Interview with BRING TO BEAR
By Rick Tilley
Hi Everyone, it’s Rick…
There is nothing I love more than introducing people to brand new bands especially ones that, not only know how to write great music, but also embrace the ‘business’ side of things with an excellent online presence and striking visuals.
One such band is UK Symphonic Folk Metal Quintet BRING TO BEAR, who recently chatted to us about their debut single and video ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’ which is being released tomorrow, Friday 16th July.
I’d like to send huge thanks to them for the interview.
Q: For a new band, this is truly a wonderful debut, how long have you been playing together and how did you get together?
BtB: Thanks very much, that’s very kind of you to say. Hristo and I (Ian) met through being in a gypsy punk band together and played in that band for a few years now. We realised that we both love metal and during May of the first UK lockdown we decided to start a metal band together. We wrote a few short demos to show the style we wanted to play and posted these on the website Bandmix. We then contacted people through Bandmix and Facebook to see if they were interested in joining us. We managed to get the current line-up (excluding bass) by January this year, so I suppose you could say we have been playing together as a band for about 7 months now.
Q: Can you tell us a little more about each of the members in BRING TO BEAR?
BtB: Hristo plays electric guitar and is also a good bassist, so he did the bass recordings. He is strongly influenced by grunge music, and he is originally from Bulgaria. I (Ian) play accordion and keys, and do the growling, and I am originally from South Africa. I’m very much into symphonic metal and folk metal, gypsy punk, film scores, Viking music. Izabela is lead vocalist and she’s from Poland. She’s a big fan of Nightwish and Frank Sinatra. Simon is the token UK local; he plays drums (and a range of traditional Thai instruments) and loves folk metal and death metal. Nik is our other guitarist and he’s originally from Russia and the UAE. He is really into melodic metal and melodic death metal, particularly bands like Dream Theater.
Q: You have a very rich textured sound (inclusive of instruments like the Accordion), accompanied by fascinating complementary visuals. Please can you share some of the inspirations that went into crafting your sound and visual style?
BtB: The sound of BRING TO BEAR is a balance we are learning to find because we basically have 3 lead instruments (both guitarists and the accordion), as well as 2 vocal styles. When we started the band the phrase, we had in mind, was “Amon Amarth with an accordion” and the idea was to have heavy driving riffs as the foundation of the sound, with powerful tremolo sections, and then add the flavour of accordion to that (because what else would I play??), interspersed with strings and brass (keyboard) to give it some more depth and variety. And on top of that we wanted strong and powerful drumming. A lot of the guitar riffs are also influenced by bands like Pantera, Mushroomhead, and Rammstein. And the folk and symphonic elements are influenced by bands like Nightwish, Korpiklaani, traditional folk music, and film score melodies. The visuals are based on creating a scene of adventure because we believe our music is adventurous. Due to the double meaning of the band name, the bear animal seemed like an obvious inclusion in some visuals and also works as a representation of the growling, and it sets the context of the forest too. Then the lady in the hood represents the clean female vocals. And some beams of light breaking through the shade of the canopy and some mist, and it gives it a strong sense of mystery and intrigue.
Q: Your debut single ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’ will be available tomorrow. Can you share some insight on this debut track, as well as why and how you chose it as your debut offering to introduce the world to BRING TO BEAR?
BtB: ‘The Shadow Ruse’ is a song about the balance between light and dark. It’s easy to look at a situation from one point of view and label it “good” or “bad”, but the same situation seen from another point of view can be the opposite. All that changed is the perception, so the situation is effectively neither good nor bad but just in balance. So, our perceptions make us judge things and this affects how we react to them, even if the perception is not real. It’s like a game of shadows in the mind and it can be hard to make sense of it. The song also represents how we often end up leaning into some aspects of ourselves too much that we neglect their opposites, so it’s also about finding the balance of the light and dark parts of our own character. It was chosen by vote really, but the criteria used for the voting was that it needed to be a song that had a strong, in-your-face start and be a balanced combination of the various textures we use in our music. Incidentally, it was the very first song that Hristo and Ian worked on together for Bring to Bear, and it was used to convince the other members to join the band. So, if it was convincing enough for people to join the band, maybe it will be convincing enough for others to join our journey.
Q: Given you are a new band we have no prior insight into the meaning of your name. However, we are dying to know the origin and meaning of BRING TO BEAR?
BtB: The name primarily comes from the phrase “bring [something] to bear”, meaning to bring into effector to make something happen that you really want to have happen. But the dual meaning comes in with the bear animal which is an obvious link in the name, and the bear animal often represents courage and strength, so the courage to go for what you love and the strength to make it happen.
Q: Your Social Media presence and content are especially striking for a band fresh out the blocks. Can you share some insight on your strategic drive and fantastic efforts to invite fans to join your journey and follow your musical adventure?
BtB: We are looking to create a strong online presence first, partly due to the pandemic and partly because that’s where most potential fans will ever see and hear us. We want to use this to tell our story of trying to go after what we love doing, and hopefully we can inspire others to do the same. We’re not looking to rush things, but we want to make sure that each thing we create, whether music, video or art, is high quality and a true reflection of the band, and we’d rather release things in smaller amounts to not keep people waiting too long between releases. Within the band we have a variety of other skillsets and things that we each love doing so we are trying to use these as well. For example, Nik loves photography and videography, so he has been filming all our videos, and I (Ian) love creating visual art, so I am happy to spend time working on that for the band. And then our PR manager, Devo, has done a great job with helping us to craft how we tell the story and with editing the videos.
Q: Where did you record ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’, and please share some more about the BRING TO BEAR writing and recording process?
BtB: The song was originally written as a punk song for the gypsy punk band that Hristo and I met through, but it didn’t really fit with the rest of that band’s songs. So, when we decided to start Bring To Bear, we took that song and made it heavier. First Hristo wrote the guitar riffs and structure of the song and emailed a recording to me, then I added accordion and emailed it back to him (this was during the first UK lockdown). So, the writing process was a back-and-forth process with Hristo guiding this song’s outcome. Once we had all the other band members, we did two rounds of home recordings where each person recording their parts of the song and we combined them into a mix. This worked well to get us ready for the studio recordings, and we then recorded ‘The Shadow Ruse’ at Audiohaus Studios in Wembley.
Q: Starting a band in lockdown with fresh material is incredibly determined, and you must be eager to also get yourselves out there for live shows (as soon as conditions allow). What is on the cards in that respect for BRING TO BEAR, and what can we look forward to next?
BtB: Yeah, we are quite determined to see where the music takes us. Our very next step is to find a bassist so that we can get gigging as soon as possible. We will then look to play some local shows first and apply to various venues and festivals. We’ll have to see how that goes but we do hope to be able to play our music in many different places. We are releasing a 3 track EP in September which will include a cover song and 2 originals. And then we will look to release some follow up singles later this year once they are ready.
Q: Thank you for your time and the opportunity to chat to you. We wish you every success for your debut single ‘The Shadow Ruse’ and very much look forward to the upcoming EP.
BtB: Thanks very much! We really appreciate being able to chat to you, and we really hope people will love listening to our music as much as we love making it.
BRING TO BEAR ARE:
Izabela Smyt – Lead Vocals
Ian Tarboton – Accordion, Keyboards & Growls
Hristo Nikolov – Guitars
Nikiforos Rotas – Guitars
Simon Jones – Drums
CONNECT WITH THE BAND:
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Rick Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.