Freitagabend, „Night of the Museums and Galleries”. Draußen regnet es in Strömen, in einem kleinen Fluss der sich auf der Straße gebildet hat spiegelt sich das Licht der blassen Straßenlaternen. Vor Nässe triefende Menschen schlüpfen durch die Tür des Vintage House. Während sich kleine Pfützen auf dem Parkett der Bar bilden wärmt der Bears & Hunters Sänger Viktor die frierenden Zuhörer mit seiner warmen Stimme.
Die Band spielt ein akustisches Konzert in der gemütlichen Bar. Ihre schönen Melodien lassen das Publikum für eine Weile vergessen, dass der endlose Regenschauer sie an diesem Ort gefangen hält. Ich fühle die verschiedenen Emotionen ihrer Musik und vergesse für einen Moment die Zeit.
Eine Woche später spielen Bears & Hunters auf dem Opening Concert der One Architecture Week. Auf der Holzbühne zwischen alten Trauerweiden erscheinen ihre Körper plötzlich im violetten Licht. Vor größerem Publikum ist ihr Sound massiver. Die melodischen Gitarrenelemente treffen jetzt auf starke Rockeinflüsse. Ich bin wieder fasziniert.
Nach dem Konzert machen sich die meisten auf den Weg ins Kreativviertel Kapana um den Abend mit einem Bier zu genießen. Ein Straßenfest mit Balkanmusik treibt hier die Menschen auf die Straßen und belebt das Viertel bis tief in die Nacht. Auf einmal steht Bears & Hunters‘ Sänger Viktor vor mir und wir kommen ins Gespräch. Ich erinnere mich noch sehr gut an seine aufmerksamen, neugierigen Augen und seinen wachen Blick.
Kaleidoskopyian: ‘Bears & Hunters’ is a term related to the nature. But since you live in the city of Sofia, I guess it has to be seen as a metaphor. Who is the bears and who is the hunters in urban life?
Viktor: I guess, it depends on the situation, cuz both of them can be the hunted one.
Toni: We had a definition of who is “the bear” and who is the “hunter”, but it was based on a poor joke with ourselves. Every single person is free to analyze the meaning of our bands name. My favorite part is the fact that you don't know who the victim is in this case (the bear or the hunter).
Petar: The way I see it, it can be thought of as a representation of two general counterpoints, two things which cannot coexist peacefully. It can stand for anything in the world, be it dinosaurs and meteorites or day and night.
Kaleidoskopyian: You told me that your band exists now for one year. How did you get to know each other and how did you came up with the idea of starting a band project?
Viktor: It all started with me and Tony (our drummer), cuz we were in a band together for 2 years.
It took us like 2 months to form the new project after the end of our previous one. And naturally we met our bassist (Ivan) and guitarist (Peter), a couple of months later. We always wanted to play together, and I think this is the band that finally gives us the opportunity to show our way of making music.
Kaleidoskopyian: Actually you are recording your first EP. What can we expect?
Viktor: Yes. Our first EP is going to be very different from our first single.
We're currently working on several tracks from it.
Toni: Expect the unexpected haha. Maybe you can expect the best of us as musicians playing along this type of music... at least I expect this :D
Petar: It’s better not to give any specific definitions at this point. Hopefully it`s going to be gentle and powerful at the same time.
Kaleidoskopyian: Many Bulgarian artists nowadays are going abroad. For you UK/ London is a destination. What do you hope is different in this place compared to Bulgaria?
Viktor: More interest in our music genre. We're not blinded by the flashy name of London or the UK, we know for sure, that it's really hard to become a professional there, so we just want to give our best shot at it.
Toni: I just know that many things there are different, from the music culture to stage and fan habits (I mean that they're probably used to listen to and know what to expect, from an eastern band)
Petar: Music is much more appreciated and integrated as part of the culture there.
Kaleidoskopyian: You always lived in Sofia, you spend your childhood there. Do you feel like having a strong emotional connection to this city?
Viktor: Yes, it’s more like a love/hate relationship.
Toni: Not so much. I'm accustomed to this town, which means that maybe I have a connection, but it isn't emotional. There is a lot of better places, where I want live to, without urban spirit.
Kaleidoskopyian: Also you told me that you never went abroad. How does the thought feel like in your head?
Viktor: I hope that, my first travel abroad, is going to be for the music we write. I never thought of it as a necessity otherwise.
Kaleidoskopyian: ‘Comeback Story’ seems to be a quite happy track in the first moment. But when you look carefully at the lyrics it turns out to be about a painful topic. What is it about? What do you intend with contrasting a happy melody with sad lyrics?
Viktor: The song is still with a harmony in minor. And the up-tempo beat makes the feeling of getting back at someone easily achievable.
Comeback Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhNWlXSDUnw
Kaleidoskopyian: There is a line that caught my interest: “Stones, are always meant to sink, the deepest river, wouldn't cover these.” Can you explain what this metaphor is about?
Viktor: In this case, the "stones" are a different kinds of bad treatment, and the "river" stands for excuses or apologizing.
Kaleidoskopyian: Some of your songs are quite melancholic. Is music the way for you to deal with personal problems?
Viktor: Yes, every song is written for someone or something in my life.
Kaleidoskopyian: Coming to Bulgaria 5 weeks ago, I noticed a huge national pride. People are celebrating their traditions, even young people listen to Balkan music and know how to dance the “Xopo”. Your music instead sounds quite Western-European to me, also the lyrics are completely in English. What is your position between those different cultures meeting in Bulgaria? Do you feel like having a European or a Bulgarian identity?
Toni: I can't speak on behalf of others, but I grew up totally with European music because ofmy father. Maybe this interrupted my future feelings with our national music.
Petar: Personally, I don`t like to categorize music in terms of its origin. Music is music anywhere in the world and it all depends on its power to move people. In order to reach audiences in different places, it`s better to have the lyrics in English.
Viktor: We of course, respect all of the Bulgarian traditions. Our taste in music is quite a different story tough.
Viel Glück, Bears & Hunters! Auf das all eure Wünsche wahr werden.
Außer ihrer ersten Single ‘Comeback Story’ gibt es ein paar Live Aufnahmen anderer Songs – für die, die nicht abwarten können bis die EP erscheint ;-)
Live Aufnahme der Bulgarischen Universität:
Live Recordings für Radio ZRock:
Ich bin mir sicher, dass man von dieser Band noch viel hören wird.