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Friday, 24 February 2012 11:56

Wired in #29: Message To Bears

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Message to Bears is a one man band from Bristol, UK with music that can make you sentimental and dreamy, or just happy and at peace. Jerome Alexander, the talented multi-instrumentalist behind Message to Bears, just released his latest album "Folding Leaves". Read on to find out why messages from strangers can be important for song writing and, of course, where you can see a Message to Bears gig soon.

E&M: Your latest album was just released. What was the most exciting part of the creation of this record?

JA: The most exciting part for me was probably whenever a new track came out of nowhere after a period of writer's block, or when I tried one simple new idea (sometimes by accident) that completely changed a song for the better.

E&M: Being a one man band, I imagine it takes a while to put together and conceptualise the different audio tracks that go into a song. Do you have a clear idea of the outcome when you sit down at the start?

JA: Very rarely. Nearly every song turns out very different to how I first imagined it would.

E&M: Your music has something very peaceful and dreamy about it. What inspires you in your song writing?

JA: Nature, recent experiences and feelings. Thoughts that I can't articulate well in other ways. That's about it really.

E&M: You play a whole lot of instruments. Is there one that you'd still love to pick up and learn?

JA: Trumpet would be great, though I've never tried. I'm not sure my lungs would be strong enough.

E&M: So, what is a Message to Bears concert like?

JA:  Five of us performing, mixing live instruments with electronics with quite a different feel to the recorded material. We're not that concerned with trying to replicate the songs mechanically, rather the intention is to mould them so that they work better as a live performance. 

E&M: Could you ever see yourself playing in a band rather than alone?

JA: Definitely, I've played drums in bands before and do miss it sometimes. It's just hard to get the ball rolling with a group of people who all have different things going on in their lives, that's why I ended up recording on my own really. My live band sometimes jams and I think it would be nice if we found the time to all actually write something together properly.

E&M: Are there any places in Europe where you'd particularly like to play a show?

JA: Well in April we'll be playing in Germany, Holland, Belgium and France so I'm really looking forward to that trip. We have never toured abroad before so that's very exciting for us!

E&M: So many people start making music in their bedrooms, but so few get to release several albums! What made you stick with making music and believe in yourself?

JA: I think by having modest goals which were routinely shattered, in the sense that incredible opportunities have seemed to come along. Also the unexpectedly kind responses the music has had, especially the sometimes quite emotional, personal messages from total strangers that I've received. I wouldn't feel comfortable in myself not making music.

E&M: And finally, what does Europe mean to you?

JA: Whenever I think of Europe I think about a trip I went on with an old friend from the top of Italy to Sicily when we were 18. We nearly got into a number of awful situations but the experience was unforgettable.

E&M: Thanks for the interview!

For more on Message to Bears check out http://messagetobears.com/.

Last modified on Monday, 05 March 2012 19:25
Rike Maier

Rike Maier, Sixth Sense of E&M is orignially from Cologne, Germany, but now lives in Berlin where she studies law. She loves music (most of all jazz) and uncovers some of Europe's unknown bands for 'wired in'! If you know a great local band from anywhere in Europe, send your suggestion to rike@europeandme.eu!

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