Within the first thirty seconds of pressing play on Bear Mountain’s first track off of XO, their first LP I get really excited. It’s got the layering of The Avalanches, the big anthem feel of Passion Pit, the basslines of Tanlines and its own special powerful ingredients all mixed together in one electronic-rock-synth emotionally charged landscape. It’s hard to completely put a finger on the genre of music as the album travels from minimal house, to Fisherspooner-esque electro salsa beats. Ian Bevis’s vocals add a sing along quality to XO.
Bear Mountain is made up of Ian Bevis and Kyle Statham both from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. The band has caught the attention of the city and their audience is growing every day. Just last week Bear Mountain played in Stockholm, Sweden opening for Van She.
I caught up with Ian at The Keefer in Vancouver last month and had the opportunity to share a beer with him leaned up against a brick wall outside of the bar. This type of interview has proven to be the most fun. The combination of a few drinks and Ian’s relaxed, engaged, positive energy made this interview one of my favorites to date. A structured interview was far from what took place, and within moments any questions that I had written down to ask were replaced with conversation that energetically shot back and forth.
Ian is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. His calm demeanor isn’t one of shyness, but instead of politeness and authenticity. He knows that he is a part of something special. He’s played in several other bands throughout his career, however Bear Mountain seems to be different from most of the other projects. The songs developed from Garage Band to Ableton and Ian then began to record his vocals and slowly Bear Mountain was birthed. Ian asked Kyle to listen to some of the initial recordings and immediately Kyle was hooked and the two recorded the album alongside Doug Wells and Greg Bevis.
The touring part initially didn’t exactly go quite as well as the recording did. Ian recalls their first concert, “I played a couple shows by myself, I was just playing the songs on Ableton and I was singing, and then had a kick drum.” Ian leans back against the wall and shakes his head then starts laughing as he recalls the next part of the story. “It didn’t really go that great, the next band up was called The Wizards and half way through my set the crowd started chanting, “Wizards, Wizards, Wizards.”
Ian quickly realized that he had to put a band together and Kyle and Doug Wells joined him for the next live show and Bear Mountain found its footing.
It’s certain that big things are in store for the band as trips to LA to meet with record labels, as well as a small tour in Europe keeps the momentum moving forward. I had the opportunity to see Ian again a few weeks later as he caught a few days of vacation with his girlfriend Gina in Berlin. I had the chance to ask him what he sees happening next with the project. I see his eyes move off behind me, scanning the cobblestone streets, and sunny building tops of Berlin. “I would love to move here and just live here, writing during the day and getting inspired by night.” Something tells me this isn’t a far off dream for Bear Mountain, the energy of Ian and the project feels right for Berlin, or Vancouver, or really anywhere amazing music lives.