Stranded In Stereo: The Stranded Local Q&A: Bear is Driving

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Stranded Local Q&A: Bear is Driving

I casually mentioned to SIS writer Töm Jönze that I was the guest-proprietor of the Stranded in Stereo Blog for a week. No matter what else you may think about the world’s all-time drunkest music critic you must also recognize that he is loyal to his people.Even through his beer haze and bloodshot eyes he managed to murmur the name Bear is Driving. He did not jolt to life; he more stumbled to the brass rail and began to ramble his way through the full breadth and depth of their absolute tasty proggy goodness.

Even mostly sober the following day Jönze insisted that they be interviewed. Contact info and one-sheets were exchanged, press agents bribed, managers sedated and the deal was done. They were press virgins, so we began slowly and I tried to be gentle.

What's the present line up of Bear is Driving?

Chris: corrupts guitars
Erik: channels bass
Dan: dispenses keyboards, samples and terror
Corey: federates drums and deep skillet

Was there any big changes between Olde Club and Bear is Driving?

Olde Club had two guitarists who tended to play warm, melodic and loopy space rock. Bear is Driving has one guitarist who plays with the strength of three oxen. The guitarist and bassist of Bear play much more dynamic math/prog rock.

The Philadelphia Weekly described you as stoner rock. Do you agree with that description?

We prefer the label of "Brutal Prog." We associate stoner rock with slow, brooding blues-metal and Bear is Driving with dynamic, busy compositions consisting mainly of jazzy scales, thus we suspect that the author was stoned when he wrote his review. We appreciate the press nonetheless.

Is this your first LP as Bear is driving?

Yes it is. Our previous endeavors have included the world famous BID Demo A #1, and an EP called Underground Epiphanies at High Speed Prove Fatal.

How did the recording process go?

It was long and painful. We first tried to record live with Adam Katz in the famed Danger Danger House. Phase two involved us recording ourselves in our studio, The More Goofy Foot. Phase three involved the complete re-recording of Drums and Bass with some minor work on Guitar and Keyboards. The album was mixed by Bruce Howse at Red Planet Sound over the span of 5 or 6 days.

What are you doing around the album release?

We hope to set up a release party sometime in early October. It will most likely happen in West Philadelphia.
There are a number of “Bear" bands right now, The Himalayan Bear, Minus the bear, Polar Bear, Grizzly Bear, Bear Vs. shark, Clan of the cave bear, Panda Bear, Podington Bear, Bear hands… Do you get any brand confusion?

While the Bear-brand explosion has been troubling, stocks and trading were largely unaffected. It took the subprime lending crisis put a dent in our quarterly net income. Fortunately, stocks have bounced back as we, like Bear Stearns, received a multi-billion dollar bail-out from the government and have experienced increases in loss-reserve reductions on the direct residential mortgage-backed securities portfolio. The tumultuous credit markets continue to negatively impact the estimated impairment value of a few of our CDOs, however, Bear is Driving will continue to strive for economic omnipotence.


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