Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Matt from Bear Witness to find out more...
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
Bear Witness is made up of myself (Matt Georgiou) singing and on guitar, Alex Georgiou on drums and Liam Mead on bass. Alex and I formed the band in 2014 when we decided we wanted to make a band that centered on strong songwriting and expression. We wanted to make music that really resonated with people and would make you feel something. Liam joined the band at the end of 2017 just as we released our debut EP ‘Dreams of Fame’.
Both Alex and I are from Worcester and Liam is from Birmingham. We all now live in Birmingham.
The band name is quite an interesting story, you see…
Long time ago me and my brother Alex here,
We was hitchhikin' down a long and lonesome road.
All of a sudden, there shined a shiny bear.
In the middle of the road.
And he said:
"Name your band Bear Witness, or I'll eat your soul."
Well me and Alex, we looked at each other,
And we each said. "Okay."
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up our influences were bands like: Green Day, Muse, Nirvana, Linkin Park, The Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, the list goes on and on really haha. More recently we’ve been influenced by Nothing But Thieves, Highly Suspect, The Weeknd, Twenty One Pilots, Prince and Jeff Buckley.
How would you describe your sound?
We like to describe our sound as Beautiful Noise. We love huge, cataclysmic choruses and riffs with enough thunder to bring down buildings; but we also put a great deal of time and effort into making the melodies and arrangements ‘beautiful’. Putting the two together gives us our little recipe for beautiful noise.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
Our latest single is called ‘Perfect Living’. The song is basically about the loss of joy and time that comes with becoming an adult. The monotonous march of everyday life as you wish for the weekend. The title 'Perfect Living' is a sarcastic remark targeted at adult life. Everyone's struggling, however no one will let it show; putting up a colour corrected, highlight reel of their life to all who ask. Adult life is the farthest thing from Perfect Living, which is what made the lyric so satisfying to write. The song itself was musically influenced by Nothing But Thieves, The Police, Green Day and The Weeknd. We wanted to make a song that had a solid, danceable groove throughout, with big, anthemic choruses that you could smash through the floor to. Hopefully we succeeded!
What’s your local music scene like?
The Birmingham music scene is pretty exciting, there are a lot of great bands playing in the small venues at the moment, every time we play we become fans of who we’re playing with.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We’re going to be releasing another couple of singles throughout spring/summer building up to the release of our 2nd EP ‘DAWN’ in the summer. We’re so excited about it! We’re really proud of the songs. We’re doing this cool thing with the music videos too wherein together they form a mini film. It’s going to be split into 3 parts and is inspired by our love of sci-fi films like Bladerunner.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
We’d love to collaborate with Mutemath, they’re such a cool band, and they mix production with live instrumentation in a really novel way.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
There was this one time where we were playing a show, it was a few months ago now, and we saw what can only be described as our doppelgangers stood out in the crowd watching us. Literally three people stood together that looked almost identical to the three of us! It was mental, they weren’t the other band, now that would’ve been a crazy line up!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
Overall we just want the music to help people, in whatever way that may be; whether it just be singing along and bouncing around, or in a much more cathartic way: lyrics with real meaning to relate to and melodies to aid them in whatever struggles they may have. We want the music to help people get through the tough times and enjoy the good, just as our favourite bands have for us.