Before this cramped yet charming debut gig, the WaveByte team were lucky enough to sit down with the lead guitarist of the band.
In this interview, WW stands for Will Wilkins, and FP for Frazer Proctor
WW // Okay, so I am here with Frazer from China Bears, how are you doing?
FP // Hello, pretty good mate, how are you doing yourself?
WW // Yeah I’m not too bad myself (laughs.) Are you excited about your debut show today?
FP // Yeah really excited man! It’s gonna be fun.
WW // So, what have you been doing in the past week?
FP // This week’s been pretty crazy, we’ve done a lot of prep, we’ve had a couple of small gigs, visited a couple of radio stations like Woking and Eagle, and yeah just getting everything sorted… we shot the music video last week, so it’s all been a bit busy busy… but yeah, super fun.
WW // So, we saw the music video for Hydra this morning, it was really cool…
FP // Ah, thanks man!
WW // … but I just had a few questions about how you guys as China Bears got together. So obviously you’re all students at ACM, did you all just meet there at ACM?
FP // Ah yeah, well Ivan’s my twin brother so I’ve known him for a while, (laughs), um…
WW // Hah, yeah ‘for a while.’
FP // We met Rosie, the keyboardist, at college in Somerset, so we’re all from Somerset, and then when we moved to Uni, we met Dean and James. We’re all on the same course, and we just started the band from there. Well, it was already a thing in Somerset, we just kind of moved it here, did a different line up with a new sound, and yeah we’ve been a band for a year and a half now.
WW // Awesome, that’s really cool. So, with the song ‘Hydra…’ first of all, who wrote it? And then, what inspired it? If you know, of course.
FP // That one was mainly Ivan, he’s like the rhythm guitarist and usually the lead singer, but it’s a song about, kind of like, teenage angst and dealing with rejection, going through things. Growing up, I suppose. Usually, how we write is super collaborative, so he came up with the skeleton of the song, we worked on some melodies, we just took it from there really with different harmonies, textures and layers all building up. It’s kind of how we do it with each song; one of us will bring in the majority of it, we’ll talk about it, jam it out, and that’s sort of how it works.
WW // Do you have any plans for the next few weeks coming up?
FP // So, we’ve got our new single Meet Me in London coming out next month, we’re just kind of writing new songs and recording. We’re planning to do singles each month with a video.
WW // Does that mean at the end we should be expecting a full album?
FP // I think we’re looking more towards an EP to begin with, just a collection of a few songs at the end of the year. It’s all sort of up in the air at the moment. That’s the main plan we’re going for, though.
WW // Awesome, well thank you for taking the time to talk to me, I hope the show goes well!
This was my first visit to the Boileroom, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had read in Jamie’s review of The Sherlocks’ show that he really enjoyed the venue itself. Jamie deemed it intimate, indie, and chill. For me, it was all of this and more – I absolutely loved being in the crowd at a small venue – it proved a pleasant change from witnessing bands conquer massive arenas whilst barely being able to make out which band member is which. Before discussing China Bears themselves, I must give a special mention to the support bands. Starting with Mardhys Moon, followed by Sebastian Cano, and finally Bridges. Each band had its own small group of loyal fans, and each captured my attention. I’d say they did their job well – they got me excited or what I was about to see.
The live versions of both Hydra and Meet Me in London were enchanting, especially as the crowd seemed to know the words within just a day of the track being released. Perfectly synchronised, the band rocked band and forth in time, dancing to their own songs and generally just having fun. In fact, everyone in the venue seemed to be having fun – I think it’d be hard to find one person who didn’t enjoy themselves that night.
China Bears did an utterly smashing job. For a debut show, I don’t think it could’ve gone better. It was apparent that no audience member had just stumbled in and discovered a new indie band; every person there was a social affiliate of China Bears. It felt special – and when I say that you could feel the love in the room – it’s not an exaggeration, it’s a justification. It was humbling to attend a gig where everyone’s there to celebrate the success of their friends.
An enjoyable affair for absolutely everyone involved – China Bears, well done.
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