Arguably Firepower Records’ most ill-mannered signee; Yosemite, California native, Bear Grillz, created quite a ruckus in 2014 with a steady stream of mordant releases. Whether it be in the form of his Now That’s What I Call EDM! EP or his most recent freebie Terror Shards, Bear Grillz continued to demonstrate that when it comes to memorizing and replicating the formula of EDM, he is truly at the top of the food chain.
After accumulating all the money and women a bear could need, Bear Grillz is back yet again, proving that his appetite for fame is insatiable. His Unbearable EP – released today on Firepower – comes stacked with a handful of tunes heavily flexing the raucous style of dubstep which has generated Bear Grillz his fair share of hate mail and industry wide acclaim.
We caught up with BG to gain more insight into his style of production, his sources of inspiration, his life on tour, and his plan for the upcoming months. Enjoy and make sure to tune into the stream of the entire Unbearable EP below.
“I love working with Datsik. He lives in absolute squalor so it’s always easy to find things to eat lying around his basement – half eaten rats, pieces of chewing gum etc.”
The lead record on the EP, Praise It revisits your style of coupling reggae influenced sections of live instrumentation with jarring dubstep drops, what is the inspiration behind this juxtaposition of styles?
“Thanks! I literally have no idea what half of those words mean. I started singing in a Jamaican accent last Easter after a particularly heavy night on the miller light and crystal meth. It’s causing a lot of trouble where I live, in fact there’s a homeless man that I know who recently sold his ears to a Chinese pharmaceutical research company in order to sustain his drug habit. Looks like a f*cking mess but at least he doesn’t have to listen to my demos any more! Oh how we laughed! I hope this answers your question.”
Speaking of which; I got a lovely brand new Retina Macbook a few weeks ago from some hipster d*ckhead from San Francisco. Caved his skull in with a rock while he was involuntarily defecating and searching his pockets for bear mace. You should have seen the look on his face!
You’ve released your fair share of collaborations this last year, how do these collaborative records come about? Do you usually reach out to the artists or are you approached first?
“It’s crazy! Who would have thought all these guys would wanna work with me? But there you go! I’ve been told that I am blowing up into an ‘internet sensation’, whatever that means. Everyone is hailing me the biggest thing since Swedish House Mafia which is ironic as those guys are shrinking at an alarming speed. At this rate they’re barely gonna have anyone to hit the play button by festival season.”
As a bear, where do you seek out information to learn and improve your production skills?
“YouTube tutorials mostly. I spent a solid year when I started making music (nearly two years ago now) absorbing and copying as much information from the internet as possible. It was a f*cking nightmare as my paws are far too big to use the laptop I found properly and I break the keys a lot, so I need regular replacements – murdering a few hikers usually yields the desired effect.
“Speaking of which; I got a lovely brand new Retina Macbook a few weeks ago from some hipster d*ckhead from San Francisco. Caved his skull in with a rock while he was involuntarily defecating and searching his pockets for bear mace. You should have seen the look on his face! They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I wouldn’t trade that moment for the rights to the Harry Potter back catalogue.”
Triple Threat sees you teaming up with FP label boss Datsik again for another collaboration; what about your two styles of production seem to complement each other so well?
“I love working with Datsik. My manager says it is dramatically improving my ‘market positioning’ whatever that means. He lives in absolute squalor so it’s always easy to find things to eat lying around his basement – half eaten rats, pieces of chewing gum etc. We recently sung a duet together which hopefully will be seeing the light of day some time later this year as long as I can get it past his manager unnoticed.”
While Triple Threat, Praise It and Shark Attack clearly embody your aggressive style of dubstep the track DTF deviates from the trend as a more progressive electro record. Can you describe the creative process behind making this track and how it ultimately solidified its spot on the EP?
“Again, this one was my manager’s suggestion. He has been doing some market research and told me that it’s really important to be multi-genre right now. Personally I don’t see how dropping the BPM in Ableton from 140 to 128 and keeping all the noises the same really counts as a new genre, but hey, if the kids like it then I’m all for it!”
I would like to think of myself as one of the real innovators so I’m confident that whatever the future holds, I’ll be there. Unless it’s deep house.
You’ve mentioned in the past that the only plugin you use is Massive, why is this the case?
“This all stems from my YouTube tutorial days. As far as I could tell, the recipe for success lies between a combination of using Ableton, Massive, something called OTT and finding a vocal sample demanding that the crowd ‘put their hands up’. I would say based on the last year that my theory has worked out pretty well.”
You recently finished your supportive role on the Oasis Tour and are now gearing up for Datsik’s Ninja Nation Tour; what obstacles have you encountered when trying to produce records while on the road?
“I actually produce most of my records on the road. I grew up in the middle of nowhere where we didn’t even have clean running water or good quality ketamine so by comparison the Quality Inn & Suites is a luxury! My tour diary is rapidly filling up for 2015 so on-the-road production is actually a very important part of my daily lifestyle, provided I can keep my addiction to hookers at bay which, to be quite honest, is getting a bit out of control.”
With the sounds of today’s electronic music changing so rapidly, where do you see your sound heading towards in the future?
“Wherever the scene goes! I would like to think of myself as one of the real innovators so I’m confident that whatever the future holds, I’ll be there. Unless it’s deep house.”
Moving forward, can you tell us about the next project you will be working on /unveiling? Any saxophone solos?
“Don’t be ridiculous.”