Electro Bear Mountain

Singer-songwriter Ian Bevis shares his love for performing in Montreal

The Canadian indie band Bear Mountain recently performed at Montreal’s Fairmount Theatre on Nov. 18. They are currently on tour for their new album, Badu, which was released on Sept. 9. Badu features a mixture of upbeat 80s electro melodies that will send you running to the dance floor. Singer-songwriter Ian Bevis’ mellow and pleasantly soft voice fits just right with the band’s nostalgic, retro-dance rhythms.

The Vancouver-based band was founded in 2011 by Bevis, who initially started Bear Mountain as a solo project. He invited guitarist Kyle Statham to join in later that year. The band now also includes Bevis’ twin brother, Greg Bevis, who plays drums and keyboards, as well as Kenji Rodriguez, the creative director, who creates the live visuals for the show. He orchestrates a series of 3D visual projections live on stage that correlate to the beat of their music, which allows the audience to visualize the music.

They have performed in Montreal a few times before, but, according to Bevis, their favourite experience was when they performed at Osheaga in 2014. “Osheaga was a blast,” he said. “The energy in the crowd was really good. Everyone was excited and happy to be there… It was just really high energy.” Bevis said Montreal is one of his favourite places to be, which is why he keeps coming back. “I love Montreal,” he said. “I think it’s so unique. There’s nowhere else like it. There’s no other city that I’ve been to that’s like Montreal. It’s got its own thing going on, and it’s always, always fun. And the people too, the people are just really, really, really great.”

The Bevis brothers, Statham and Rodriguez touring across North America. Photo by SATY + PRATHA

Bear Mountain’s newly released album, Badu, took about two and half years of solid work to put together. Due to how much time they put into creating the album, Bevis said he’s very relieved to finally release it. “We just took [the music] as far as we could take it,” he said. According to Bevis, every band member had their own part in the creation process of Badu. “It’s definitely a lot of collaboration,” he said. Bevis said the band’s attitude takes their music to the next level. “I think everybody just brings something different,” he said. “Everyone brings their whole energy, everything they’ve got.”

Bear Mountain has been touring in Canada and the United States since late October, and will finish touring in mid-December. They are performing alongside Aluna George and The Darcys. In Montreal, they shared the stage with The Darcys. According to Bevis, their band has incorporated a new lights show into their performance that people can look forward to. “I think it’ll be a party,” he said.

Travelling for months on end can be hard at times, Bevis said—they’ve spent most of their time driving across Canada. “It can be exhausting, but also we have those moments that are extremely fun, so it kind of balances out,” he said, “Playing the shows makes it worth it. I just like being on stage and playing songs, playing music and creating the energy in the room.” Inspirations for Badu included nature and the cosmos, Bevis said. “[Inspiration] has got to come from somewhere, so you just draw it from your surroundings,” he said. The last song on the album, “On my Own,” is Bevis’ favourite song to play, he said. “I think it turned out really well, from beginning to end,” he said.

Bear Mountain’s sound is constantly evolving, according to Bevis. “Thing’s naturally change a lot,” he said. “I mean, I think you can kind of have an idea of where you want something to go, and you can do your best to guide it in that direction, but ultimately, you know, [the music is] like a river—it’s going to go where it’s going to go, so it’s almost like we’re just along for the ride,” he said.

Bear Mountain is currently on their way to perform in Toronto, followed by stops in London, Ont., Hamilton and Los Angeles. They will be wrapping up their winter tour on the West Coast in Seattle on Dec. 15.

Bear Mountain’s new music off of Badu can be accessed on Spotify or downloaded on iTunes.

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