Brisbane based raucous rockers The Bear Hunt have released a new single ‘Name and Shame’, and a new EP, Fallen On Deaf Ears. The band have a bombastic energy coupled with a pop sensibility that allows their music to be simultaneously joyful and intense – a delicate balance which they execute so well. To celebrate the release of the single and the new EP, we had a chat with The Bear Hunt about their influences, their history, their life in music and more.
What is the bands musical background?
Every single one us has a pretty different musical influence which we think is what makes our sound a bit different. Bec is into Cat Power, Cable Ties and Batpiss. Lloyd loves anything fuzzed out, he grew up listening to Dinosaur Jr and The Stooges. Currently his influences are QOTSA, WAAX, Red Fang, and Trails. Murray digs Slim Dusty, 2pac and Frank Sinatra while Linda loves everything from L7 to Butterfingers to Moody Beach to Lazertits.
When did you form the band and what inspired you to make music together?
Ages ago, kind of lost count how long we been together! We didn’t even start the band. All our mothers are from a cult. They pretty much made us play our instruments, knowing that one day when all the planets align, we would meet. So that happened.
What can you tell me about your instruments? Any preferred brands?
Linda plays Mapex drums, with a Tama Iron Cobra kick pedal, uses Regal Tip sticks (because they never break!!) and absolutely adores Ziljdian Custom Hybrid cymbals. Muz likes to shred a Hofner bass, Orange amps and has Boss, Strymon, Suhr and TC Electronic effect pedals. Lloyd says, “A magician never reveals his secrets.” Bec likes to keep it simple when it comes to gear. She just needs a sweet fuzz and a workhorse guitar like her J Mascis Squire or Ibanez semi hollow-body. Plus her trusty Fender Deluxe amp.
What 5 things do you have to have on you when you leave the house?
Linda never leaves the house. Muz is currently on house arrest for multiple charges of arson and loitering. Lloyd doesn’t have a house, he lives in a padded cell. He hasn’t yet got visiting or outside rights yet. Bec lives in a dumpster with her cat Nala, funnily enough the dumpster is located outside of Lloyd’s hospital. So the one thing we would have to have to leave the house would be a stable mind.
Could you describe the band’s song writing process?
Slow and painful, like a really difficult birth, but once you have given birth to that kid you can’t wait to compare it to your other children and show it off to all the other musical mums and dads.
What are your rehearsals generally like?
Rehearsals are fun, especially when we are writing new stuff. We probably muck around and talk too much, but hey, that’s half the fun of being in a band! You get to hang out with your mates.
What is the ultimate direction for the band?
We haven’t worked that out yet, we just want to keep writing and releasing music. Right now that’s what we are doing and it’s great.
What advice could you give young indie rock bands who want to make a name for themselves?
Not sure, we are still trying to make a name for ourselves! Work hard and play your heart out at your shows. Also don’t buy into on the “Rock Star Myth”; it’s bullshit, just be yourself and make sure you have plenty of back bone. Don’t take every big shots word as the truth.
You’ve recently released your new single ‘Name and Shame’. What has the reaction been like so far and is it what you expected?
Everyone hates it, it’s really a crap song, we can’t believe we spent the money and time recording it, let alone releasing it. Just go listen to it, we bet you will hate it too!
What’s the transition been like introducing your new band member to The Bear Hunt and what’s something special that they bring to the table?
It’s been crazy! He’s a pretty wild dude, a lot to take on. But he has definitely brought back the fun in being in a band. We are glad we kidnapped him during the auditions.
Collectively, what is your all-time favourite album and why is it so special to The Bear Hunt?
Big Red Car by The Wiggles. It’s amazing!!
If you could pick any dead or alive artist to work with, who would it be and why?
Kirin J Callinan it would be interesting to see what the outcome would be. Probably shit. Or record with someone like Gareth Liddiard (The Drones).
What do you enjoy most, touring or recording and why?
We love to tour – it can be a lot of work and a bit stressful, but every time we get on stage and play to an entirely new crowd who are digging our music, it’s just such an incredible feeling. It makes all the stress of planning the tour totally worthwhile. Plus we’ve made so many new friends while on tour!
Who would you love to support on tour and who would you love to support you on tour and why?
I think we would all LOVE to support Queens of the Stoneage! Most of us are pretty big fans. As for supports for us, there is just so much amazing Brisbane talent. A few bands we’d love to hit the road with would be Trails, Elko Fields, and Mudshadows, just to name a few.
What is the story behind the name ‘The Bear Hunt’?
Our Mothers chose it.
Do you have a pre-show ritual before you go on stage?
Act like we hate each other, try avoid eye contact until we are about to go on stage, then we mouth to each other “Don’t f@*k this up”.
What was it like teaming up with legendary producer Bryce Moorhead (Violent Soho)?
Bryce is a freak of nature. He has such a good ear; he can spot the tiniest of clashing harmonics a mile away. He certainly put us to the test while we were recording! He’s a genius.
Do you still get nervous before going on stage to perform? If so, how do you shift yourself into the right headspace and what advice would you give to aspiring young talent?
Not really, we are all pretty chilled people, we love doing this so there’s nothing to freak out about. But I guess heroin and ciggies seem to be the go to for rockstars.