CMJ 2009 Interview: Bear In Heaven

Written By:

Brad Kelly

21st October 2009
At 19:33 GMT

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With two full-length records now safely holstered in their musical slings, Bear In Heaven are officially ready to attack this years CMJ with every audible weapon they've got (though they haven't got much traveling to do, the event plays out on their doorstep).

With an entire arsenal of odd, catchy riffs and strange, addictive electronica, the band make for one hell of a great listen so before they took their work to the stage this week, we thought we'd grab a few moments with frontman Jon Philpot to see what he had to say about the forthcoming week.

SG: Being from Brooklyn, we're guessing that you've probably heard of CMJ before. Is this your first time actually playing at the event? Have you been before just to attend?

We've played at our label Hometapes CMJ showcase the past 3 years. This is the first year in a long while that Hometapes is not doing a showcase, but it's working out for us. We're playing for other folks like Team Clermont, Pitchfork/showpaper, After the Jump and an after party with My Best Fiend at Coco 66. Should be a blast.

SG: What can you tell us about life and the music scene of New York?

The rent is higher. It makes you put a little more weight behind what you're doing. And, there's so many incredible bands in NYC. I'm constantly amazed and impressed. It's inspiring. 

SG: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Festival?

Real Estate, The Smith Westerns, The Tony Castles, 20 jazz funk greats DJ set.

SG: You've just released your second full-length, Beast Rest Forth Mouth. Are there any particular tracks from it that you're looking forward to playing in front of the crowd?

I love playing Beast in Peace and Drug a Wheel. Those songs are loose and full of life when we play live. Lovesick Teenagers is fun too. Watching people sing along is a new and awesome thing.

SG: We can imagine things are going to be pretty hectic over the course of the week. What are you guys going to be getting up to when you're not on stage?

I'll likely make new some sounds to throw around during the live set and I'll definitely make some chicken and rice soup. Winter's right around the corner. 

SG: How does NYC measure up to the other cities you've played in? Do you think that having it as your home city and state takes away some of the mystery and magic that the name 'New York' is coupled with.

It's hard to beat New York. Hometown energy with loads of friend energy. Don't get me wrong, we've had great shows in other cities. It's just hard to beat home. Maybe we'll play in Europe and that'll change the game.

SG: What can be expect from Bear In Heaven after CMJ?

We're looking to tour more, release a few b-sides and get Beast Rest Forth Mouth played across the universe. I want creatures on Jupiter jamming out to us.

SG: Finally, is there any music you've heard over the course of 2009 that you'd like share with our readers?

I have to say the first Burning Spear record hit me hard this year. It's a lo-fi masterwork. A few other favourites are - Washed Out, Martial Canterel, Girls and Suckers.

Bear In Heaven: Myspace / LastFM

Bear In Heaven - Love Sick Teenagers:

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