Headline Act: I Fight Bears

I Fight Bears have crossed through our sights before, with a recent video release and back in 2017 when Nick covered them as a Band of the Day. Half a decade on from that, the band are on the cusp of releasing some more music, so we deemed it time to prise them away from the grizzlies for a bit for another chat. Thanks to bassist/vocalist Drew Hamley who missed out on a particularly vicious barney with a polar bear for this interview…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re from the Bridgend, South Wales.

How did you meet?

Dan (Vocals) and I had known each other a number of years from going to the same rock club and having the same friendship circles. He really wanted to get a band going so promised to pay me money to record a track. We pulled in Marc (guitars) who I’d played with previously in other bands. We cooked up some pretty cool demos with which we managed to entice both Chris (guitars) and Scott (Drums) to get involved with. That became I Fight Bears. Dan never paid me…

How long have you been playing as a band?

I’m always sketchy on dates but I think we formed in 2015

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

So we were struggling for a name for a while. We had a few in mind but they were either taken or they just weren’t sitting right with us. We were watching the movie The Revenant with a good friend. And after watching DiCaprio get mauled by a bear he suggested to us we should be called I Fight Bears. It stuck with us and here we are!

What are your influences?

Everybody in the band has a diverse mix of influences on their writing and playing but if we were to pinpoint bands that we all pull influence from then we would say Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, Lamb Of God.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

What we play is pretty much a modern day metalcore but we aren’t afraid to push the boat out and try new things in the writing room. That’s what makes us stand out I think.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Dan and my lyrics are often focussed around our own struggles and mental health. Music has always been a form of therapy for us both. A way to put on paper and in songs the things that are often eating away at us in our minds.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We’ve got a decent amount of shows under our belt since we started. We’re very much a plug and play band. We can rock up to a venue and be ready to play a set within 10 minutes of getting our gear on stage. We pride ourselves in that. We’ve started introducing some extra track elements to our show lately that helps to make our songs sound bigger in scope and can bridge the gap more to our recordings. We also on occasion have our own visual light show that we sequenced ourselves for Headline shows. But overall, if you’ve never been to one of our shows, expect us to tear your face off with intense riffing, solos, breakdowns and an occasional Dan screaming in your face down in the pit.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Funnily enough, we played just the other week. In the last song of our set a young guy in the crowd just started breakdancing in the middle of the mosh pit. It was pretty epic to see and people were loving it. It should become the new thing in all metal shows. Forget moshing. Have a dance off bro!

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What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

I use an Ibanez SR800 Bass, Dark Glass Alpha Omega Pedal, Kemper profiler DI. Marc uses Strandberg Boden 6 guitar, Line 6 pod go wireless, PRS mt15 amp, Evh 5150 cab. Chris uses Strandberg Boden 6,

Neural DSP Quad Cortex, Seymour Duncan Powerstage, Zilla cab. Scott uses Meinl cymbals,

Mapex armory snare (14×5.5), Pearl hardware, Tama Dyna-sync double bass pedal, Vic firth 5a sticks

Slapklats Pro dampers, Porter and Davies throne

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

So we have a brand new EP called Liberosis dropping on June 24th. It’s 5 tracks of nan-punching meatiness and will be available on all major streaming platforms. We also have two current singles and music videos out for our tracks “Damaged World” and “Chainbreaker” which are taken from the EP.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

So we’re going to be working hard on promoting this new EP as much as possible in that time through playing shows where and when we can. We are also beginning work on pre-production for our follow up EP.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

So we would love to support the likes of Lamb Of God for sure. Such great musicians and amazing live. If we could choose our support we would say our friends in Blind Divide. They’re dudes we’ve come to know in the scene, have played with a bunch and are just awesome. Go check them out!

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If you want to check out more new music, then fire up our Headline Act playlists on Spotify and YouTube!

I Fight Bears: facebook | twitter | instagram | spotify | youtube

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