02 May 2009 (released)
02 May 2009
It’s Friday afternoon and the rain continues to pour upon Glasgow City as the second day of Hinterland Festival creeps on. Last night saw The Fall, Tommy Reilly, Little Man Tate, The Xcerts, and Pearl and the Puppets, to list a couple acts taking to the stages. As the day warms up for another night with We Were Promised Jetpacks, Sons and Daughters, Futuristic Retro Champions and a plethora of more brilliant artists, music-news.com reporter Susan Ford caught up with instrumental trio 85 Bears as they prepare to play their second night at Hinterland.
85 Bears are a purely instrumental act combining simple rock beats with intricate and haunting tunes, which makes them utterly inimitable by any other act at the festival. 85 Bears are fantastically loud, and amazing at creating an epic display of sheer musical talent. Adam and Alex join music-news.com to talk about their performance at Hinterland.
So who are 85 Bears and what’s your story
Alex: I am 85 Bears, the band was named after me!
Adam: I’m Adam, and he is Alex, not 85 Bears [laughs]. Theres Ben, the drummer who can’t be here today he’s a bit icky. One night and he’s out, and he’s a drummer can you believe it. We come from East London, we’ve been going for about a year and a half now, playing since July. We are purely instrumental, no vocals – yet. [Adam loses thought,] sorry I got a bit lost there, are we a band, I don’t know!
Alex: Yeah, we’ve got no vocals, but we are open to offers, so if you’re listening!
Can you describe your music to the crazy people who haven’t heard it yet?
Adam: Like we say, instrumental no vocals. Guitar, bass, drums, quite different stuff but really simple. We do build up some loops and sounds, bit of guitar and that so it can sound like there are more than three of us, sometimes. I think sometimes you can pick out the simplicity of our music. People call us mathy rock, but I don’t think we are math rock at all. Its quite simple really, textbook, but it’s not math rock, it just sounds a little math rock.
What is the best live gig you’ve ever to been to as a fan?
Alex: Clutch at the Barfly. They closed the venue down since. The drummer passed out from heat exhaustion, and fans were like hanging off the ceiling.
Adam: Yeah Clutch are good, they play that circuit well. Radiohead were good.
And how much of these live performances do you take with you into your own shows?
Alex: Live is a different question. Like if you go see The Cinematic Orchestra, it’s a completely different kind of show. We like to think we do our own thing.
Adam: These gigs never really influence our shows, but I’ll definitely take inspiration from them, on a musical side, like coming up with new material.
And how was the show last night?
Adam: Really good! Well, it turned out good but didn’t start too good. In sound check it turned out my guitar had blown out on the way here, so at the time we had no guitar. Had about 20 seconds to sort out the guitars! Totally threw me, knocked my confidence a bit.
Alex: The venue was really good, quite a few people there, which we weren’t expecting. We were first on, felt like we were actually opening the festival! We got quite a few woops. The Glasgow fans are great, or at least are so far.
How does playing a festival like this compare to playing smaller and more local gigs closer to home?
Adam: London has always been good to us. The crowds are always really supportive and its cosy, but people up here are literally just here for the music. The mentality of the festival is great, being able to see so many bands, great atmosphere.
What do you aim to achieve from playing Hinterland?
Adam: Make new friends, meet new bands, all of what we’ve done already here. Hopefully we can come back to Scotland.
Susan: That’s awesome you say 'meet new friends’ rather than make new fans,
Alex: Yeah well that’s what it’s all about. When you come to our gigs you are our friends, we wanna talk to you. We’d love to come back and we’ve made some contacts here.
What’s next after Hinterland?
Adam: We’re playing Hinterland again tonight! We’re really lucky to play both days, different crowd, different venue. A lot of the people who came down last night are coming back tonight.
Alex: We have made a few friends and we plan to go and see a lot of them tonight. We’ve got a show in Aberdeen in a couple of days and are stopping off in Edinburgh as well, just as tourists.