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

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Having already made waves in the local music scene with their timeless singles Betty and Play It Louder, Bear Park – aka Shay Bagnall, Guy Robson and Adam Marshall – are now ready to release their debut album, produced by The Libertines drummer Gary Powell.

The self-titled LP is brimming with summery songs and storytelling lyrics, and singer Shay explains it’s been a real group effort: “Guy and I are increasingly writing songs together, so a lot of the time it’s definitely a collaborative effort. We try our best to make interesting drums and let Adam put his own twist on them. We’re dead happy it’s catchy and lyrically interesting, we certainly try to make it that way!”

A lot of songs have started with a guitar part which I’ve given to Shay to add melodies and lyrics to,” says Guy. “He can write parts of songs in his head whilst he’s at work. It’s nuts.”

It’s difficult to pin down Bear Park’s influences, as their sound segues seamlessly from contemporary indie to classic rock, with a number of detours along the way. “We have pretty different music tastes,” says Guy. “That’s what gives us our unique sound. Adam likes hip-hop and classic rock, whereas Shay is really into bands like Wallows and The Killers. The song Head Of The United States has a reggae middle section, which was thrown in on the spot by Gary in the studio – he’s a genius.”

their sound segues seamlessly from contemporary indie to classic rock, with a number of detours along the way

Our sound is influenced by the 60s,” says Shay. “The Beatles’ harmonies and melodies certainly came into play. I’m a huge Simon and Garfunkel fan and I really admire Paul Simon’s lyrics. The Smiths have an influence on the jangly guitar sound we often incorporate too.”

The band have already enjoyed some high-profile support slots, including a few shows with The Libertines, and have taken on board some of their advice. “It’s been absolutely unreal on the road,” says Guy. “To do it with a band as impactful as The Libertines was something else. They were all such lovely people. Pete had so much time for us and watched our set every single night. We’ve learned a lot though – most importantly to take care of your health when you’re away. Plenty of sleep, good food, water etc. Some people can manage ‘living the life’, but I can’t. I like my sleep.”

Asked which track best sums up the band, Guy says: “I think Head Of The United States is the one I’d show to people who’d never heard of us before. That gets the best response from people when we play live. I think it perfectly encapsulates Bear Park. Surf-driven guitars, catchy melodies, hard hitting drums and a few genre changes to keep things interesting.”

The trio are looking forward to their album launch show at The Grove on Saturday 22nd June. “It’s going to be our biggest show yet,” explains Guy. “We’ve got some session musicians on board so we can play the songs in their true form. It’s tricky being a three-piece sometimes when you write so many extra bits and bobs, so it’s going to sound absolutely massive. We might do some acoustic shows too in some smaller venues. We may or may not be planning a headline tour as well, so we’ll see what happens!”

Bear Park release their self-titled debut album on 14th June. They play The Grove, Newcastle on Saturday 22nd June.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout