Off to Leeds! Why? Well, my next interviewees of the 2019 A Conversation With… Series played there recently and I had the chance to speak to two members of the Canadian band Bearings. They’re currently signed to Pure Noise Records and I had the chance to speak to them about touring with Set It Off, Pure Noise themselves as well as the making of their debut record, ‘Blue In The Dark’ and anything else in between.
Jack: So first and foremost, the UK tour with Set It off and Vukovi. How is that going?
Ryan: It’s good. They’re really cool. The crowds are good. I mean the whole tour sold out. Yeah, it’s been great.
Doug: It’s our first time in Europe and UK as a band. So we’ve been taking in all the sights, visiting places, everybody on the tour is super nice. So, you know, it’s always awesome to have like a family vibe on tour rather than be thinking don’t step on anybody’s toes.
Jack: And on your name, I just had to ask about it, ‘Bearings’.
Doug: This is one that’s like doesn’t get asked a lot but it’s like it’s funny because when we first started the band in college our original drummer had the name. Yeah, and he said it to us and was like I wanna call the band Bearings so we were like, okay, that’s cool. And literally we kicked him out like a month later and we just kept the name.
Ryan: But we already made merch.
Doug: We were like, we’re in too deep now. Yeah, we have to keep the name and we liked the name. It didn’t really mean anything. But you’d also be surprised how many band names are already taken and this one wasn’t.
Ryan: We don’t think about it much but some bands have some sick backstories to their names but just Bearings. Yeah.
Jack: And the tour’s also in support of the new debut record. ‘Blue In The Dark’. But, quick side question is Beautiful Places on the setlist tonight?.
Doug: Oh damn. Yeah, it is that is. We actually would never play it on any tours before this one. And then we just decided to add it to the set so it’s only our third time playing. So if we fuck it up, yeah, you can’t really hold that against us.
Ryan: I mean, that riffs tough man, I gotta Focus. Yeah, don’t distract me.
Jack: And so but what was the toughest part of me making the record?
Ryan: Um, No, I don’t think anything was too tough. If it was just a very natural process. We did the record with Anton whom we’ve done every release with, our EP’s prior to the record and it was pretty natural.
Doug: Yeah. It’s very organic. It wasn’t tough. It was just like our first time ever recording that big of a big body of music. So it was like a month straight of recording. So there’d be points where we’d start to go a little stir-crazy being in a studio all day, but I mean the whole process was natural and we enjoyed all of it.
Ryan: I think one thing people don’t realize studios don’t really generally have windows. It’s not like a normal thing for Studios to have Windows and the first eight days we slept in there. So when you’re in there all day, it’s just, you’re just in this place with no natural light in it. Yeah. You’re in a cage.
Doug: Yeah, we love it. We love recording and just being creative.
Jack: When you did go stir crazy, did anyone do any like crazy things?
Doug: Oh do we get squirrely.
Ryan: I can’t think of anything notable though.
Doug: We usually just like do stupid shit and record each other on video.
Ryan: Yeah. That’s true. We made a few movies. Like dumb Instagram story movies or something. But yeah, we don’t get up to much.
Doug: I mean it was a great process, honestly. Not like incredibly exciting because there wasn’t any bad stuff that went on. So yeah, it was all good. You know.
Ryan: Yeah, it was pretty chill. And I mean we weren’t exactly in like the Hub of Toronto we were in like kind of, not an outskirt, but not downtown. So even at night if you want to do anything, it wasn’t like we could just go out anywhere,
Doug: We were pretty focused on the record. I think we partied like one or two nights like it was primarily focused on making the best record we could.
Jack: Currently guys signed to Pure Noise Records. I absolutely love the label, But what makes it unique to you guys? What made you want to sign with them?
Ryan: Pure Noise doesn’t really pigeon hole on one genre, they just kind of sign a lot of cool bands. Fortunately, we’re able to be on the label with some of our Canadian counterparts like Counterparts and Seaway, Like Pacific and it was always the label like growing up that we loved. We’re like that’s really cool label and they would carry some of our favourite bands, you know, so it was always like we want to get in with that kind of community, that’s where we want to be. So when we got the opportunity to work with them, we were totally excited.
Jack: If you could choose a few bands from the label to go out on tour with, and this could be a short or a long run of shows as well, who would it be?
Doug: I mean, I mean The Story So Far are their breadwinner band, you know, it’s like they’ve kind of started that one and when we got signed, we got to tour with State Champs. That was really cool and they became good friends on that tour. Yeah, so I guess that’d be the go-to ones, who else would there be?
Ryan: I mean, it would be cool to tour with Knocked Loose and stuff. But I feel like we might get booed off the stage or punched off the stage. But we loved every band on the label. So, by all means, put us anywhere.
Jack: I love it. And I saw some of the pics that was at the hometown Ottowa show from a few months ago. That’s just looked absolutely crazy.
Ryan: Yeah, that and Brampton which was kind of the Toronto show for that both sold out and it was a lot of fun to do a headline set. When you’re doing support slots is great to get to play to a lot of new people, but you only get to place like 25 minutes. You have to be selective of what you decide to perform with the headline stuff. We kind of play everything there.
Doug: Yeah, those two communities like Toronto and Ottawa have been there with us from the beginning. So it was really special to play those headline shows for those people where they’ve been there for five years now.
Ryan: I mean, I completely remember playing both places like on several occasions when we first started the band times like no one. You know later like a room of five people in The Smiling Buddha basement.
Doug: That was our first Toronto show.
Ryan: So to be able to go and kind of do that market and sell it out was nice.
Doug: But yeah, we appreciate all the support man and coming over here and seeing people that are into us it’s amazing.
Jack: I’ve seen some people who just only got four that headline bands. That just digs into me, you go for the whole thing. You never know who you’ll find if you don’t go for the opening bands. They could be your new favourite bands.
Ryan: Yeah, and we’ve been fortunate enough to be on a lot of tours where the crowd is pretty accepting like pretty open-minded to new stuff like the State Champs tour. This one has people that roll out early. Yeah, we owe a lot of that to those bands taking us out.
Doug: We were very very fortunate to get taken out on State Champs and Four Year Strong and Seaway and now Set It Off. Yeah, and it’s like it’s really cool to be gaining those new fans and meeting those people every night. It’s cool because I know I’ve struggled, you know, you go to a show and you’re like, I don’t know this music and it can be kind of weird if you don’t know it but you just want to see the headliner. Yeah, but we’d totally we’ve definitely found some of our favourite bands that way.
Jack: What are your favourite track to play live?
Doug: I mean, it’s tough. My favourite one on the record is ‘Blue In The Dark’ and I think live it’d be the same just because people interact with it a lot like they throw up the lights up and it’s just a special song that came together in the studio that we all worked on as a team and it was like I get chills till every night when we play it because it’s it means something to all this. You know, it’s like super special. They’re all fun to play. For sure.
Ryan: I don’t know. I used to have to go with ‘Eyes Closed’. It’s the jumpiest. It’s a lot of fun because I don’t get to play an instrument right. Yes, I get to jump around during that one ‘Aforementioned’ is another fun. Yeah. That’s another good one. ‘Beautiful places’ might work its way up.
Jack: I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Ryan: Now, it’s fun because it’s new. Yeah, we haven’t played it a lot because you know by the time we move toward you’re on your third tour of any record. You’ve played songs like a hundred and twenty times or something. Maybe not that much but you know, yeah feels like it.
Ryan: When rehearsing our songs, we’ll practise them 300 times before we play them live. So it’s all good.
Jack: It’d probably take me about three hundred tries actually get one, right probably. So moving on from the music. What was your what’s been your fondest memory of 2019 so far?
Doug: Wow. Watching Sedition at our show.
Jack: Honestly, you can be a ridiculous memory man has so many like
Ryan: I was gonna say I don’t even know if I don’t remember things well.
Doug: I remember things pretty well by date. But like we literally like have a lot of memories already from this year. I mean if I had to go with one it might just be like playing the other night and in Dublin for the first time. It was our first show and I don’t know, whatever it was, the mom of a fan came up to me and somehow persuaded me to trade lanyards now. Yeah, but our first show, I was onstage looking out to the crowd and being on the other side of the world right now playing to all these new people and they’re all holding their phones up with their lights. And none of them really know us, it was a moment where it was like super special to see that. Yeah for sure.
Jack: I was gonna say If you think Dublin and that was crazy when you guys play Newcastle or Manchester you’ll be surprised.
Ryan: People keep telling us. Yeah like around on those shows especially as you get closer to Mainland Europe it gets crazy.
Doug: This is only our third show tonight of the tour. We’re pretty early on it and there’s not a lot to go. Yeah, the people keep telling that as we kind of get further into it, there are some cities on there that are absolutely insane.
Jack: Manchester, Birmingham, London, that’s actually a good run in because yeah, it just goes rowdy rowdy rowdy that for sure.
Jack: Has there been any Delicacies you’ve sunk your teeth into?
Ryan: Delicacies like?
Jack: Like fish and chips or anything?
Doug: Oh, yeah for his head. We’ve had fish and chips twice I think already, hmm and we’ve tried some beers over here.
Ryan: I’ve noticed like Guinness for example, it’s like back home and they serve beer, it’s always super cold. It’s like how it is and Guinness, They don’t really serve it that cold. It’s a whole but it’s not like putting a freezer cold like the way.
Jack: Like so cold your teeth becomes cold with it?
Ryan: Well, they freeze the glass as well. And yeah, they freeze everything so that when you get your beer, it’s like really cold. Yeah, that’s how they freeze. Even the cans, they have like cold temperature readings. But we’re excited to try a bunch of stuff.
Jack: You need to try Wetherspoons or Greggs as well.
Doug: We have, Weatherspoons, Greggs, they’re our spots.
Ryan: We make sure to go we try something in every city. Yeah, it’s reliable because there’s a couple of us who’s vegetarian. a few of us are vegetarian and our managers vegan and I have like a bunch of options for this and do a vegan sausage roll.
Jack: Has there been any phrases British phrases you guys have stumbled with as well? Tonight as well, you might get a Yorkshire Yorkshire, but it sounds like You’re Sh**, you’re sh**. Just to clarify that.
Ryan: There is that there was a cool chant last night in Glasgow. They chant here we, here we, here we fu**ing go, over and over again. If you’re at a hockey game. There’s chant. There isn’t like songs know they have like crazy. Yeah and just like the accents like they’re different all over the place. You know what I mean? So we’re trying to get used to one and then it changes the next day and then they kind of understand us but there’s a little barrier for someone say okay, I get it now. Yeah, it takes a second. Yeah, some people always ask us like you guys from America? We’re always going to be cool about it and be like, you know we’re from Canada. Okay?
Doug: Yeah, we like the US as well but we’re from Canada. But both have their perks for sure.
Jack: If you could travel anywhere in the world free of charge by with the first stop be on that list.
Ryan: Oh damn for me. Probably New Zealand or Australia. I really want to visit there. Just because you know Lord of the Rings, I was just about to say so a lot of the Rings, just imagine seeing all of that. Australia looks amazing as well.
Doug: I feel like I’d be super normie about it and just go to like Cuba or something. Just enjoy the sun and drink Pina Coladas all day straight up here. Literally, we need that like once a year. I would love to just go sit on a beach and drink Pina Coladas.
Ryan: We might take touring off for a year and just do that. Yeah. So watch out we don’t do anything next year. That’s where we are. Yeah. Well, you never know we’re still young.
Jack: Is there anything else you want to do? You guys want to say before we wrap things up and be as mental as you want. I’ll start. Elephants
Doug: Elephants are sick animals.
Ryan: Yeah, are they actually they are good at remembering things and they feel empathy.
Doug: If I wrote down a list of 50 things I want to do before I die riding an elephant would be on there. Yeah straight up. I think that’d be so cool. No, but honestly we’re just super excited to be over here and we’re excited to come back again and again, so thank you for everything and thank you to everybody out in the European land. Thank you for hanging out with us.
Bearings debut record ‘Blue In The Dark’ can be purchased via the bands Webstore, Amazon, Itunes, Google Play.
Check out Bearings video for ‘Aforementioned’ below.