• Isobel Jewell

#1 Twins, Tours and Tracks: China Bears

The contrast of gentle vocals and soaring lead guitars sets China Bears aside in the indie band bracket. After having met in Guildford, China Bears have gone on to provide support for Declan Mckenna, Genghar and The Big Moon to name a few. Their newest release single 'I'm Not Eating Like I Used Too', is simultaneously a summer belter and also a soundtrack staring out the window on a rainy day in isolation.

"After listening to The Midnight Organ Fight, it just taught me it’s okay to say it how it is in your writing, and not always have to hide behind some nice lyrical imagery."

How's the newest single been received?

So far the single seems to be received quite well. It’s had some radio play from the likes of BBC 6, Radio X and BBC intro, plus a good amount of streams! So feeling positive, and it’s always very nice and humbling when people reach out to us and express how much they like the new single or any of our music.

Which artists has had the biggest influence on China Bears as a band?

I think personally Frightened Rabbit has had a huge influence on the way I write songs and what we want to say as a band. After listening to The Midnight Organ Fight, it just taught me it’s okay to say it how it is in your writing, and not always have to hide behind some nice lyrical imagery. Collectively I would say we take inspiration from a bunch of artists such as: Kings of Leon, The Districts, Coldplay, The National, Pinegrove, Big Thief, Bombay Bicycle Club... I could go on and on!

How Did You Meet?

Myself (Ivan) and Frazer are twin brothers so we’ve known eachother for a good amount of time now haha! We all came together after meeting James and Dean at university in Guildford. We happened to all be studying at ACM and were in the same classes. Some how we gravitated towards each other and started to write music as China Bears.

What's The Craziest Thing That's Happened On Tour?

This is the part where you unsurprisingly find out how not very ‘rock n roll’ we are haha! We haven’t many crazy stories to tell, but last November we did a 14 day back to back headline tour up and down the country and was told that was pretty crazy to do that many shows consecutively, but we pulled through okay and had the best time.

With SXSW cancelled is there any future plans to go the the US?

SXSW cancelling was a huge disappointment, but ultimately it was the right decision. Hopefully we’ll be able to head out there next year, maybe with some more dates around it but we’ll have to see. For now we’ve announced some rescheduled UK tour dates for August/September and we’re sorting more for later on in the year.

What's Your Songwriting/Producing Process? 

There is no one way we really write/produce songs. Typically one of us will piece together an outline of a song, maybe start demoing it in Logic or something like that. Then we’ll come together as a band and flesh it out. Before recording we like to test it out live a bunch of times, because that’s really where you see if the song holds its own, if anyone’s enjoying it. We tend to make a lot of demoes though until we get a version we’re collectively happy with, so it can be a lengthy process, but it’s all worth it!


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