“We fight over who gets the last tinnie or good sleep-seats in the van. That’s all.”
Are Hunter And The Bear good? Well, does a bear s**t in the woods? They’re being hailed as the heroes of British rock, and we’re most certainly inclined to believe it. We chatted to the titular Hunter (Jimmy) about their music, playing live and what’s next in their epic quest to reclaim rock from the clutches of not-very-good-bands.
Could you introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about your music?
Hello Hello BORN mag. I am Jimmy, 1/4 of Hunter & The Bear. We’re a rock band from the UK: half Scottish and half English. We’re interested in a modern approach to rock music with a focus on banging live shows.
What was it that first got you interested in music, were there any particular artists or people?
Some of my earliest memories are sitting on my Dad’s lap while he drummed to Stevie Wonder, so I guess music has just always been in my life. In terms of specific artists there’s just too many to list. Pantera. Nah, too many. Pantera. What?
What music are you listening to at the moment? Any ‘guilty pleasures’?
As I type this I’m listening to Ryley Walker’s latest album “Golden Sings That Have Been Sung” which is dreamy as hell. He’s a brilliant young artist. Also haven’t been able to turn off Kennsington’s album “Control”. It’s a belter. Our new TM/hero merch girl has got us right into Catfish and Wolf Alice too. Also – how freaking great is Lorde’s new record?! I mean hot damn that girl’s got it all!
So you started out as a duo, how did the four of you come to make music together?
Like so many great things I’m afraid we can claim no responsibility. It was a fortunate turn of fate that happened four years ago. We’re just glad it did so.
As a band, you’re often on tour and on the road, does that cause any ‘friendly’ rivalry between members? Are there any particularly memorable/funny events?
Not really rivalry to be honest. We’re truly all best pals so it’s a total pleasure to go on tour and we love live the most. We fight over who gets the last tinnie or good sleep-seats in the van. That’s all. Also Big Sal (TM) gets pissy when we’re late. Which we are occasionally if left to our own devices.
We last spoke to you about touring and playing live, do you tend to write music with your live shows in mind?
I think we do, yeah. We put such a focus on live and our shows that I think it just kind of always sits there, in the back of your head. Writing for us is basically just trying not to talk about PYRO.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played recently and why?
We just completed our best, busiest, biggest UK tour ever and all the shows were brilliant. Sell-outs, people singing lyrics back etc. Dreamy shit, I believe they say. Personally I was pretty moved by our Glasgow date as it just felt like a landmark but they were all great. Cambridge is one that sticks out in the memory. We’d never played there and we played to a packed room of people that knew our songs. BooYa.
Is it true that your songs are often about people or situations you’ve encountered on tour?
What was the inspiration behind your awesomely anthemic new track ‘Skin Tight’?
Skin Tight was dreamt up by the big man himself – Will Irvine. It’s basically about being so close to someone you know them inside out. You’re Skin Tight so-to-speak.
Is there a new album in the works? What can we expect next from Hunter and the Bear?
We’re always writing and counting down the days until tour. We’re currently very excited about our biggest show to date – The Garage in London on March 2nd. It’s going to be a buckin’ belter. Apart form that we’ll be recording in the new year and writing more tunes all the time. Also I’m very much looking forward to Xmas as I am in-fact Santa. So it’s a good time for me.