for Bearstronaut?
The dream scenario would be to take this on the road. From day one we wanted to use this project to travel the country and hopefully the world, and play dance-parties all over the place.
9. What can you cook to impress us? If foods a bit much, could you knock us up a tasty cocktail?
For a gentlemen’s drink, we do Schweppe’s ginger ale with Canadian Hunter whiskey on the rocks. We’ll make one sometime.
10. A lot of success in the music industry is down to luck and being in the right place at the right time, often with clever, cynical marketing replacing real talent. Discuss.
It’s pretty cutthroat out there and its difficult now especially. All the social networking things are great and helpful, but they’re also overwhelming and annoying most of the time. Everyone is so bombarded with notices and messages, its hard to make it matter to people. You’ve got to come up with something good. In the end a good product is going to go farther than it’s marketing, but it certainly can’t live without it.
12. What’s on the horizon for Bearstonsaut?
We’re hoping to put out a 7″ with our singles “Shannon” and “Moniker” for the end of winter and then an EP of new stuff sometime in the spring. Summer is finally going to be when Bearstronaut tours the US, look out.
13. You’re Djing to a crowd of people you don’t know too well. What are you going to play first, to get them on their feet?
Barry Manilow’s “Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed?”.
We couldn’t find Oakley’s house as it happened, so had to make do with Huey Lewis’s trailer home. He hasn’t aged well…
Thanks a lot to Bearstronaut for the interview and you should really check out their stuff. They have plans to release Moniker and Shannon on 7″ vinyl in the near future and there’ll be details here when it happens.
Bearstronaut – Moniker
Bearstronaut – Shannon