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Hinterland – Interview with 85 Bears

As part of our extensive Hinterland coverage, we’ll be bringing you a series of interviews with some of the acts who interest us most. First up are East London post-rock outfit 85 Bears. Adam from the band very kindly took time out to share his thoughts with us…..

Their myspace is www.myspace.com/theeightyfivebears

Hinterland – we’re excited; how are you feeling about it?

We’re counting down the days, we cant wait. It’ll be the first time we’ve played Scotland and we’re looking forward to making some new friends.

What got you started in music and who are your influences?

I remember at an early age i found a battered old 2 string acoustic in the attic, that i think was my Mums? I was fascinated by it. Then Mr Cobain turned up and i realised there was more to music than the Sunday top40 and TOTP.  So I took it upon myself to teach myself as much as i could, and I’m still learning.

What’s the best aspect of live performance?

Without sounding too poncy, its definitely feeding off the crowds atmosphere, it really makes a gig for me.

What’s your favourite gig played so far?

Without doubt, the best crowd and our best performance so far was when we supported Enablers at Clockwork last year. They are a great band but we were definitely on top of our game that night.

Who at Hinterland are you most excited to be sharing the bill with?

The bill is so varied its gonna be a blast checking out as much as we can.  It would be fun to check out The Fall.

Of the less well known acts at Hinterland, who would you recommend to check out?

Well, we’re travelling up Elks so if our gigs dont clash i wanna see them.  Also, another London band that I’m interested in seeing is Three Trapped Tigers, they got a good sound.

What does the rest of 2009 look like for you?

We’re gonna play as many shows as we can, that’s what we really love.  We’re planning to get back in the studio for the summer and get some new tracks down, hopefully be able to release them in some form before the end of the year.

How  important do you feel art is in reflecting society?

Art has always been empowering and Inspirational to all folk no matter what walk of life, Even more so in harder times such as now.  Whatever form it takes it can take peoples minds off their everyday problems even if its for a minute.

Art v Commerce – Is it possible to be hugely successful and hugely respected at the same time? What’s most important?

I think its possible, but it also depends on your opinion of success? I’d imagine you mean by record sales, if thats the case then i think Radiohead have pulled it off the best, Not only are they respected as well as commercially successful, but they are moving with the times in respect of the music business.  By making their last album practically free to download shows what a brave band they are too.  The best ever for me.

It’s an interesting time for the music business – has technology been a help or a hinderance to aspiring artists?

With the likes of Myspace being a great free outlet for up and coming bands, its also a great way of discovering other artists either connected or similar sounding to what you already like.  In respect of downloading sites like iTunes, i do like them as its a very quick way of accessing music, but it is obviously affecting other sides of the business too, and if large labels and shops like Zavvi folding then i hate to think what will become of the smaller labels/shops.  Hopefully it will all come full circle, because the bands will still be there regardless of labels or not.

Who are the most overrated and underrated artists in music?

Ive never understood the pull of U2, they must be doing something right though?  As for underrated bands, I’m suprised that The Shins are not on the lips of everyone right now, whereas bands like Coldplay are?

Many thanks to Adam!


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