As human beings living in the digital age, interconnectivity is at the core of everything we do.
Paradoxically, achieving a true sense of connection is often our greatest challenge. For Vancouver electro-dance band Bear Mountain, finding a way to seal the rift that exists between technology and the natural world has become a beacon that guides much of what they do.
Formed in 2011, Bear Mountain (Ian Bevis – Vox/Bass/Laptop, Kyle Statham – Guitar/Vox/Synth, Greg Bevis – Drums/Percussion/Vox/Keys, and Kenji Rodriguez – Creative Direction/Percussion) quickly began amassing attention online after self-releasing their debut album XO the following year. Trailing two back-to-back number ones on popular online music aggregator, Hype Machine, the band soon inked a deal with independent label Last Gang Records who went on to re-release XO in 2013.
Blending live instrumentation with fully immersive visual projections and lighting components, Bear Mountain (who take their name from Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel The Dharma Bums) far surpass the parameters of a traditional indie band. While their highly rhythmic, vocally driven sound draws heavily upon a shared appreciation of house music and always keeps an ear to the dance floor, their atypical live show has been likened to performance art that seeks to awaken the senses and push the boundaries of the live experience indefinitely.
“This band, our music, Kenji’s artwork, and everything we do is really about unifying that relationship between technology and nature, analogue and digital,” says frontman Ian Bevis. “For us, there is something really stimulating about producing music and for the most part our songs are producer-based tracks. Where things get interesting is on stage when we translate those techniques into the live setting,” adds Kyle Statham. “When we’re up there we’re always rocking things out like a band usually would but we’re also bringing in this visual language and an element of storytelling, which takes shape in real time and in front of the audience.”
Over the course of past two years, Bear Mountain has taken their much talked about live show on the road across North America opening for acts like Bloc Party, Hot Chip, and Cut Copy, and performing at festivals such as The Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Sasquatch. The band is now currently hard at work on their sophomore album, Badu, which is due out in 2016.