Citadel 2015: Bear’s Den
Philippa interviews Bear’s Den at Citadel 2015 Philippa Johnstone of The Review Show went along to the first ever Citadel Festival, held on 19th July 2015 in London’s Victoria Park, and she got some interview time with folk trio Bear’s Den…
Philippa: How are you guys doing?
Bear’s Den: We’re all very good!
P: Excited about the festival?
BD: Very excited.
P: When did you get here?
BD: About 20 minutes ago?
P: Where have you come from?
BD: Yeah, Berlin. We’ve just done two Mumford & Sons shows.
P: Oh exciting! How was it?
BD: Really cool! It was like the most incredible place ever.
P: Have you played in Berlin before?
BD: We have a bunch of times, yeah…normally smaller venues though.
P: How is it touring with Mumford?
BD: It’s completely crazy. Lots of people…
P: Because one of you has worked with Mumford in setting up Communion, right?
BD: Yeah, that’s right. We’ve probably known them about 10 years now.
P: Oh nice! How did you guys meet?
BD: Just from playing music around London, I guess?
P: Are you from the same area?
BD: Yeah, West London.
P: Oh, perfect. What’s it like being a folk band in London? Because obviously it’s such a diverse place and so much different stuff going on…
BD: It’s great. Just lots of good people, making nice friends and listening to the same records I guess.
P: Good people and nice friends! So that’s what I need to start a band? Cool! Anyway… on the very reliable source of Wikipedia, you are described as alternative folk. Do you agree with that?
BD: It’s a really weird thing isn’t it? Some songs I think we are neither of those things, some we’re one of those things, some we’re two of them… you know? So I guess we’re like an alternating folk.
P: I like it. I suppose having one genre in mind sort of affects your music. So for example Lucy Rose, her first and second albums are so different.
BD: She is just great though. I don’t think, “Oh Lucy Rose the folk singer”. Lucy Rose is awesome! I think people who listen to and write music think more about genres than people who play music. We like bands because we like their songs, not because they belong to this genre or this genre.
P: So you don’t feel this kind of expectation to make a certain style of song?
BD: There is a certain thing where you have a sound, so you don’t want to depart from that completely.
P: Have you worked with any of the acts at Citadel before? Have you seen any of them before?
BD: Yeah, Rhodes was playing. He made our album! He broke out after working with us. He’s awesome!… Ben Howard, too.
P: Awesome! What’s it like working with Ben Howard?
BD: He’s great!
P: Any exciting news on the next album?
BD: Yeah, we really want to make one! We’re not sure when or where yet but…
P: Do you have any new material?
BD: We’ve definitely got lots of stuff floating around.
P: That’s exciting! So maybe the next year or so?
BD: Yeah, at some point.
P: In October you’re touring Europe, right?
P: Where abouts are you going?
BD: It’s a month tour and we’re doing our first headline shows in Denmark and Sweden.
P: That’s exciting! Where are you most excited about playing?
BD: Well Roundhouse is going to be epic.
P: Have you played there before?
BD: We haven’t played there before. We saw The National there and that was amazing; a really inspiring show. But yeah, I think it’s a bigger show than any of us dreamed of doing. Every show we play it gets bigger and bigger… it feels likewe’re fooling people.
P: No, that’s great! Are you doing any other festivals over the summer?
BD: Reading and Leeds, Secret Garden Party… we’re going to Canada!
P: That’ll be amazing!
BD: It’s gonna be great.
P: Busy old summer!
BD: Yes, busy old summer.
P: And thank you very much for talking to CSR and have a great day!
BD: Thank you very much.
Interviewed by Philippa Johnstone