We recently sat down with a bunch of bands on the Stencil label to find out how their year has gone so far. Our next chat was with Bear Witness, and they seem to have a very enticing year lined up for 2019! Find out more below…
By Jane Howkins
How is 2018 treating you so far?
Pretty good thanks! It’s really nice to feel like the music is starting to reach more people.
Have you released any music so far this year? If so, what can you tell us about that?
We released our debut EP Dreams of Fame in February of this year. We’re really pleased with how it turned out. It was mixed by Gareth Rogers, who is brilliant at bringing out the best in songs. Overall it’s an alternative rock record but it has quite a varied sound, incorporating elements of funk, pop and indie throughout. We worked very hard on all the songs to try and make the rhythms exciting, the melodies catchy and moving, and the arrangements interesting. We focused on writing the EP around making the songs themselves as good as possible, our aim was to write songs that would work outside the genre of alternative rock. We would strip back every song to just vocals and guitar to see if the song itself was good, without all the distractions of distortion and powerful drums. Hopefully it worked! If you like bands like Highly Suspect, Nothing But Thieves and Nirvana then hopefully you’ll enjoy the record.
Are you working on any new music at the moment? What are you working on, and when will it be released?
We are very excited about the release of our upcoming single Perfect Living which will be available on the 18th of January. It’s full of energy and always goes down incredibly live so we can’t wait to share it with everyone. We’ve also made a music video for it which looks brilliant, we might be more proud of that than the song itself! We’re also going to be releasing a couple of singles following that, building from that we’ll be releasing our second EP DAWN in the summer.
Have you got any upcoming tours planned? If so, where are you playing and where are you looking forward to going most?
We haven’t got any tours planned just yet; we’re currently working on that. However we are headlining the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham on the 10th of January to promote the Perfect Living single.
Who/what has influenced you the most as musicians?
We have quite a varied list of influences, we all listen to different things and that really colours the sound in a nice way. To name a few: Nirvana, Muse, Queens of The Stone Age, Nothing But Thieves, Prince, Highly Suspect, Twenty One Pilots, Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, Jeff Buckley, Kings of Leon, Radiohead, The Glitch Mob, Jack White, The Police, Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, the list goes on and on! Most importantly though we’re really inspired by Jeff Goldblum’s jazz piano skills!
What have you been listening to recently that you can recommend to our readers?
We’ve been listening to a lot of Mutemath recently; they’re such a cool band. They’re amazing musicians and they write very heartfelt, clever music that also has a strong melodic element within it. I’d recommend listening to their new single Sooner Or Later, it’s a fantastic song. We’ve also been listening to quite a bit of Sting – mainly his albums between 1980 and 2000. It doesn’t really need much of an explanation, he just writes incredible songs. He is areal lesson in how to make good music and it’s massively varied as well, which we just love in artists – it makes it impossible to get bored of them.
Why do you think people should pick up one of your records or come and see you live, and what can people expect from one of your shows?
The main reason I would give for giving it a listen is that we work as hard as possible to ensure that the songs themselves are good. So whatever genre you’re into, if you listen to it then you will hopefully get some enjoyment out of it.
If you come and see us live then you can expect quite an exciting, uptempo show. We try and encourage some dancing and bouncing around like an idiot from everyone involved! We really love the songs we play and I think it comes across when we play them. We love bands that put on live shows that add to the music, bands such as Nothing But Thieves, Jack White and Green Day are a few examples that spring to mind, so we work to ensure our live show adds to the music.
Any last words for the fans?
Thank you so much for the support so far and please check out Perfect Living on the 18th of January. We have so much good stuff set for release in 2019 so keep an eye out!