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A Dirty Dozen with ANDREW HEATH from BEAR GHOST – November 2023

| 16 November 2023 | Reply

Photo credit: Jim Hesterman

According to a recent press release: “Bear Ghost is an Adventure Rock band from Phoenix, AZ that fuses intricate musicianship, melodies and song structure to deliver a one of a kind sound. With the release of the band’s first full length album entitled “Blasterpiece”, the Phoenix market took notice. Over the years Bear Ghost has enjoyed international recognition through fans discovering the band on Spotify. Both albums and the latest singles combined have gained over 75 million streams. Bear Ghost is currently streamed to over 350,000 listeners monthly, a number that is steadily increasing as time proceeds.” We get bassist Andrew to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The most important thing to us is that even the songs that may seem silly or ridiculous on the surface have a deeper, much more serious message. We get questions a lot when people start to pick up on it, so we made a little YouTube series that’s us discussing each song. We like to do this every now and then. We have some diehards that have their own little head canon Bear Ghost Universe where all the songs are tied together. It’s not always intended, but we love seeing what people come up with.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

For me, I had a really hard time expressing myself and had zero self confidence in my youth. I never felt comfortable talking about how I was feeling or when I was going through hard times. The vibes I got from different kinds of music acted as something of a relay for me to stop internalizing every tiny teen-angst emotion.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

For Ryan and I, Wes Borland, System of a Down and Muse were direct inspiration for the early bands we were in during high school. We still get some comparisons there so I’m sure that lingered in our influence.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

If it’s another artist on the track, I’d love to do something with Billie Eilish. If it’s full on collaboration down to writing and arranging, Danny Elfman.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

Travel everywhere. Games of the video, card and/or board persuasion.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We don’t like to be too wordy about it. I either say “theatrical rock” or cite an old social media comment where someone said we sound like a Disney villain took over Queen. High praise there. Not cringe, but a lot of people bring up Oingo Boingo and Panic! At The Disco, but we’ve never been influenced by them.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Buttons is the only one of us with any culinary skills, I think. My wife loves to host so she usually puts snacks together. Ryan is actually 100% sober and Buttons drinks very infrequently. I guess that makes me the drinker, but I like to enjoy my alcohol so I pace myself. We also tend to discuss a lot of band stuff but we don’t jam much when we’re just hanging out. That’s downtime.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I go out of my way to try and be as normal as I can when I see someone of celebrity status. I figure they deal with fans enough. The last two I can remember having a reaction to were Wes Borland and Kenny Omega.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing a room full of people vibing and singing along to something you helped create. I love our fans and they make this what it is. I’m a long time martial artist and I’ve always had an urge to get into fight choreography, but I wouldn’t even know where to start.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I don’t know. I’m all for something that breaks the mold of a typical interview just to give a tiny bit of flavor and connect to the humanity of the person being interviewed. You asking what we do when we hang out and who cooks is a cool example. I will shamelessly plug my whiskey love by having someone ask what my favorite dram is. It’s Lagavulin 16. Not because of Ron Swanson. It’s legit the best readily available scotch on earth. Conversely, the question I’m tired of answering is “What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask?”

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I want to say yes. There’s always cringe memories, difficult coworkers or songs that you wish you could go back and “fix,” but I’m a big believer in our experiences, both good and bad, mold us into who we are.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Sheik Yerbouti by Frank Zappa. I used to listen to this album a lot with my dad when I was a kid. I know Frank always worked with the best and I’d just love to see how his mind works in action.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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