Although they may share the same name as a salmon-eating mammal, Grizzly Bear is nothing to be afraid of.
Comprised of four members, Edward Droste, Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and Christopher Taylor; Grizzly Bear strives to create a contemporary sound. With instruments like woodwinds, electronics and guitars, their music comes off with a modern-natural sound.
Their inspiration comes from many sources from relationships gone “bad” to simply other genres of music. For Edward Droste, singer/guitarist, his inspiration often comes from choral music. “Especially that of Randall Thompson,” said Droste.
According to the guitarist, Grizzly Bear’s style is influenced by composer/artist Van Dyke Parks, who worked with numerous celebrities such as Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys and Ringo Starr from The Beatles . Ironically, Droste had been best friends with Parks’s daughter before learning of his ‘legendary status’.
Presently, this New York-based quartet is touring across North America promoting their new album Yellow House, which oozes with an intimate and relaxing vibe.
Touring is not always as relaxing however. “Fun, but utterly exhausting since we don’t have a tour bus or people bending over backwards to make it easy” explained Droste. “It’s a lot of driving, little sleep and a lot of beer.” Fans can read tour-blogs, behind-the-scenes recounts, and comic stories of sorts on the boys’ official website. The band finds itself involved in a love/hate relationship with the internet.
“The music industry is in a weird state. People just buy less and less CDs, so really the only way for an artist to make money who isn’t, say Mariah Carey or someone huge, is to get your song in a commercial, in a movie, on TV, or tour a lot because you’ll never see a cent from CD sales, which is a shame,” Droste disclosed. Nevertheless, Droste believes that the Internet is an excellent way for a group to grow in popularity. “Your music can spread and travel so much faster and farther.”
Grizzly Bear is ready to spread their new album Yellow House. The album was recorded in an unusual setting during a summer vacation. While visiting Droste’s mother at her home in Cape Cod, Grizzly Bear started to record their album in the living room.
“Hot, humid and very unpleasant at times but we got into the whole ‘pain’ of it,” Droste said.
This was not Grizzly Bear’s first recording experience. Their first effort Horn of Plenty features only Droste on vocals and Christopher Bear on drums. The album was recorded by Droste in his bedroom in Brooklyn and dealt mainly with post-relationship moods.
After the release of Horn of Plenty, Christopher Taylor and Daniel Rossen joined the band and the rest is history. Speaking of the band’s history, what is behind the name that started it all? “Oh it’s so stupid really, something from long ago, from an ex -boyfriend,” Droste explained. “It was a joke, then it became real, then I realized there were all these animal named bands and I felt super stupid. Now I’m not sure how I feel about it. C’est la vie I guess.”
Grizzly Bearplay Main Hall Sunday Feb. 4 with The Dirty Projector