INTERVIEW: Bears in Trees

Selling themselves as ‘Punk with a Ukulele’, the four boys from Croydon, London are making a name for themselves on Spotify and BandCamp with their music which has been comparable to the likes of ‘The 1975’, ‘The Wonder Years’ and ‘The Front Bottoms’. Bears in Trees have released a wide-range of material including their last 10-tracklist EP, ‘Let’s Sleep On It’.

“Someone said we sounded like a teenage The 1975 once”

After being verified on Spotify, the teasing of their new album and even their own line of badges and wristbands – we caught up with the band to talk about their success as a group and where they plan to take their music.

How did you meet and why did you decide to form the band?

Iain: Callum and I have known each other since Primary School and I met Nick when he shouted some Fall Out Boy at me.

Nick: So back in Year 10, Ian and Callum decided to start a band ( for whatever reason) and I thought I’d join in. We were not amazing – one of our songs was called ‘Pete Wentz, Why Won’t You Tweet Me Back?’, so that says it all really. Then when Callum left our sixth form for a different college, George started coming down to help us mix our old band’s songs. When our old bassist left we thought we’d just start over again. That’s pretty much all there is to Bears in Trees. I wish it was more exciting than that.

George: I was their Knight in Shining Armour.

Iain: We all just loved music in all its forms and love making it.

Callum: We all just love music so why not?

What would you say the band’s musical influences are?

Nick: I love writing music as a band because me and Iain grew up listening to hardcore and emo – so we take a lot of our lyrics from that. But Callum listens to mainly pop/pop-rock and classic ( Although we got him into Mayday Parade big time a few years ago) So I think that really dials down our angst. And George listens to whatever the heck he wants to which is pretty sweet. A lot of people say we end up sounding folk-punk. Someone said we sounded like a teenage ‘The 1975’ once. I don’t know. It’s fun.

Callum: So much! We all love different music from classical to pop from rock to rap?!

Iain: I take a lot of inspiration from emo, grunge and folk-punk ( and grime and hip hop).

George: A wide variety of stuff which is all combined in a beautiful way in our music.

If you had to pick just one band or artist to listen to for the rest of your life – who would it be?

Nick: Fall Out Boy – no doubt!

George: Very tough – probably someone like Two Door Cinema Club or The Wombats.

Callum: I’d pick someone classical like Eric Whitacre or Mahler.

George: Or maybe some old classics like Fleetwood Mac. I’m very indecisive.

Iain rebelled and didn’t choose one.

What song are you most proud of from the last EP?

Nick: Flower Power isn’t too bad I guess.

Iain: Flower Power.

George: Another tough choice, probably Flower Power. But I love them all and the new versions fit perfectly with all the new songs on the new album.

Nick: I’m really proud of the songs we’ve written for our new album, but we haven’t actually announced that yet. Awkward.

Callum goes onto tell us about a song from the unreleased and yet to be announced album.

Are you planning on putting on any gigs over the next few months?

Nick: We’re playing Vale Fest on the 3rd of June which is the largest student-run charity festival in Europe, so that should be sick. We’ll probably end up throwing a gig in a car park near us some time. That’s always fun.

Callum: Hopefully we’ll be doing lots of gigs in the Summer!

George: Hopefully lots more coming up around London and the South East over the Summer!

What kind of direction are you planning on taking the band in?

Iain: Grime/Experimental Hip Hop.

Nick: I wish we could become a Vapour-Wave band. But we’ll probably stick to shouting over a ukulele.

Callum: I plan on turning the band into a ukulele orchestra – I don’t know about anyone else?

Iain: No real clue what the future holds. I just want to keep making music with my good pals.

George: I think our sound has changed a bit since ether last album. It’s very cliche but I think the new songs are more us and I think future songs will continue to change and continue to be a little bit different.

The band are currently working on new music which will be announced shortly ready for its release in June. In the mean time, check out their teaser video on Youtube and you can listen to their previous work on Spotify.

You can also follow the band on Twitter (@bearsintrees), Instagram (bearsintreesofficial) and on Facebook (again, you guessed it – Bears in Trees) too – so you’ll be sure to hear the new album the moment it’s released. To support the band by buying their music and their merchandise, you can also check out their BandCamp. Also, if you’re interested, you can buy tickets to Vale Fest – organised entirely by University of Birmingham students to see the band live.

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