Will at WDUB interviewed Adam Wills, bass player for Bear in Heaven for their station blog, www.911-blog.com
“911-Blog was fortunate enough to score an email interview with Adam Wills of Bear In Heaven, recent recipient of Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” honor for their new album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth. If you haven’t gotten around to listening to Bear In Heaven yet, their sound treads a unique path between electronica, prog, and southern rock. Look for downloads of their tracks “Wholehearted Mess” and “Lovesick Teenagers” (my new favorite song) after the interview.
Q: You have a pretty unique sound. There’s definitely influences of psychedelic rock and electronica, but it’s more than that. What are your biggest influences and how did your sound develop?
A: We get asked this question a lot, and I wish there was an answer.. It would be much easier to say, oh.. we are referencing this and we always wanted to sound like that, but honestly, this is not a topic of discussion amongst the band. We talk about beer and girls and life, spirituality and football… We tell jokes and of course listen to music and share new discoveries and old favorites… I’m sure it’s happened, but I certainly can’t recall any specific conversations on what we wanted to sound like..I will say, I think we have pretty deep and robust listening habits. We circumnavigate every genre.. We love it all, that being said, we sure hate a lot too.. That’s the magical thing about music, there’s SO much of it. I will say, we get the most excited when people compare us to This Heat.. that’s one of our shared favorite bands, and it’s cool when people drop that name, though, to my ears, we don’t sound a thing like them. I saw a tweet recently that described us as “Moroder mixed with Toto” hahah, I love it, I kinda think that nailed it.. As far as how we got to that “sound”… You tell me.. Mix all of the ingredients of 4 really good friends, 6 years of busting our ass, lots of mistakes, lots of bad shows, alienated crowds, mushrooms, late nights, thrown drumsticks, hugs, laughs, hours and hours and hours and hours of practice space recordings, editing editing editing, not a lot of talking and a whole lot of doing.. And now we’re here.. Wanna make a bet? The next record will sound completely different.
Q: What’s your mission in music? What do you all want to accomplish with Bear In Heaven?
A: Personally, my favorite aspect that comes with playing music, is new friends. I love how you can pull into a town on tour on a Tuesday night meet 10 new people, go to their house after the show, drink some beers, talk laugh, next thing you know it, it’s 5am and you’re in the middle of a “friendship pyramid with 15 people” and you’ve got new best friends in a town you’ve never been to. And how did that happen? Our band happening to have a show was the impetus for the entire evening, how rad is that.. I think we just wanna tour, make music, have people like it, make new friends, make our label some money, and write our memoirs. But all in all, there is no goal.. We have a strong desire to see this project through.. the door seems to be wide open right now, and it’s thrilling to know, we have no idea where it’s going or how it’ll end, we’re just all smiles for the ride.
Q: How does it feel to be considered “Best New Music” by Pitchfork standards? Is this a big deal in the industry? Have there been any immediate repercussions from receiving this title?
A: It feels great. It’s a bizarre phenomenon most certainly. But any sort of confirmation/affirmation that we made a good record, whether it’s my dad telling me how much he plays the album at home, a 16 year old on myspace leaving a comment or Pitchfork giving us their seal of approval.. It all feels really nice. My dad’s personal tastes don’t open as many doors for us in the music world as Pitchfork does of course, kinda wish it did!
Q: What’s next for Bear In Heaven? Any tours, collaborations, remixes, new records on the horizon?
A: Tour tour tour.. Sorting it all now. 2010 should be nice and crazy, we are hoping. USA, Europe, Japan and Australia, all being sorted out. Get stoked. Remixes are being pumped out now.. Tons of friends are coming forth wanting to remix certain tracks, we are really excited about that.
Q: Where did the name Bear In Heaven come from?
A: We named it after a painting, many, many years ago. Funny how things have worked out in the world of band names, but what can ya do… We wouldn’t change a thing.”