Mondo Bear Disclose Matters on Music and Themselves!

Heavy rock n' rollers MONDO BEAR became a project, just a short while ago, having all new material in the works and set to be out soon enough. The band caught up to disclose the matters behind themselves and the music they have created.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Mondo Bear as a project began sometime in 2018, as the culmination of another project by our drummer Vebjorn and singer/guitarist Erik. With two new members, Anders on guitar and Sondre on bass, we quickly started writing these longer, slow songs. Most of the process was taking song ideas and adding some kind of ambiance and atmosphere to them. Using different effects to carve out a sound that we felt happy with. The first album is a collection of the first songs we’ve written together that we thought sounded good enough for an album. It’s an amalgam of our different tastes in music.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Like most bands we really struggled finding a cool name. So we were for a period called Take Us Up. Luckily we had the insight to ditch that moniker and go for something "cooler". Mondo, is a California surf term, meaning big or huge. It’s also used by a couple of stoner/psych bands. So the California connection made sense because our lyrics at the time seemed to orbit around the ideas of fame, death and crime. Concepts that are very present in the California/Hollywood mythos, as well as having a song on the album called Hollywood. Bear.. because bears are cool. And our sound is sort of huge and sluggish at times, and while often steady and calm, carries the potential for some violent outbursts.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We live in the Norwegian, small, but also large city of Trondheim. The music scene in Trondheim is great, although none of the booking agents at the different venues ever answer any emails (common problem). The music and culture scenes are really vibrant. It’s cold and grey a lot, but the city is beautiful and the people here are really great. There’s a plethora of local bands that are noteworthy. Motorpsycho is of course a huge influence on anything rock/prog/stoner/psych-ish related. Pom Poko is another great group. They are an outfit of young jazz musicians playing crazy, vibrant rock/indie music. Most of the contemporary jazz, rock and indie scenes in Trondheim have something to offer. Many of the bands end up moving to Oslo when they get a bit bigger, but come back here every so often.

4. How would you describe your style?

Heavy psychedelic rock with lots of ambiance, space and drive. We’re constantly evolving and getting better. It’s a really fun type of music to play, between the rigid song structures and the possibilities for improvisation. 

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

So far we’ve released our first single Buzzy, and we’re looking forward to our second single Infamous, on January 31st. Then on February 21st, our full length debut album will be out through High Ten. The record will be an extension on the sound from the two singles with a few surprises, given the variety in song styles on the record. From the calmer, ambient songs to the fuzzed out psychedelic stuff, or the heavier rock songs.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Yes, always. We are in the process of writing the next batch of songs. They will probably turn into another album for us to record this fall. The new songs are coming along very nicely, a definite evolution in our sound and playing. This time we’re playing them next to the songs from the album, so it’s fun to hammer them out and then try them live. So far the new stuff has been received very well.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

We have our release gig for the album in march here in Trondheim, then we’re setting our sight on the rest of the large and large-ish cities in Norway and Scandinavia. Further touring is a goal as soon as we get the record out.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Playing as much as possible, as loud as possible, as often as possible.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

We’re on Spotify and a few other streaming services. Merch and hopefully a vinyl version of the record is still in the future, though probably not that far. All updates from the band can be found through Instagram and Facebook.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

The feeling and atmosphere. Hopefully you find yourself on a little journey while listening to the songs or the whole album. There’s a lot of detail in this kind of music, so it might take a second to digest. That’s the type of music we like, where you can listen to an album a hundred times and always find some new minute thing that surprises you. We hope people have some of that experience with our music as well.

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