Imagine what would happen if you had a really good mix of David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), Weezer and Delta Spirit, resulting in a folky punk indie sound. Well, that sums up what Rugged Russian Bear is all about, and luckily for you, they’re playing at ORANJE on October 12!
Playing with bands such as The Bonesetters, And Away They Go, Neulore (Nashville) and Kisses For Free, Rugged Russian Bear is made up of vocalist/guitarist Mike Brewer, bassist/vocalist Cory Miller and drummer/guitarist Jacob Eaton. Beginning as Bob Dylan-esque folk music featuring only an acoustic guitar and harmonica, RRB has evolved into a quirky rock band with a three part harmony that speaks of love, triumph, failure, imagination, supernatural, travel and just plain life.
All three members of RRB come from musical backgrounds and have been performing since they were children, including being involved in teenage rock bands. Like many others before them, it all started with just listening to and falling in love with music, coming to a realization that it is what you want to do forever, no matter what. The band puts a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making music and recording it, but especially love playing live shows. Being a three-piece band, their live sound is pretty stripped down but is full of sound and passion.
The trio is currently in the middle of recording their first full length album, slated to be out this winter. The very tight and consistent band plays, on average, about two times per month. “Every show we play is awesome and fun in it’s own way, but we have had a few exceptionally fun shows,” said Brewer. “One of which was a show we played at Indy’s Jukebox a little over a year ago. Unfortunately, the show got a late start and we got bumped to playing last. By the time we went on, it was like 1:30 or 2:00 am and there was no one there except the sound guy, bartenders and one of the other bands. It was just one of those shows where nothing seemed to be going right, so we were all pretty frustrated. Naturally, we took it out on the stage! We turned everything up really loud, put a lot of fuzz on guitar and bass, played really fast and just punked out the show!”
Rugged Russian Bear has some tight ties with other local bands in Indianapolis and sings their praises. Right now, they are digging Caleb McCoach and SM Wolf. “Caleb McCoach’s album Songs From an Empty Shore is inspiring, but when he mixes it up with a full band at one of his live shows, it really brings them to life. SM Wolf’s stuff is some of the best music being made in Indy right now. Also, have to give a shout out to The Bonesetters. We have been good friends with these guys for a long time, and they are some hard-working dudes!”
Some of the bands that RRB is looking forward to seeing at ORANJE 2013 include Shimmercore, Indian City Weather, Rusty Redenbacher and The Bearded Lucys. “There are some really great acts playing this year; local music can’t thrive without your support! It’s such a great atmosphere, a real festival crammed into one day without all the expensive travel.”
So where does the band see themselves going in the future? “Getting this album that we are working on finished, mastered and out to the public is a major, major goal right now. Long term? Is Rock Stardom too much to ask?”