Artist Spotlight: Bear Witness
Formed by 2 young brothers in 2014, Matt and Alex Georgiou had always played and written music together. Growing up in Worcester, the pair were a creative powerhouse within the small city’s music scene. Being involved in many bands and frequently playing for large crowds of their peers at large high school student organized gigs at the local music venues.
Bear Witness was born out of a desire to make music that had a sole focus on strong songwriting and expression. So many bands make songs without the desire to craft something really special. We want to write songs as good as our heroes have. Songs that make you feel, songs that make you dance, songs that we can look back on in 10 years or so and be proud to have created them. We are a powerful trio that specializes in integrating soulful melodies with monstrous rhythms. Our influences range from Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, Muse and Jeff Buckley. We had an unavoidable hiatus due to university commitments in 2016, but following the addition of bassist Liam Mead to the lineup in late 2017, returned with the debut EP ‘Dreams of Fame’.
Deep down this is all fueled by a desire to make as much beautiful noise as possible. Music with some genuine meaning and soul that lifts you when you’re down; but can also make you feel great even when you’re not in need of picking up.
IPM: What inspired you to write music like you do
We all have quite a varied taste in music; we listen to all sorts of artists. However the one genre we all agree on and love is powerful rock. Music that has melody but also contains that raw grit and energy that makes it feel cinematic. That’s what inspires us to write music in a similar vein; our outside influences do flavour songs, some have a funk element, some indie, others even pop; but that is always layered over the core of a strong, cinematic rock song. We like to refer to our sound as beautiful noise because we put a lot of time and effort into making the melodies and arrangements ‘beautiful’, catchy and soulful essentially; but also love huge, cataclysmic choruses and riffs that could bring down buildings, so smashing the two together gives us our little recipe for beautiful noise.
IPM: Tell us about the other members of the band, and of your chemistry.
Matt Georgiou is our singer, guitarist and songwriter; he has an incredible ear for melody and a great voice, being compared to Johnny Stevens of Highly Suspect and Chris Cornell. The majority of the songs start with him bringing a demo version to practice which we then carve our respective parts from.
Alex Georgiou is our drummer and being Matt’s brother shares an impressive bond with him, most of the drums are written perfectly to almost harmonize with the guitar work. Alex studied drumming at BIMM Professional Music College and works to play with the power of Shannon Leto and the grace of José Pasillas.
Liam Mead is our bassist and most recent addition to the band, joining in late 2017 prior to the release of our debut EP ‘Dreams of Fame’. He has a keen sense for melodic bass lines and often will weave between the guitar-work to build upon the arrangement of the song.
IPM: What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.
The main issue we have is that when we write and record a song we don’t think about how we will play it live, we solely focus on what will make the song as good as possible. This occasionally results in multiple guitar parts in a chorus (and being a 3 piece we only have one guitarist) or backing vocals that can’t be sung by the other members. We’ve toyed with the idea of backing tracking some of the songs but currently we’ve managed to figure out how to play them live as just the 3 of us. Whether that be by combining the two guitar parts into one or playing the song without backing vocals.
IPM: Tell us about some of your recent shows.
Most of our shows are pretty up tempo and exciting, we just love it when people start dancing and bouncing around. That’s what rock music should be about really, just letting loose and having fun to some songs that mean something. It can be so cathartic for everyone involved, especially us. Highlights from our recent shows have to be the crowd singing the chorus of ‘Liquid Diamond’ back to us, everyone dancing to ‘Dreams of Fame’ and finally the amazing response we got when we debuted our upcoming single ‘Perfect Living’.
IPM: Any Albums coming out soon or shows you are looking to promote.
We’re releasing our new single ‘Perfect Living’ on the 18th of January and we’re so excited to show it to everyone. We’ve made this sci-fi Bladerunner inspired music video for it which turned out brilliantly! We’re also going to be releasing a few more singles between now and summer and our 2nd EP ‘DAWN’ in the summer.
With regard to shows, we’re headlining The Sunflower Lounge on the 10th of January so if anyone’s around then please come down!
IPM: Any “strange tales” or things that may have happened during a show that seemed too weird to be true?
There was this one time where we were playing a show, it must’ve been about 6 months ago now, and we saw what can only be described as our doppelgangers stood out in the crowd watching us. Literally three people stood together that looked almost identical to the three of us! Needless to say it was very disconcerting; they were even wearing similar clothes. They weren’t the other band. That would’ve added a new level of strangeness to the whole ordeal.
IPM: Where do you see your music going, where would you like to be in the near future, goals, dreams and passions?
Ultimately we would love to make a living off of our music, not anything extravagant, the age of millionaire rockstars has died really, just enough to get by. There’s a quote from Brandon Boyd of Incubus where he says ‘I learned from a very young age that if I pursued the things that truly excited me, that they would reward in more important ways, like happiness.’ Which is essentially exactly how we feel about music. If you boil it down and remove all of modern life’s distractions, everyone’s just looking to be happy, it’s important to realize that and aim for things that will hopefully give you that.
Short term wise we just want to reach as many people as possible with the music. We work hard on all the music we make to give it real passion and meaning and so would love for it to reach people that can really connect with it.
IPM: What would you like our readers to know about you?
The main reason we would give for listening to our music is that we try to ensure we write songs that are good without all the distortion and powerful rhythms. Often an unbelievable song sounds great with whatever arrangement you give it, Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged springs to mind as a perfect example of this, they stripped back a bunch of their songs that were normally drenched in reverb and distortion and they still sounded fantastic. So we put a great amount of time and energy into making sure the backbone of the song, the melody and chord sequences effectively, is good. We test every song acoustically to see if it sounds good without the production element, if it does then we continue with it. We love incredible songwriters: Sting, Chris Cornell, Prince etc. and so want to write music that does those influences justice.
IPM: Where can our readers find your music.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BearWitnessBand/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/bear_witness_
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bearwitnessband/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOo1P9oO4funvG2rY6p9byA
- Bandcamp: https://bearwitnessband.bandcamp.com/
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/47ktluZhPTNibndFjWZVb4
- Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bearwitnessband
- Official Website: https://www.bearwitnessband.co.uk/
Our music is also available on iTunes, Amazon Music, Tidal, Google Play Music and every other music platform service.
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