INTERVIEW – I FIGHT BEARS: “Brutal breakdowns, lead-like heaviness, addictive melodies, bags of energy and a whole load of neck pain to go home with… Bears will be fought!”

Interview with Scott Preece by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Welsh modern metalcore act I Fight Bears unleashed their self-titled debut in 2018, which went down a storm. Now in 2022, armed with their new EP, ‘Liberosis’, they continue to make waves. They have just won the South Wales Grand Final of the Metal 2 The Masses competition, earning a prestigious slot on Friday 12th August on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock Open Air festival. We caught up with drummer Scott Preece ahead of their Bloodstock set to talk about the festival, the new EP, Spandau Ballet and more!

Firstly, can you tell us about your formation?

I believe Dan first approached Drew and asked him if he would record some of his vocals for £50. He agreed, and then soon after, Marc was brought on board to structure a song to record. At that point, I was approached and asked if I would be up for doing the drum parts, which upon hearing the demo, I was more than happy to be part of. With that, obviously, we were in need of another fellow strings man. That fellow was Chris! He jumped on board, and here we are!…. Dan still owes Drew the £50…

How did you come up with your band name?

Well, we spent a fair amount of time throwing around some ‘sensible’ names at first. Every time we thought we had it nailed, it turned out to be already taken, so a good friend of the band threw the ’sensible’ approach out of the window and put forward the suggestion ‘I FIGHT BEARS’ after the movie ‘The Revenant’ was released. The rest is history.

For those not familiar, how would you best describe your sound?

I would say it’s a blend of both old and modern metal. We do our best to include a variety of different styles and sounds. Melodic, heavy, sometimes technical with some guitar solo action sprinkled on top, we’re always aiming to create something everybody can enjoy!

What are you influenced by musically and creatively?

There are so many bands that have influenced us as a band collectively, but we all have quite different music tastes which lead us to create music that is hopefully quite unique. The process of writing/recording something from 5 different minds and then hearing the final result and feeling proud of how far it’s come since a rough demo never gets old.

Can you tell us about the writing and recording process for your latest EP ‘Liberosis’?

Most of the songs on the EP were already solid demos before Covid/lockdown. We went away for a long weekend to put our minds together in a studio which proved to be fun, rewarding, and at times stressful. We thought we had it down. Then lockdown came along, and over the course of a year, we decided to pretty much change the whole thing after listening to it over and over. We recorded the final versions shortly after the lockdown was lifted and decided they were finally ready to be heard!

What does ‘Liberosis’ mean, and why did you land on this as a title? What does it represent?

In short, Liberosis basically means ‘to care less about things’. Mental health is such a common problem for so many people. The title represents this. Trying to actively stop yourself from getting dragged down by negative thoughts and not dwelling on something that isn’t in your power to change, to begin with. It’s simply a message of hope.

How does it feel to be getting such positive feedback on your EP?

It’s honestly amazing hearing such positive feedback on something you’ve worked so hard on. It most definitely makes all the blood, sweat, and tears worth it!

What are the main lyrical themes explored on the EP?

I would say the majority of the lyrics on this EP are focused on mental health. Portraying a positive message for anybody who is suffering. If we can help anybody listening get through a particularly tough time, then that’s a job well done on our part.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest single, ‘Beacon’?

Beacon is probably my favourite from the EP. It’s actually about the passing of Stan Lee and how we should all have heroes or somebody that we can look up to. This song was made in his honour. I think the video Drew did for it represents it perfectly.

You released a brilliant cover version of Spandau Ballet’s classic Gold’. What made you decide to cover this particular song and what has the reaction been to it?

Every year Bridgend Tattoo Studio puts on an awesome Christmas show, getting all the local bands and musicians to perform whatever they fancy! We needed 2 songs to perform, and we’d already picked out ‘Holy Diver’. We needed a second song… It was during a band day out (watching the rugby) that Chris suggested Spandau Ballet’s absolute classic ‘Gold’ more for a joke at first because, you know, we’re a metal band!! But, we all actually loved the idea and urged him to write a Bears version. The reaction to it has been unreal, to be honest. Being contacted by Gary Kemp himself to say how much he enjoyed it along with Spandau Ballet sharing it on their socials was absolutely surreal!

Congratulations on winning the prestigious slot on the New Blood Stage at Blockstock Open Air Festival. How does it feel, and how hard was the competition against the other acts in South Wales?

Thank you! Honestly, it’s amazing. We’re so excited to get on that stage and represent South Wales. The competition was fierce! So much talent in every single heat, it really was anybody’s for the taking, and we consider ourselves super lucky to have been chosen.

How excited are you to play Bloodstock, and what do you think this will do for you as a band as this is such a pivotal opportunity?

I’m not sure I could put it into words! This is such an amazing and rare opportunity for any band to have. We’ll most definitely be grabbing this with both hands and running! The momentum a festival like Bloodstock provides is huge. We’ll be looking to play more and more shows further afield and hopefully increase our fan base in doing so.

What can we expect from your Bloodstock debut performance?

Brutal breakdowns, lead-like heaviness, addictive melodies, bags of energy and a whole load of neck pain to go home with… Bears will be fought!

What bands at Bloodstock are you most excited to see?

The thing about Bloodstock is, the line ups are always ridiculous! So many incredible bands. But I’ll tell you this, every member of Bears will be in the Lamb Of God crowd, that’s for sure!

What else have you got planned for the rest of the year?

We already have a ton of shows booked in, weekenders and looking at possible tours also. The plan is simple, play as many shows as possible, write new music and have fun in doing so!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

What is a bear’s favourite drink?
Coca Koala!!
I’m sorry.

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