Interview: Mondo Bear

We chat to Mondo Bear, a psychadelic/prog rock band from Trondheim, Norway, about their new music, influences and the vibes of live performance.

Interview by Jane Howkins

Have you released any music so far this year? If so, what can you tell us about that?
We just released our first single in November. The second one was out 31 January, and the full record on 21 February.

Are you working on any new music at the moment? What are you working on, and when will it be released?
We’re always working on new material. Most likely this will turn into a second album late 2020-ish. So far we’re just working them out live, together with the record that’s coming out soon.

Have you got any upcoming tours planned? If so, where are you playing and where are you looking forward to going most?
Most likely a tour of Norway closer to autumn. But we’re working towards playing longer tours and more shows in the next year.

Who/what has influenced you the most as musicians?
A never ending list of classic bands from the ’60s and ’70s, as well as a bunch of contemporary acts. I think a big part is having a great music scene in Trondheim, where we live, and in Norway in general. Seeing so many band and artists making interesting and unique music while also getting a lot of recognition at home and abroad.

What have you been listening to recently that you can recommend to our readers?
King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizzard who release about a billion records every year, and Kanaan, a Norwegian jazz/psych rock trio doing some really great stuff at the moment.

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?
Lots of energy and “vibeyness”. The reason we write these long songs with driving motifs and lots of ambience is because that’s the kind of music we enjoy. So for any fan of rock, psych, jazz, etc. there’s something to be found in our music. A live show is usually a really simple but engaging affair. We’re not really a very showy band, so we try to make the music do as much talking as possible. Luckily it’s music that seems to get people into a good groove and vibe. We improvise and play around with the songs a bit, so it’s never quite the same hearing the recordings and seeing it live. Which I think is some of the fun part with this kind of music.

Any last words for the fans?
Listen to music, go to concerts, be a part of the musical life wherever you are. That’s the important bit.