Their first single, “Strange Feeling” charted in the Top 50 of 2012 in our listener poll, pretty impressive for a debut single. On the heels of their new release, “Hold Your Hand”, we chatted with Caleb of Bear State about their growing notoriety and future plans.
So, Bear State is currently based in the dream pop capital of North America… Phoenix, Arizona (sarcasm). Phoenix is known for a LOT of things, but not necessarily shoegaze or dream pop. How in the heck did THAT come about?
It’s actually funny that you say that. I can totally feel it. It is definitely not the AZ ‘buzz’. The crazy thing is, “Half String” totally came out of Phoenix, and they are totally rad shoe-gazers. It’s just not what is cool here, I guess.
How did it come about? Hmmm… It really clicked with me, especially with where I was at. I was super heavy into folk/psychedelic stuff, and at that time I was lacking inspiration. A dry spell. I ran into artist after artist that was a part of these genres, and couldn’t help but want to be a part of it.
How long have you guys known each other, and how did you get together?
Well, my brother (Micah) plays guitar. We have been playing together forever. Jon and I grew up in this tiny town, Lompoc, in California. We grew up around each other. We started playing together, a few years ago. I met Jesse at an old job a few years ago. We hit it off really well. He played in a punk band a long time ago. We are good friends, and he was down to play bass. It worked out well.
Your music has been compared favorably to artists like Beach Fossils and DIIV. What influences have informed your unique, dreamy sound?
That’s so awesome. They are great, so that is sick. It actually started with Yuck for me, then it goes on an on. It’s kind of weird, because they aren’t classics, but it was so good.
New single, a remaster of “Hold Your Hand” is credited to bearstate instead of Bear State. Are we changing up, changing direction, or…
Ha! Good catch. My bad. I think it defaulted to that. I didn’t have any plans on changing it, but it might be cooler that way. Especially since there is another band named, Bear State. A hardcore band from Cali. We get quite a few emails from people thinking we are them.
I know you’ve been playing locally, any plans for wider touring?
I think we would all love to. We all have really good jobs, and some of us are starting families. Right now I am super focused on making good tracks.
The “Strange Feeling” single made our listeners’ Top 50 list last year, and they seem to have taken to “Hold Your Hand” right out of the box. Are we expecting a full EP soon? What are your recording plans, and what do we have to look forward to?
That is so awesome! We were so pumped. An album might be in the works at some point. Right now, I am working on putting out a 7″. It will be 2 new tracks. I am stoked about it. It is a bit more aggressive sounding so far.
Besides encouraging them to listen, like, and SHARE, what would you like to tell your fans among our audience?
Honestly, there are so many sick bands amongst our audience, and we don’t even come close. I am just stoked to be a part of people’s playlists.

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Twitter: @bearstatemusic