Bear Mountain’s live show is made of sound. It may seem bizarre to say, but it may be the most accurate. This four-piece band from Vancouver masters the production of sound through a collection of electronic instruments, each member bringing up multiple instruments affording them a repertoire of million and one sounds. The result of which was a show that was captivating at every turn. Bear Mountain was putting us under a spell of intrigue- as 45 minutes of new sounds can only do. A highlight of the night was dancing with Ian Belvis after he (and his guitar) joined us in the crowd. It was a thoroughly enjoyed show, the end of which saw excited and gushing murmurings of bears and mountains by all who attended.
After the show we found ourselves braving the cold standing in the parking lot behind the van chatting with the band about music, gnomes and, well—bears and mountains. You could call this interview location sketchy and you’d be right but it does get sketchier. The ‘25 cent peep shows’ on Granville Street in Van City that the band attends for “inspiration”, for example, are sketchier. Especially, when you consider that the actual price for the peep show is much closer to $6.95 than 25 cents. But by spinning a slightly dirty joke into a thought provoking comment, we are informed that “there is something life affirming about sketchy situations, you really find out what your made off” The comfort levels of all involved were raised and we jumped into chatter about music. That is after we spoke in length about Tipsy, a tiny gnome with a drinking problem that is credited for bringing the band together.
Something that all of us here at the Vault find interesting is the way cities and locations impact, inspire or influence sound. Vancouver is a beautiful place and we were not surprised to discover that the natural beauty of the city inspires their music. So to does weather, mainly because our cold Canadian winters keep us inside and if you’re a musician all that time indoors means ample time to write: “Your music gets influenced by where you live. Things like nature and the weather all play a part, like, what are you going to do all winter? It’s hard to say how things would be different if we lived somewhere else though. But it feels to me like things move a little bit slower in Vancouver than in other big cities and that’s tempo right. That can’t help but influence music in some way.”
Canada may not be a country known for it’s electronic music scene, and most of the electronic music we do have is coming from Montreal or Toronto but Bear Mountain doesn’t find that this affects them negatively at all: “There’s got to be a Canadian electronic music scene. Holy Fuck for example is a Canadian band that has lead a lot of the way as far as this type of music goes[…] Its hard to say that there’s a local music scene though because everything is always changing so fast these days. Scenes exist on the internet.” Bands can hear music from bands all over the world now a days and be influenced in that way so it’s hard to credit the development of sound to just the scene.
– Emma and Kate