Brother Bear
Gig Seeker Pro

Brother Bear

Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States | SELF

Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Band EDM Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Brother Bear & Feathered Rabbit"

Description: Featuring two former members of Mayola, Antonio Laster and Bryan Thompson, the Stillwater three-piece Brother Bear brings a stylish, moody, and atmospheric approach to indie rock. Using layers of synthesizers, samples, electronics, and guitar loops, Brother Bear composes a hip, ecclectic jangle pop that is often danceable but sometimes is aggressive and distorted - OK Film & Music Office

"SXSW: Buffalo Lounge: BrotherBear"

BrotherBear got inside my mind with its haunting, deep electro grooves, so much so that instead of my actual password, I typed their band name into my computer to unlock it. Such is the power of the band's unusual, off-kilter tunes.

The main instruments in BrotherBear's arsenal for this set were keyboards, a bass guitar, and drums. An electric guitar made an appearance too, but the majority of the set was covered by deep synths that produced haunting moods. Even when the band picked up the pace in an ostensibly dance-able song, the overall mood was one of dread and neurosis, instead of happy-go-lucky party music. This is all complimentary, by the way; their set was mesmerizing.

Two members of the band left the stage frequently, wandering around with the aforementioned guitar and a microphone; frantic dancing was involved for the lead singer. That these outgoing motions were backed up by a slow-moving, powerful sound instead of your regular upbeat dance fare played up the tension that BrotherBear produced. It was a fascinating set; BrotherBear is definitely working within a clearly defined vision of what they want to do (or, otherwise, doing a very convincing act). Fans of Chrome Pony and related bands will be enthused.

- OK Gazzete

"Bear necessities"

It’s not uncommon for beloved bandleaders to spawn successful side projects. Jack White had The White Stripes and The Raconteurs. Maynard James Keenan had Tool and A Perfect Circle. Scott Weiland had Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.
Antonio Laster may not have been the front man before, but the bassist for Stillwater favorite Mayola shaped his love of electronic rock — namely Radiohead and Animal Collective — into a new side gig, dubbed Brother Bear. With Mayola now inactive, it’s become a stand-alone act, but hardly a stylistic replacement.

He initially took his cosmic, synthetic inklings to Mayola, and when they didn’t jive with the band’s signature sound of Western indie punk, he holed up and wrote the songs on his own.

“There was a time period in Mayola where we tried to work that spacey feel in, but it didn’t work for everybody,” Laster said. “For me, Brother Bear was in my head, and as an artist, you have to get that out. Here was an opportunity for me to use electronica. I just had to.”

If the adjective can be used to describe space, technology, acid trips or the Antarctic, it can probably be used to depict the digitized, chilly soundscape Brother Bear favors. The project was met initially with equal parts excitement and hesitance, the latter of which surprised Laster.

“I wasn’t prepared for how people were ... kind of questioning motives,” Laster said. “We just want this to be a new experience. Brother Bear is a new product; people should give it a try.”

His loyalty is clear, bringing along Bryan Thompson from Mayola, as well as Eric Kiner of Sherree Chamberlain Band. Brother Bear is a completely new experience for Laster, however, and he relishes the opportunity to step into the spotlight as the lead.

bandleaders to spawn successful side “I have a lot more work to do, but I like it. It’s fun,” he said. “I didn’t take the front man role so seriously at first, but I realize now that I kind of have to be the character. Wayne Coyne is a great example: The band is awesome, but he’s a character; it’s his image that people recognize.”

Here was an opportunity for me to use electronica. I just had to.

—Antonio Laster

Not that Laster has ever had much of a problem being a character. He was the most manic and unpredictable presence in Mayola, writhing around the stage and generally making the act’s frenetic live sets all the crazier. Brother Bear shows are a lot chillier.

“They both have their moments; they both have their epic buildups. You might just have to wait for it longer,” he said, laughing. “It’s different.

Mayola was frantic moments; Brother Bear is a slower, calculated moment.”

Laster’s style of “Kid A” meets “Merriweather Post Pavillion” translates a great deal different, and while he still intends to entertain, he’s hoping there’s a greater depth to it, because that’s the feeling he’s getting.

“It makes you think, I hope. I want people to dance and have a great time, but I want them to leave and think a little bit. That’s a positive thing to me,” he said. “I have this romanticism in my head, and when I get to play Brother Bear, that’s the feeling I have. I hope people can hear and feel that.”

- Ok Gazette

"“on.” episode two – BrotherBear" - Nathan Poppe

"Brotherbear Studio Performance" - "on." (Nathan Poppe)

"Norman Music Festival - Best of Sunday"

Norman Music Festival - Best of Sunday
Joshua Boydston/The Daily
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jacob Abello performs on the Sooner Theatre stage at the Norman Music Festival Sunday, April 25, 2010, in downtown Norman. Joshua Boydston/The Daily

The Daily continues yesterday’s “Best of Saturday” piece with our picks for the best performances on the second day of Norman Music Festival.

Dirty Projectors, Main Stage, 9:30 p.m.

It had big shoes to fill. The Polyphonic Spree and of Montreal were nothing short of musical spectacles. But Dirty Projectors weren’t as showy, and that was OK because, musically, it is the best act NMF has featured. Dirty Projectors tracks from “Bitte Orca” were just as intricate live as in the recordings, and its lovely melodies stole the crowd’s hearts away.

The Non + Cloud Collision Orchestra, Sooner Theatre, 7 p.m.

I can only speak from word of mouth — as I wasn’t brave enough to venture into the sardin-packed venue. But from what I’ve heard from fellow writers and friends, it would be a crime for The Non to not be on the main stage at next year’s festival. The Non’s orchestrated melodies are made for music festivals.

Jacob Abello, Sooner Theatre, 5 p.m.

In a lineup full of reserved performers and outrageous rockers, Abello seemed to be the only one to take the pop star route. His show was special: Singing from the balcony, guest stars out the wazoo and a choreographed dance to boot. You go to a music festival to be entertained, and Abello was the biggest entertainer there.

Brother Bear, Opolis, 3:30 p.m.

Stillwater’s Brother Bear gets bonus points for its unexpectedness. The half-Mayola electro act had the crowd at Opolis zooming with its spacetastic, crunchy hooks and cosmic layering. There was a brief asteroid shower Sunday afternoon and these boys were responsible.

The Pretty Black Chains, Sooner Theatre, 3 p.m.

I’ve never been disappointed at a PBC show, and I don’t expect to be anytime soon. The band balances rowdy behavior with on-point musicianship better than anyone around. Bringing Abello on stage for “Runaway” was good fun, though nothing can steal the spotlight from the band shimmying alone in “1964.”

Mayola, 12:50 p.m.

Since the first NMF, fans of the band clamored to get Mayola on the main stage. The band finally got the chance, and it showed exactly why people wanted them up there in the first place. I would pay to watch bassist Antonio Laster writhe around the stage with his quirky mannerisms without any music. The western-rock tunes are just the cherry on the top.

- Joshua Boydston - Oklahoma Daily


Spirit Beach (2010)



Brother Bear formed while three college students were living in a house in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Antonio, Bryan, and Madden have played music together in Mayola for years. Eric Kiner, formerly of Kunek, later joined. Together they combine their existential perspectives and musical tastes into songs. The four songs on "Spirit Beach" were written and recorded in the shade of a mighty oak tree.

An interview and two song performance can be found at:

"Big House" in-studio video: