Leeds 3-piece of prog-punk rockers, Bearfoot Beware have come a long way from their DIY beginnings, and upon their return from touring mainland Europe, the band are settling in at home for a while, bringing their broadest, most fine-tuned manifesto of tunes to Long Division 2018 in June. GIGsoup’s Charlie Hyland took the opportunity to get their opinions on the festival and their position in the British music scene.
You’re playing Long Division festival this year, how important to you/ UK music in general is the existence of DIY festivals like these?
These festivals are important as they showcase talent that exists beyond the realms of the norm. we need these events because it’d be unhealthy to regurgitate acts and line-ups up and down the country. Especially in hosting events in the city’s like Wakefield that aren’t usually on the usual list of places to play for acts and Wakefield has a great scene of artists and art lovers that yearn for it.
In regards to Chunk, your music venue/label, are there smaller acts already in the programme or is that all to happen soon?
Chunk isn’t ours to own, we’re a group of musicians working together to make the act f making music easier for ourselves and easier fr the wider scene around us. But yes there’s ‘Fig By Four’, ‘Crake’ and ‘Zozo’ – on the bill that have current members. ‘Mush’ are fantastic and have a previous member and have used and played in the space regularly. Go check them all out.
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You’re currently with Superstar Destroyer Records, is this a recent move for your newest album or have you been with them for a while now?
It’s a new move. We released our first album, ‘World Owes You Nowt’, way back when no one was really interested in us. It’s not like us to sit down and wait for something to come to us and we released it ourselves under the name of ‘Voice of CHUNK’ at the time. But with your second we really wanted to work with someone to help spread it further. Alex has been great in helping out with the release and filling in the gaps where Bearfoot’s collective knowledge and skills is lacking. We run by a general rule that you do it yourself until someone comes along who can do it better. They had bands that are friends of ours on the roster too like ‘Mums’ and ‘Alpha Male Tea Party’ and that made us super keen to get on board too.
As a band playing regularly in your hometown, is Leeds a happening place fro new musicians off the block, with lots of opportunities?
Leeds has been good to us and it’s been good to so many other bands, it’s a sense of community and family that I think makes it out makes it out more as a place that’s great for DIY music. I think what’s been important for us is that there isn’t anyone telling you how to do something and how to be. At the start of things for our band we found that as long as you worked at your playing, went to shows, made friends and just enjoyed yourself then you get out of it what you put in. Our first album’s title, ‘ World Owes You Nowt’ was kind of singing that you can’t sit back and just expect things to happen to you as if the world owes you everything. Go out and do it.
Your new album ‘Sea Magnolia’ came out in March. You say that the music you take the most enjoyment in is the heavier stuff already on your LP’s, so is this a road you have decided to take to become a more single-minded trio?
I think we wanted this time to focus on ourselves and whittle down some of the plans and ideas for songs that we come up with when writing. It just so happens that at the time we were really enjoying the louder elements and this became the focus. As well we felt that sometimes in modern rock songs you can take on too much and needlessly display musicianship that isn’t even enjoyable to listen to. Makes me think of ‘The Clash’ between prog and pun. I think we sit somewhere between that. We want to be interesting but also have a strong message of intent and the need to be fun.
Bearfoot Beware have recently decided to take their musical status to a new level, taking their thrilling hard-hitting new album, ‘Sea Magnolia’ as far and wide as they can. If you are intrigued by the band and what they are doing for the DIY music scene in and around Leeds, they will be playing Long Division 2018 in June.