Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bear in Heaven INTERVIEW, Show with Wess Meets West, Lobisomem

Sunday, June 27, 2010:

The Space
295 Treadwell Street
Hamden CT

All Ages

Doors 7:30 PM

$12 ($10 advance) Buy Tickets Now


Frontman Jon Philpot founded Bear In Heaven in 2003, using his previous project Presocratics as a starting point for the Tunes Nextdoor and Songs EP. After several years with a few lineup changes and an album along the way, Bear In Heaven churned out the kraut-inspired Beast Rest Forth Mouth. Recorded as a four piece, the band has since trimmed down to a trio after the departure Sadek Bazaraa. The band is touring with Crystal Castles and will also tour with Twin Sister and Mountain Man. Bear in Heaven will also have performances at NYC's South Street Seaport, Pitchfork Fest in Chicago, Capitol Hill Block Party and Austin City Limits.

Jon Philpot recently shared his time with CT Indie to talk about the band and music in general!

CT INDIE: I have been listening to Beast Rest Forth Mouth nonstop for a couple of days now. The first song, Beast in Peace is so mind blowing because it feels like Talk Talk's Ascension Day or even After the Flood reconfigured as a tribal kraut epic. It was such a relief to hear a band reconnecting with that kind of intensity and freedom. So much of what's happening in music today is, I hate to say, ephemeral, but Bear in Heaven sounds like it's reaching for... timelessness. How did this all come about?

JON: We love Talk Talk. This is a high compliment. Timelessness is - and - has secretly been one of my musical objectives. We have to live with our music for a long time. It has to stand the test of time. I'd love it if we could transcend trends and make music that people will enjoy years from now. For years, it was a self- defense mechanism... We're making music that not many people enjoyed... so I thought, maybe they'd like it in 10 years?! Most of the music that has influenced me is 20 years old or older. Bands like Spaceman 3, Talk Talk, Faust, Heldon, Fleetwood Mac or composers Charlemagne Palistine, Scott Walker and Tony Conrad shaped how I listen too and accept music. So, it only made sense to look toward the future. Maybe, just maybe, someone will change the way they think about music after buying one of our records from a dollar bin in the year 2031.

CT INDIE: How has the tour been going? Have you encountered anything that really surprised you along the way, or had anything unusual happen?

JON: Tour was amazing. Currently home for a spell, working on new songs and just unwinding as much as possible. We made a huge leap from never touring for more than 2 weeks at a time, to an expansive and exhausting 11 weeks. I gotta say, we did quite well... Minimal disasters and a lot of amazing shows. As far as surprises, obviously getting majorly derailed by the volcanic ash cloud was pretty epic. Instead of a quick 2 hour flight from Spain to London, we spent 50+ hours in vans, trains, and tunnels to make it, was an exercise in patience and endurance to say the least....

CT INDIE: What do you think about where music fits into our lives today; not only in how it's experienced but also in how it's produced?

JON: Hmm, I'm not yet 90 years old, so it's hard to see a full generation’s difference in music and compare and contrast. I will say I listen to more music than I ever have, and that's saying a lot. It gets overwhelming at times, as we all share music, and I hit this wall a couple of years ago, frustratingly so, that I'll never ever ever, we'll never ever ever catch up. There's SO much out there. And as a musician, it surrounds me. At home on my stereo, on my commute in my headphones, at practice through my amp, and at shows on stage and off. I could get deep and try to critique the state of music, but really, I'm generally pretty stoked on it. Creativity is high, especially with the folks I know, and that's really all I desire. Pretty cool.

CT INDIE: Do you think it's still important to write an album, not just individual songs? Do you approach recording with any overall concepts in mind?

JON: I don't think we've ever approached an album with an overwhelming amount of concept. We write songs as they come, many develop along the way, and as other songs are completed, the songs we have "in the can" tend to morph and change around. We do believe that an album should work as a whole, and we put a lot of thought and effort into making sure that happens. We've yet to sit down, and discuss major themes either lyrically or musically prior to making an album, but we definitely know what fits or doesn't, and aren't afraid to heavily edit songs in order to make them work with others.

CT INDIE: What are some of the non-musical inspirations that you work into your songwriting, from the visual to the abstract?

JON: How could this be narrowed down? Childhood, the 223rd dimension, deserts, women, light, friendship, smiles with strangers, the future, Peru, Georgia, Alabama, positivity, negativity, the Gulf, meditation, salt, muscles, haha, shit, I dunno. We take it all in!

CT INDIE: Have you come across any opinions or perspectives about Bear in Heaven that you hadn't ever considered before, but found to be a welcome take on your music?

JON: We do enjoy when critics or fans can't place us in time or genre. That has to be my favorite. We've always pegged ourselves as an outsider band, and done a great deal of work to never wear our influences on our sleeves. The biggest surprise is how many people have pegged us an 80's synth revivalist sort of band. I'm cool with that. We all are. But I can't say that was a conscious thing. We probably pull the most of our inspiration to the 2 decades before then, but I gotta say, comparisons to Toto, Talk Talk or Moroder.. that's good company :)

CT INDIE: What kind of gear do you use to achieve your sound? Are there any tools that you simply could never do without?

JON: In my opinion, we've got a lot of unique things going on that really separate us from most bands... That especially goes for our live shows. We are all connected via midi, and there's lot of drum triggers going on, that are equal parts limiting and enabling... Through technology, we've been able to figure out ways to reproduce an album written as a 4 piece, as a 3 piece.. It can be frustrating being a technology driven band... We rival Battles in the amount of cables we have strewn on stage.. and it really challenges my OCD tendencies, seeing this HUGE mess of wires laying about. It can slow us down a bit, as we are all learning these processes as we go, no one in the band went to Carnegie Mellon, haha. In the same breath, it's super rewarding to bang your head in the practice space over this process and then, boom! we figure it out, it's a learning experience, and drives the way we construct a song more than you'd ever imagine.

CT INDIE: What is the band most excited about right now?

JON: The door has been opened for us. We've been a band for over 6 years now, just busting our humps for the sake of friendship and music. We've got an audience now, and that's pretty inspiring. Knowing that people are listening is vindicating. We're doing our first US headlining tour this summer, that's special, and we're re-releasing our album with a bonus remix disc of basically a dream come true list of remixers. We're a happy (and busy) bunch of guys.

Click Here To Hear Remix Of Crystal Castles "Celestica" On Dazed

MP3: "Lovesick Teenagers"

MP3: "Wholehearted Mess"

MP3: "Lovesick Teenagers (Oh No Ono Remix)"

Sharing the stage at The Space on June 27:

Wess Meets West - "Huge epic indie quasi-metal in the vein of Russian Circles. There were a few moments when the band appeared as though it could force a crescendo through pure energy".-Hartford Advocate

Lobisomem makes instrumental electronic music. His music, however, does not fall comfortably into the boxes that one normally uses to categorize electronic music. It is not dance music, sample-laden cut-ups, or raw experimental noise. It is instead a hybrid of more subtle influences referencing African, South American, and Jamaican music as well as more native forces such as hip-hop and jazz.

Bear in Heaven Tour Dates

06/24 - Portland, ME @ Space
06/25 - Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
06/26 - Buffalo, NY @ Big Orbit's Soundlab
06/27 - Hamden, CT @ The Space
07/09 - New York, NY @ Pier 17 #
07/10 - Ottawa, ON @ Cisco Systems Bluesfest
07/13 - Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bear's Place ^*
07/14 - Northhampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall ^*
07/15 - Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo ^*
07/16 - Ann Arbor, MI @ The Blind Big ^*
07/17 - Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival ^
07/17 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall ^*
07/19 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon ^*
07/20 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club ^*
07/21 - Fargo, ND @The Aquarium
07/23 - Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party
07/24 - Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore Cabaret ^
07/25 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir ^
07/26 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop ^
07/27 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo ^
07/29 - Denver, CO @ Hi Dive ^
07/30 - Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge ^
07/31 - St. Louis, MO @ The Luminary Center for the Arts ^
08/02 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop ^
08/06 - Berlin, Germany @ Festaal Kreuzberg
08/08- Katowice, Poland @ OFF Festival
08/06 - Berlin, Germany @ Festaal Kreuzberg
08/08 - Katowice, Poland @ OFF Festival
08/10 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega - w/ Oh No Ono
08/11 - Oslo, Norway @ Blaa (Oya Club Night)
08/12 - Gothenburg, Sweden @ Way Out West
08/13 - Arhus, Denmark @ Musickaffen - w/ Sleepy Sun
08/14 - Haldern, Germany @ Haldern Pop
08/15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melweg - w/ Sleepy Sun
08/16 - Dresden, Germany @ Beatpol
08/18 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Ponyhof
08/21 - London, UK @ X0Y0
08/22 - Powys, UK @ Green Man Festival
08/23 - Edinburgh, UK @ Capital - Fringe Festival
08/24 - Belfast, Ireland @ Speakeasy
08/25 - Dublin, Ireland @ Crawdaddy's
08/26 - Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
09/07 - Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom %
09/08 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Heaven Room) %
09/09 - Orlando, FL @ Club at Firestone %
09/11 - Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
09/12 - Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
09/29 - Ithaca, NY @ Castaways ^
09/30 - Montreal, QC @ Pop Montreal ^
10/09 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits

# with Zola Jesus
^ with Twin Sister
* Mountain Man
% with Crystal Castles

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