It's been a busy 24 months for Bear's Den. Upon releasing their debut album 'Islands' to great success, the band hit the road in a big way - travelling the world and playing shows until just two days before they were set to start recording their follow-up album, 'Red Earth & Pouring Rain'.
They've won over new fans, played in places they never could have dreamed of, and unfortunately even lost a band member - in an amicable split, Joey Haynes chose his family over life on the road. Speaking to the band's vocalist Andrew Davie from London, he claims it's been a wild ride, with some exceptional highlights. "It’s been a real journey, every step of the way has been a lot of touring. As soon as we finished our last tour at the end of 'Islands', that led us to this venue in London called The Roundhouse, which was a pretty big deal for all of us, and probably exceeded our expectations of what we thought we were going to do in Bear’s Den. To then go straight into the studio two days later and be working on the second album, it exemplifies that it’s been a pretty crazy couple of years, working non-stop, but it’s been amazing. We’ve been to so many cool places. We feel very lucky."
'Red Earth & Pouring Rain' follows on Bear's Den's trait of extracting emotion through visual imagery, yet takes on inspiration from their late-night tour playlists. "While we were touring a lot last year, and going from being in my car to a van and eventually on a bus, there was a lot of travelling through the night," Davie explains. "I think we were all gravitating towards a certain style of music that lends itself to that - you know, cool road trip music, and a lot of that music was associated with artists like Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty or Fleetwood Mac - all these bands that had these cool, relentless rhythms. They’d create really big glamscapes, and yet, at the same time, at the core of it are these really beautiful songs. There was something about that that really appealed to me and Kev."
'AULD WIVES' - BEAR'S DEN
Their tastes on the road followed them into the studio, as they played with new instruments and sounds to create the feel they were after. Davie recalls, "We were experimenting with some pretty cool analog synthesisers like the Juno-60 and the DX7, playing around with drum machines. I guess we wanted to use some slightly more vintage 70s and 80s-style synths, and use effects like chorus effects on electric guitars. Pretty much every guitar I played is going through this really cool amp called a JC-120, and it’s got a really crazy cool chorus sound on it, and I adore it. It’s kind of created an album that’s nostalgic but in the present tense lyrically."
With a new album full of satisfying songs, there was no chance Bear's Den would be resting on their laurels. Rather, they're set to embark on a brand new tour - though, for now, across Europe and the United States. Having been three years since their last visit to Australia, there was a wealth of sincerity in Davie's voice. "We're doing everything we can to get back down there."
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