A Conversation with Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear have been making music together since the early 2000’s. They have released beloved albums like, “Yellow House,” Veckatimest,” and their newest album, “Painted Ruins.” Here, Justin Barney sat down with lead singer Ed Droste and founding band member Chris Taylor to talk about making an album via Dropbox, the inspirational aspects of pizza and beer, and a band’s political obligations in 2017.
Listen to the UNABRIDGED interview below, or read the abridged version.
Justin Barney : It’s to my understanding that you were in separate places when you were making this album and I heard that it started via Dropbox. What effect did that have on it?
Chris Taylor : It slowed it down, I’ve definitely would’ve gone a little faster if we were in a room together.
I mean the internet can be a powerful tool for correspondents work but nothing really beats the real thing. Being in a room together.
Ed Droste : At the same time, in the past we often gone retreats as pairs of trios and then emails. So, it wasn’t a drastically differently process, but it definitely slowed it down a bit.
Chris Taylor : Just not living in the same city which is kind of a first you think.
Ed Droste : But now three of us live in the city.
Chris Taylor : Yeah, now we do and now things do speed up once you know Chris moved to LA. It just helps a lot to have everybody near by that’s for sure.
Justin Barney : Why did the album come together?
Chris Taylor : Personally felt like that we didn’t finish our career’s work, that we still had stuff to do.
Justin Barney : In the recording process of this, I was reading a lot about it. I was wondering if I could get from each of you, what is one great memory that you have recording this album?
Ed Droste : I really love the early recording processes, I mean the retreats with Chris Taylor.
I really enjoyed the memory of thinking that we were done for the day and going out with Chris to a pizza place up in Crestline.
Chris Taylor : Played pool and had a beer.
Ed Droste : Played pool and had a beer. Maybe we did or did not eat pizza it’s irrelevant. Thinking the day was over and then we got back, and all of a sudden we were riffing on "Mourning Sound" and suddenly a melody came about.
I just love those kind of moments like you think you're done and then the best thing of the day happens. It was like a very misty, cloudy day it was a cool memory for sure.
Justin Barney :That’s like the moment you imagined.
Ed Droste : That’s what you hope for.
Chris Taylor : It was just spontaneous just having a good time.
Justin Barney : If you want to get in briefly, what is the responsibility as a band and like political times right now. You don’t have to get in that at all. It just came into my mind. I’m not trying to you know get a quote or anything.
Ed Droste : I think it’s if you have a platform and you have an audience and you actually care, I feel like you do have a responsibility to stand up when it comes to human rights.
You know injustices that are happening and obviously you can’t take on every issue around the world every day.
I think it’s important to speak up whether it be directly related to an election or just actually standing up in other marginalized people and injustices. You know I’m sometimes quite disheartened to see other artists remain quiet especially when borrowing from marginalized groups and culture and they don’t say anything at all about standing up, so yeah I do think it is important.
I don’t think you need to necessarily need to express it lyrically in songs but or have to interrupt a concert. I think if you have an outlet then god help that you have an opinion about something that’s tragic. That you would speak up and use your voice for good.