Bear Driver are one the few British acts that get me out of the bed in the morning. They’re also undoubtedly the premier exponents of “playfulindiepsychepopfuzz”… I caught up with them recently via email.
SoundsXP: You now live in London, having moved down from Leeds. What do you miss about the latter, other than Tetleys with a creamy head?
Bear Driver: The Brudenell Social Club!
SoundsXP: You started out as a two piece but now number half a dozen. I’ve seen the phrase “musical collective” mentioned. Does this fluidity mean members will be performing outside of Bear Driver too?
Bear Driver: Exactly, most of us play in or have other bands on the go. You'll find them in our myspace top friends thing.
SoundsXP: How would you describe your music?
Bear Driver: Erm playfulindiepsychepopfuzz ??
SoundsXP: Your music uses accordions, glocks, melodicas… Are there any instruments that are not going to be allowed on Bear Driver’s tour bus?
Bear Driver: Saxophone (shudder)
SoundsXP: What had you done to make Tom Robinson exclaim on 6 Music, "I've never heard anyone do that before!"?
Bear Driver: He played one of our tracks from our ep Paws & Claws - on the song Thousand Samurais the live drums fade in half way through over the drum machine and he thought this sounded real strange. I think he said 'it's like the hi-hat has been pulled out from under water!'
SoundsXP: Who are your heroes?
Bear Driver: Musically - Radiohead, Yo La Tengo, Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Smog
Others - Herman Hesse, Joseph Campbell, Tove Jansson
SoundsXP: You recently played the Great Escape. Was that fun?
Bear Driver: Yeah, a lot of fun. Harry got a bit carried away and took out an overhead chandelier so we got to play on a bed of broken glass - wouldn't have it any other way.
SoundsXP: Any other festival appearances lined up for 2010?
Bear Driver: Not at the moment but we'll keep you posted.
SoundsXP: You have a single, Wolves, out in July on Animal Farm. How did you and that label get together?
Bear Driver: They'd seen us play a few times and wanted to do a single so seemed ideal!
SoundsXP: Any news on an album?
Bear Driver: We're writing lots at the moment but I think we'll do another single before we look to do an album.