Based out of the Central Coast of California, Bears Among Men recently played a show at the world famous Whisky on the Sunset Strip. The band held their own, opening for the likes of Us, From Outside, This Romantic Tragedy, and Memphis May Fire. Presenting an exciting mixture of post hardcore with electronic influences, Bears Among Men are sure to roar into the big leagues with their charismatic membership and memorable songs. The band has an EP on the way entitled Those Left Behind, and plan on touring sometime over the summer. Here is a recent interview we conducted with the two vocalists to find out more about these Bears Among Men…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Bears Among Men, and how long the band has been together?
Jose: My name is Jose, I scream in Bears Among Men
Kyle: My name is Kyle, I sing in Bears Among Men
Jose: The band has been together for almost two years. our recent line-up together for a little over six months now.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there? Who are some local bands you could recommend?
Kyle: We’re actually from all over the central coast ranging from San Luis Obispo to Lompoc with even one guitarist living in LA but we like to say we are from Lompoc CA. The scene here has had a lot of changes over the past few years coming from death metal, pop punk, and hardcore music. Most of the bands we play with are post-hardcore and metal bands. Two of our favorite bands we love to share the stage with are Parley and Ava Grace (we will be touring with Ava Grace in August)
Where did you get the name Bears Among Men from?
Jose: Originally we were known as Lights!Sirens!Bears! We changed our name because of another band with a very similar name, Lions!Tigers!Bears! (who are now good friends of ours). We basically realized that they had a better chance of making it then we did so we decided to change our name, but we wanted to keep the bear aspect of it do to a fascination of bears. We discussed the name change for weeks until we finally decided on Bears Among Men.
What could one expect from a live Bears Among Men show?
Jose: You can expect a lot of energy, a lot of interaction with the crowd, amazing musicianship, and basically an awesome stage presence. We try to cover all parts of the stage and connect with every person in our audience. And definitely expect us to try and make friends with all of the crowd.
What do you think makes Bears Among Men stand out from the many other unsigned bands out there today?
Jose: In my opinion, we don’t set out to be huge or the next greatest trend in the scene, only to connect with our fans and play the music we love everywhere and to everyone. Also, we try to incorporate many different styles in our music.
Kyle: I think what helps separate us most from other unsigned bands is we just try our hardest when we’re writing to not sound like any other band. I mean of course every post hardcore band does certain sequences of open drop C chugging for breakdowns and what not but we just try to throw in different little things with vocals or whatever we can think of to keep the listener entertained while keeping the guys who like to dance at our shows something to dance to. Also we don’t just write to create something pleasing to the ear we also think a lot about what we could do on stage with a certain part so that the crowd can join in with us as much as we can.
Your upcoming EP is slated to be called Those Left Behind. When will it come out and is there any story behind the title?
Kyle: The EP will be coming out in early to mid July, we’re eager to share it with everyone. The story behind the title is that it basically sums up all of the songs on the EP. Nearly all of the members have been in previous bands with one another until we all finally came together as one. In that time in between we’ve had good and bad times almost losing friendships but in the end coming out as the best of friends. We still have obstacles in front of us and we want everyone in the band to be with us through all fun and most memorable times to the tiring and difficult times.
What inspires you when you write your lyrics? Please select two songs in particular and what the lyrics are about?
Kyle: What inspires us are our friends, family, past relationships, goals in life and most importantly sticking together. My favorite song on the EP has to be “Dibs on the Duff” because it means a lot to the band. You see our guitarist Michael has always considered joining the Marines like his family members before him. And although we respect any choices he makes we wrote this song for him telling him not to leave us and to continue with us so that we may all grow together because we all look up to him as one of the original members of the band and a strong writing force as well. Another song with a lot of meaning is “Trouble in the Favela” basically this song is my apology to Gregg and Jose for being a dick in the past and leaving our previous band because of my girlfriend at the time. I let them down and I’m telling them that this is our time and I won’t make that mistake again and I have matured and am ready to go the distance with them.
What was the experience like playing the Whisky and did you get to meet Memphis May Fire or any of the other bands on the show?
Kyle: We actually had a lot of difficulties with that show, during our first song Michael’s guitar broke and he basically just pretended he was playing the rest of the show because we had no replacement. Although we did have a lot of fun the trouble we had got to us a little bit but once we started watching the main bands we forgot all about the incident and had a great time together. And we did get to speak with a couple members from Us, From Outside and got info on creating our own lights like they had. In the end we made a lot of new friends from playing that show.
Any strange or unusual Facebook stories you could share?
Kyle: Actually yes, it was a few days before a show with some local bands we usually don’t perform with because they were more on the pop punk side of things but a fellow musician posted on one of the bands pages “Why can’t Bears Among Men ruin another local show?” So of course we weren’t happy with the comment because we were asked by that band to play the show. So we just print screened the image of the post and put it up on our page so that our fans could tell the guy what they thought of us. It uhhhh got a little out of hand you could say haha we actually had to take the image off because what we discovered that day was that our fans were extremely loyal to us and didn’t appreciate his words. Lets just say we’ve never seen him at any of our shows after that one haha
Any touring plans for this summer?
Kyle: Yes as pre mentioned we’re going on tour with Ava Grace in August this summer around the west coast and hopefully even the mid-west so keep an eye out!
Do you have any messages for those reading this now who might want to check your band out?
Kyle: Yes, we write music because we feel this is what we’re meant to do. We want people to have fun whether listening to us in the car or at our show. We consider ourselves very down to earth and love it when people around town come up and talk to us and enjoy helping new local bands get shows and get their name out their. Our goal is to be able to tour the world and touch people with our lyrics, give an awesome live performance, and make as many friends as we can along the way.
Bears Among Men consists of…
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
Bears Among Men on Facebook