Interview: Electronic duo The 2 Bears talk Clapham Common and reveal their favourite bears
The 2 Bears are an electronic-music duo formed of Joe Goddard from Hot Chip, who went to the Elliott School in Putney, and Raf Rundell. Alexandra Rucki caught up with them before their set at SW4 Festival last month and ahead of the release of their second album.
What can we expect to see from your set?
Raf: Hot and heavy, housey, hairy and grizzly.
Can you give a potted history of how the 2 Bears came about?
Joe: Just two blokes messing around a bit and doing a couple of gigs.
Raf: We are just a couple of guys, who were hanging out and we started messing around with drums and synthesisers. We DJ-ed a lot together before we ever made tunes. It is all about club music really, to start with. It sort of escalated beyond our expectations.
You were seen as a bit of a novelty act when you first came out – how have you developed since?
Joe: Well, we’re a slightly bigger novelty act now.
Raf: Yeah, well, you know the novelty thing is one of those things that kind of gets put on you, and you’re not necessarily that happy about it. But if it means more people find out about you, then that is all good. Obviously we take ourselves really seriously. We are working hard on the next record and I think there is something in there for anyone who likes the first one.
How is the second album coming along, when is it being released?
Raf: I say we are halfway through. We have been recording this week, we’ve written most of the songs. We’ve just got to put together the rest of the jigsaw now, we’ve got to fill in the middle.
Joe you attended Elliott School (now Putney Ark Academy) which has produced many musical stars, why do you think it earned the nickname school of rock? Are you influenced by the music that comes out of South London?
Joe: I really don’t know. Maybe it is built on an Indian burial ground or there is something in the water. Whatever they put in the squash at lunchtime. In terms of where you go to school, there were lots of people there making music, and that obviously influenced me – and that is all to do with south London.
And yeah you know we love going out clubbing in Brixton, Raf used to DJ at Basement Jaxx parties 10 years ago. I used to go to some of those parties, I used to go to reggae stuff around Brixton and to Brixton Academy and various other places. South London is all really really important.
Have you played at Clapham Common before?
Raf: I don’t think I have before.
Joe: I might have done a Hot Chip show on Clapham Common before, but this is the first time as the 2 Bears.
Who are your biggest influences?
Joe: Nile Rodgers is a really big influence for me. I have seen a couple of his gigs this year. I am playing with Chic at the Warehouse Project in Manchester later this year. I am so excited about that gig.
Raf: Musical influences, all kinds really. I like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley – and sort of obscure Detroit techno records as well. There is good music and bad music, it doesn’t really matter what type it is, as long as you feel it.
Joe: In terms of the music we make, I’d say Masters at Work is one of the biggest influences. That is something that Raf kind of taught me a lot about and that sort of informed our first record.
Who are your favourite bears?
Joe: We like Rupert, Paddington. They are friendly bears. We don’t like the big, scary, bite your head off variety.
Raf: Not caged bears – that is sad. That upsets us.
The 2 Bears second album is being released early 2014.
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