After catching our attention with “Big Love”, their swirling, romantic, and loud debut single, Bear Driver have released their second single “Enemy” earlier today.
The six-piece, who originate from Leeds, offer a fresh take on the kind of guitar pop that seems to be missing from 2012’s music scene thus far. Drawing on references that range from everyone’s favourite influence The Cure to further left-field cult heroes such as Yo La Tengo, Bear Driver have made a sound that is pretty hard to ignore.
We spoke to founding band-member Harry Dean to talk about inspirations, recording in swimming pools, and bears driving.
So who exactly are Bear Driver?
Bear Driver started off as myself and Oli, writing songs in our bedrooms and we did a few gigs. We got our friends Joe, John and Rich to join. John couldn’t really play the bass when he joined, he had to learn on the go. We still have the day jobs, or the night jobs, but we only work part time so we can focus on the music.
For anyone who hasn’t heard your music, if you had to make up a ridiculous genre-title to describe it, what would it be?
Your debut album is coming out next month, tell us a little about it.
It’s a culmination of a couple of years of writing songs and playing gigs. We went to the Lake District for a week a half and rehearsed solidly. It was recorded in three days, pretty much live, in an old swimming pool in South London, we really wanted to get that live feel.
Why a swimming pool?
Well it had a very great feel, it’s a good studio. Graham Coxon’s worked there. It just works for the sound.
So what inspirations would you say have gone into the album?
We’ve been listening to a lot of Yo La Tengo and Sparklehouse, and I guess Sonic Youth to an extent. On the pop side I guess that The Cure and The Beatles have been an influence as well.
How about non-musical influences?
When we went to play SXSW in America, that whole trip was a big influence. We saw Yo La Tengo in New York, and that show was what drove us to record an album.
What’s been the biggest moment for you so far as a band, would you say that it was playing at SXSW?
I reckon so, I’ve always wanted to go there, playing there was really great. It’ll be difficult to top that.
So what are you plans for after the album release?
We’re going to do a tour at the end of summer, and then just keep writing, hopefully put an EP out at the end of the Summer.
So finally, and most importantly, what would you be more scared of; having to drive a bear, as in being his chauffer, or having a bear be your chauffer?
I think I’d be more scared of driving a bear, because he could probably attack me and the other people in the car… If he was in the front as a chauffer and there was a glass window dividing us I think we’d be ok.
Check out their latest single ‘Enemy’ below and for more info on Bear Driver head to beardriver.com