Notable Interview: Bear Mountain

Ian Bevis and Kyle Statham make up Vancouver’s Bear Mountain, who recently stopped over in Calgary to play the Sled Island Music Festival (which, as a result of the flooding, was unfortunately cancelled). The group has just released their new album, XO, and they are already busy playing the festival circuit this summer, which will include stops at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. Bear Mountain’s fun blend of electro beats and synth-pop will keep you dancing all night; you should definitely consider adding XO to your summer playlist. 

Ian Bevis was nice enough to answer a few questions for Notable before the Bear Mountain show at the Hifi Club on June 19th. 

How did Bear Mountain come together as a band?
I had made a bunch of beats on my MPC and uploaded them to MySpace. At the same time I recorded an acoustic album with just my voice and guitar. I saw an opportunity to blend the two elements, and I started playing shows solo. The first show didn’t go so well, so I contacted Kyle to see if he would join the band. We played a show together a few weeks later and we knew we had something special. 

You’ve been compared with Caribou, Four Tet and Ray LaMontagne, but can you describe your sound and influences in your own words?
I think we have a lot of different influences and we never try to limit ourselves creatively. Any genre or style is fair game, so that leaves us open to do a lot of stuff. That’s one of the most exciting things about being an artist making music right now as well: there are no rules. 

What can you tell me about the making of XO?  What was the best part of making this album?
The best part about making the album was there was no pressure or rules. We completely made the music we wanted to make without even thinking about it. When we released it, we were proud of it, but had no idea how it would be received. 

Are there any other Sled Island shows that you are planning check out?
Our tour schedules been so packed and we’re only in town for one night, so we’ll maybe try to catch something after our show, but we have to leave the next day. Our friends Philoceraptor are playing so we want to check that out. 

Can you tell me a little bit about your tour plans this summer? I understand that you’ve been touring with Bloc Party.
We just finished touring with Bloc Party, which was a great experience. It was our first big tour and they really took us under their wing and showed us how it’s done.  

For the rest of the summer, we’re playing Lollapalooza in August and then opening for Hot Chip in Chicago on August 1. Then we’re going to Mexico for three shows at the end of August, which we’re really excited for.

Any advice for young musicians out there?
Work hard and be nice! No one’s gonna hand it to you, so work your ass off and be nice to everyone along the way. No one wants to work with an asshole.