INTERVIEW: Hunter & the Bear | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Formed in 2013 and already described as “the heroes British rock needs right now” by The Huffington Post, Hunter & the Bear have announced their debut album Paper Heart and an all encompassing UK headline tour that takes in Newcastle in June. It’s been a fairly rapid rise for a band that came together so recently, so how did it all click so quickly?

“Will (lead singer) and I were childhood friends and we played together for years just with two acoustic guitars, mainly to pals at parties and anyone that would listen,” says Jimmy Miller, the band’s lead guitarist. “We both ended up at Newcastle University and started to play covers in pubs for some extra cash. Slowly we started to write our own songs and slip them into our cover sets, hoping no one would notice. They didn’t. We moved to London with a dream of writing our own songs, playing our own shows and maybe, one day, releasing an album and going on tour. Through playing everywhere and anywhere that would have us we met Chris and Gareth that were playing in different bands at the time. We met up to play some music together and arrange some new material. We haven’t looked back!”

Not afraid to take things on and move forward, it seems as if the band are just taking things in their stride, including a UK arena tour with Eric Clapton: “It’s been a mad trip since then. Things have just got better and better and we’ve been super busy. We wrote, recorded and released our debut album this year with no management or label and we’re currently on a sold-out Scotland tour soon to head down south. We’re all dead happy to be doing what we love and it just feels amazing that people are liking it!”

Hunter & The Bear’s sound is fairly unique compared with the majority of bands out there at the moment; melding a classic rock feel to ultra contemporary production values. Was this an organic thing or a meeting of like minds? How did it evolve?

“It’s definitely been an organic thing. The sound has developed a lot since our first rehearsal. We’ve all been finding our sound individually and we’ve just been writing and gigging loads which is a super efficient way of working out what works and what doesn’t for a band. We feel really happy with the sound of our debut record. It feels like everyone’s individual influences have the space they need to show, while still making an overall sound that makes sense. We mainly just write songs and arrange them in ways that we all enjoy listening to.”

With Jimmy and Will already acquainted with Newcastle from their student days, they’re promising something pretty special for their sort-of-homecoming: “We played every pub in town for pennies and peanuts back in the day so we’re excited to come back and play a headline show with an album to shout about. It’s going to be a hell of a night.  Hair, sweat, head-banging, cracking tunes and a wicked night out. Hold on to your hats Newcastle!”

Hunter & The Bear play The Cluny on Sunday 18th  June.

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