Interview: She Bears
At the crossroads of shimmering power-pop and the melodic punch of indie-punk, Columbus’ She Bears January full-length release We Will Be Fossils — the long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s I Found Myself Asleep – burst with bright narratives. We talk to them about the time in between, writing their new album, and the filming of their new video for “Fossils”.
Select interviews will be printed in the Premium Guide Book along with CD samplers of Brite artists given as a reward to Kickstarter backers. // Interview by Nikki Delamotte
“You can always feel the momentum within the city; that’s really being created by the wonderful people that live in the Cleve.” – Stephen Pence
You had some time between your debut, I Found Myself Asleep, and the album you just released, We Will Be Fossils. Can you tell us a little about what’s been happening the past few years? How has it shaped this record?
It’s been a long few years. Right after we released I Found Myself Asleep, the guys graduated from Ohio University and we just left for tour for the summer. Our leases were up, we didn’t have homes. We had stuff crammed in friends’ houses all over Athens. We knew we were going to be relocating to Columbus when we finished with tour, but we hadn’t even began to settle in.
After arriving in Columbus, we had a lot of trouble maintaining a consistent practice schedule that included Caitlin, our former keyboardist. She was finishing school in Athens, and couldn’t always make the drive. As she kept trying to further her career as a journalist, we all felt the strain of never knowing if she was going to be able to make practice or a show. Caitlin decided to move on and we had to move forward. To that point, we had been writing for the new album with her in mind. As you can imagine, it set us back a little. It caused us to rethink our roles in the band.
We headed in the studio with about half the album ready, but then had to wait for six months while the studio we were recording at relocated. That set us back, and having the find our place in a new city left us with more than enough on our plate. We continued to tour and play shows consistently, as we figured out how to make the band work as a four piece.
It took awhile, but we kept writing, kept working, and I think we’ve developed our biggest sound yet.
You’ve had a couple changes to your lineup. How has the shift in members changed the dynamics of the band?
Yeah, we’ve lost Teddy and Caitlin since I Found Myself Asleep. We absolutely loved having them in the band. It was really great to have that much energy on stage. They just decided to chase their own dreams, and I think we’re all better for it.
As far as how it’s effected us as a band, we’ve become closer in every way. We’ve had the opportunity to figure out new roles in the band, and when we did we figured out how we fit together. It took us a while, but I think our sound is just as big as it was when we had six members.
You just released this great video for “Fossils”. Can you tell us more about shooting the video?
We’re really proud of it. I was walking through the Ohio State Campus on my way home from work one day, and I saw a guy with what must have been 50 balloons, waiting at a cross walk. I thought it was neat, so we decided we wanted to use balloons.
I came up with a concept, and we got together with our buddy Christopher Toothman to work out details. His family owns a really cool tree farm in Hocking Hills, and they were nice enough to let us use it. We were extremely lucky that some people decided to play along with our silly idea, because everyone in the video drove an hour out of town, to work all day and be fantastic sports.
What’s been one of your favorite places to play live?
Holy cow, that’s a big question. We’ve been luck enough to play a ton of great shows, so it’s really hard to narrow it down.
We’ve played two Nelsonville Music Festivals [2010, 2011], which was just incredible both times. It’s really my favorite festival.
We had a really great set at the Happy Dog for the 2011 Weapons of Mass Creation. Really, probably our favorite Cleveland show, even though we’ve had really fun shows at Now That’s Class and Mahall’s.We also always have a great time in Athens, Toledo, Boston, and Chicago.
Whenever the band gets together, what do you listen to that always seems to make its way back into rotation?
We’re all over the place with taste. We have a few bands that we all love – mostly friends of ours. Honestly, we have a strange bond around the album So Much for the Afterglow, by Everclear. They’re not really a direct influence on us, but that’s one of the few albums we all get excited to hear. God, that really sounds uncool. [laughs]
Can you tell us more about your songwriting process?
Usually, our guitarist, Alex Douglas, or I bring a rough idea to the table. Then, it’s just like putting together a puzzle. We really don’t ever put a song together in the same way.
What’s your favorite thing about playing in Cleveland?
No question, it’s the people. You can always feel the momentum within the city; that’s really being created by the wonderful people that live in the Cleve.