One of the more buzzed about New York bands as of late goes by the name Grizzly Bear. Offering up a haunting new take on folk rock, Pitchfork calls it the perfect music to be remixed. And remixed it has been, on November 8th their cd Horn of Plenty will be re-released as a double disc with a new twist. Their songs, remixed or au natural, are for soundtracking your urban walks and sleepy bedtime conversations - if forced to, we'd coin it as bewilderock. Check them out as they open for the Moutain Goats at the Knitting Factory this Halloween (more details after the interview).
Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
one part ex boyfriend, one part thought the name was funny
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
Being really confused and baffled by the real estate market of 1999 and wondering how on earth I was ever going to find a place I could live in and afford. Eventually I just ended up living way too far uptown for my own good.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
Aside from historical obvious choices, my least favorite memory would probably be having to spend a night in a bushwick hospital surrounded by feces and piss (for real) in the waiting room after having had no sleep for 2 days. Runner Up: NYU freshman in the elevator talking about Sex in the City.
Favorite: croquet in prospect park with bloody marys
What is your favorite place to drink in NYC, and what's the best night to go out?
Wow. This has changed so much. I still miss the old hole on wednesdays. Nothing quite like that out there now, at least in my eyes. At the moment I've gone a bit domestic, but I guess I'd still say wednesdays are great for going out, especially if you are looking for free drinks. Favorite bar? I'm loyal to Enids and my neighborhood polish bar Irene's
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York? Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?
My least favorite experience playing a show in NYC was after having had a night of horrible sound b/c we weren't deemed worthy of a proper sound check, having the house manager yell at us for going 5 minutes over our time and then tell us "THIS ISN'T YOUR NIGHT!" it's Xheadliningband's night. My favorite was playing the same venue later on, on a night that was ever so slightly more "our night" and having a great show to tons of people with great sound.
Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
Not sure our music is very city specific. It's surely influenced by all the activity and clutter of the city and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that being around so many other creative people and great bands doesn't both motivate and inspire.
Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action
“You know you’ve made it when….”
you get a meat platter
“It’ll be time to pack up the gear for good when….”
your music is featured on a chill out compilation
“I’ll never forget the first time I….”
had the whooping cough.
“I’ll never forget the first time [insert another band member’s name here]….”
Chris Bear truly experienced Hotlanta
Let's have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you’ve got no discernable feelings, make something up that won’t embarrass you in the morning)
murphy, psych! SPEARS
Bridge & Tunnel
meatpacking district/that movie where sylvester stallone is stuck in a tunnel and it blows up in the end
should not be doing so well in the polls
Questions inspired by movies...
If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)
maybe another time
What came first, the music or the misery? (High Fidelity)
when i was in my mother's womb she held up speakers playing music to her stomach. so technically that came first. sorry misery.
A few quickies on the music tip:
Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
i used to have a crush on stephen malkmus in highschool plus I love pavement, so maybe him, myself and a candle lit dinner with rose. that would rock pretty hard.
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
first: Liz Phair's "Whip Smart"
last: Castanets "first light's freeze"
And finally...If Josh Schwartz, creator of the OC, asked your band to perform on his tv show (as Modest Mouse, the Killers and the Walkmen recently have) would you?
I can answer for everyone in the band when I give you a resounding, through the bull-horn, YES. why not? It's totally like the peach pit after dark, which was pretty exciting to me back in the day.
Grizzly Bear plays Knitting Factory on Monday (Halloween!) with The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digbey Sellers and the Mountain Goats. Tickets are still available here.
Watch their video now, directed by Tyler Coburn.