Posted on May 10, 2014
1) This will be Angry Bears third release. Now having two albums under your belt, how has the creation of this album differed from your previous works?
KC: Well, i hope that the passage of time, generally, as well as the time spent together practicing, performing, writing, and as friends has matured and improved our sound. Scott: From a recording perspective, we decided we wanted to capture the ‘live’ band sound as much as possible with these songs. That’s probably due to the fact that we’d been playing them in our shows for some time prior to making this album, so a big difference in the studio was that we laid down the basic tracks with all four instruments (drums, bass, 2 guitars) going full pelt.
2) As a band with two lead singers, what can you tell us about the writing process? Are songs written as a group or primarily individually?
KC: There is no one way we write a song. Occasionally ideas or even full songs are brought to the rehearsal space by scott or myself. Sometimes jams produce the basis for a song. In those cases, I personally usually work out the initial melodies in the studio and then the words will sort of fill themselves in later, usually outside of the practice room. Sometimes I’ll fight with them a bit, and sometimes they seem to appear effortlessly.
Scott: One of the reasons why this band has been able to survive for for a relatively long space of time [the band have been playing since 2008] is that, thankfully, the creation of songs comes pretty naturally to us. That’s not to say we haven’t seen many a song confined to the rubbish pile over the years...but Kc and I definitely operate on a similar level and have gotten to the point where we are able to pretty instinctively take each other’s ideas and help them get to wherever they might want to go.
3) Many of Angry Bear’s songs seem to have a light mood in their sound, however lyrically are deeper and more reflective. What can you tell us about this juxtaposition?
KC: I haven’t ever really thought about it for our music. I think anyone who listens to enough music, though, will find this juxtaposition. All things contain their opposite, even if not immediately visible. For example, a happy mood implies that a sad one will occur at some point. Turning right indicates that a left is an available option, as well. I suppose it’s not unnatural for music to have the same yin/yang thing going for it. This might be a stretch, but i know that my personality lends itself towards inane conversations, or ones about why anything exists at all. The middle ground is less exciting. Perhaps that plays a part in it.
4) In reading through your lyrics I got the impression many of your songs are about internal battles. You have a lyric, “separation’s something the mind can create and abuse, it’s a gift we can choose or choose not to use.” What can you tell us about this?
KC: As humans, we’re both blessed and cursed by the ability to consciously think and reflect upon things. I see the biblical story of adam and eve eating the apple as a metaphor for when humanity began to be ‘aware’ of their thinking. Creating ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ (or any other ‘this and that’) can be useful, but it can also create hells and heavens inside our heads if we’re not careful of our habitual thinking patterns. So, essentially, ‘separation’ is a mind-made experience that exists only in our head; whereas in the world it’s not really so clear and distinct as our thoughts make it out to be. So, it’s a gift. We can choose or choose not to use it. The older I get, I see the benefit in unplugging from thought sometimes. In consciously stepping outside the whirlpool of excessive mental activity.
5) Often when bands’ members change the general dynamic of the band can shift. Angry Bear’s lineup has changed recently, with the departure of Ian Chiasson. How has this change affected the band? What do you see for the future of Angry Bear?
KC: Like most things, changes have both good and bad effects. I’m not a fortune teller, so i’ll spare my predictions about the band’s future. I hope Angry Bear’s star continues to rise, though. That will suffice to make me happy.
Scott: ...and to add on to that point, I think it’s also about adopting a positive attitude to change. A new member brings new opportunities and a chance to remould our sound. That should be exciting.
6) What music are you currently listening to? Does the genre match that of your own?
KC: My music habits are all over the place. I sit in silence quite a bit, but music I’ve played relatively regularly lately are Bob Schneider, I Am Robot and Proud, David Bazan, Joe Hisaishi… I’m blanking on others. I like bands that I can warm up my voice to, so I’ll sing along with Mumford & Sons or Sam Roberts. As i write this, I have the iPod on shuffle and it’s landed on a Sigur Ros tune.
Scott: My staples are Sun Kil Moon and Mogwai. I recently got around to watching the Ian Curtis film ‘Control’, so I also re-visited the Joy Division albums which is an inspiration to anybody who, in this age of Pop Idol and its many shoot-offs, thinks they need to have a perfectly pitched voice to succeed.
7) Angry Bear has been playing in Seoul since 2008. What can you tell us about how the music scene has changed in that time?
KC: Seoul has grown, and naturally the music scene has grown with it. More bands. More venues.
Scott: I don’t see a massive change insofar as people have always been getting together and creating music and bands both before and during our time here...mostly what changes are the fads and the trends. There are enough good bands out there to encourage people to go to the clubs on the weekends and seek out live music and support the scene.
Interview by: Jonathan Jacobson