Mostly Bears
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Mostly Bears

Tucson, Arizona, United States | INDIE

Tucson, Arizona, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Avant-garde


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Mostly Bears @ Wyndam Hotel

phoenix, Arizona, USA

phoenix, Arizona, USA

Mostly Bears @ The Conservatory

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Mostly Bears @ The Brass Rail

Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

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



By Kevin W. Smith
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.26.2007
You may be just becoming familiar with Mostly Bears, but the act knows Tucson well.
Both of the band's founders, Brian Lopez (guitar/vocals) and Geoffrey Hidalgo (bass/vocals), attended Tucson High School.
Previously, they were in another local act, Gorilla Behind Bars, which lasted from 2001 to 2004.
"A lot of people think we've just been here for like six months playing shows," said classically trained guitarist Lopez, 24. "Everyone in this band definitely wears Tucson on their sleeves."
Mostly Bears is an eclectic and energetic rock group that can conjure the progressiveness of the Mars Volta and counts influences from screamo to Radiohead to Animal Collective.
After six months spent in Spain in 2005, Lopez returned to Tucson and started Mostly Bears with Hidalgo on the condition that this band was going to be in it for real. The friends eventually ran into an old acquaintance, drummer Nick Wantland, and the trio found they had chemistry.
In 2006, Mostly Bears began playing house parties and venues like the now defunct 36 Chambers. The group got its first major show at Fall Crawl last year.
Summer plans for Mostly Bears' include touring and releasing an EP.
Recently, Lopez, wearing a vintage blue basketball jersey and large sunglasses, had time to chat at a Downtown coffee shop.
Where'd you guys get your name?
"We went through about 80 different names. A lot of the names were drawn out of the Tucson Yellow Pages. It ended up being like three that we narrowed it down to. (One was) Sex Rash From Tokyo, which I still love to this day. We just thought it might be a little bit too risqué."
That wasn't in the phone book, though, right?
"No, that was from an actual sex rash that someone got from Tokyo. Then, Tiger Data — that made it in there somehow. That was not out of the phone book, either. Then, Mostly Bears, which most definitely is a little store in Tucson. I think they sell bears...mostly."
What do you think of the Tucson music scene?
"Everyone's trying to help each other out. I've talked to people in bigger cities and it's very atypical as to what's going on here."
In a short amount of time, you guys seem to have built a devoted local following. How did that happen?
"I can't say enough good things about our fans; they're (expletive) awesome. It started out with, like, 30 friends who knew that we played music, and we were in the middle of transitioning bands, so they knew something was going to come out of it. And it was them coming to our shows and telling their friends and telling their friends, so you get that snowball effect."
Are you surprised at that?
"I'm surprised at the exponential rate at how it has caught on. I did not expect it to happen this fast. But that's good, though. I'm fully confident we're going to keep this momentum up." - Arizona Daily Star

Mostly Bears @ The Charleston – CMJ Showcase

As I walked into The Charleston in WIlliamsburg Brooklyn, 3 hairy barechested guys barreled up the basement stairs
(mostly bare!), and proceeded to smear on day-glo paint, readying the Mostly Bears anthemic, tribal attack.
(After introducing myself, I drew a pair of arty day-glo tits on the back of the drummer)
The band was impressive, visually and musically, with a dash of John Lennon-esque vocalage.
Overall, I found them to be Mostly Awesome. Desert Space Rock from Tucson AZ
-Johnny Chiba – CMJ/

If it isn't crushed under the weight of its own hype, Tucson's Mostly Bears could emerge as the leader of the next prog-rock revolution. The Ed Mitchell Clinic strikes a balance between unrelenting progish jamming and gushing-but-brisk melodies. Just when things border on flighty self-indulgence, the band brings itself back to task before drowsiness can set in. There's still more copycatting than name-making, but considering this is the band's first full-length LP, there's a striking "next big thing" element to the record. (SM)
- Alibi

Mostly Bears
The Ed Mitchell Clinic
Funzalo Records
By Jose Fritz
Ed Mitchell was an alcoholic, which by itself, is unremarkable. I’ve had friends, foes, co-workers and colleagues that were all manners of drunk: binge drinkers, social drinkers, functional alcoholics, booze fiends, moonshiners, martini shakers, sizzurp suckers, methanol huffers, malt liquor swillers, whiskey sippers and the perpetually car-less DWI offender.

But Ed was special. Ed was a talking head on the BBC earning £100,000 a year. He was famous and his drunk-ass behavior fucked his shit up so bad he ended up unemployed, homeless, divorced and racked up a quarter million dollars in credit card debt. If there is such a thing as absolute rock-bottom, Ed was there.

Ed Mitchell is not in this band. Ed Mitchell has never even met this band nor has he likely even heard of them, but Mostly Bears have heard of him and for a band like them, one trying to make a damn point, that is enough. The Clinic in Ed Mitchell Clinic is where Ed went to clean up, where he went to change or die from liver failure and DTs. A place Patrick McGoohan called Degree Absolute.

Tucson isn’t like the rest of the world as you know it. Remember this is the same city that spawned Mr. Free and the satellite freakout. It’s a city where every band shares at least one member with the uber-band Golden Boots. There is no limitation on the sun-baked weirdness that can sprout on the far eastern side of the Sonoran hardpan.

The band celebrates the infinite possibilities of human failure, collapse and redemption on this record. “Melancholyism” writhes like there is no tomorrow and it’s very cold on that park bench at night. Vocals soar but don’t enter the castrato range of Thom Yorke. Instead Geoffrey Hidalgo holds back, lurking in the shadows keeping the song mid-tempo, dark and ominous.

Ed Mitchell would be proud. While Ed is writing a tell-all book and whoring himself out on the reality TV circuit, Mostly Bears will be back in Tucson fighting the good fight. Ed went into rehab last winter and is sober as a judge today and there’s nothing America hates more than a quitter. Mostly Bears aren’t quitters. They expose and rebuke great American delusions with each note. They tear it all down: the innate command presence of your local state trooper, mandatory love of blood relatives, sobriety, dreams of solvency, evenly cut front lawns and the self-esteem of naïve children. By the time we reach the last track there’s nothing left but them, out in Tucson tuning up, and seething throughout the bridge of “Melancholyism”.

Paradox, A happy home
Beware: the snake is in your room
A flacid smile, To make amends
I want that big, white, picket fence
A commonwealth, The greater good
Stand up tall, girl, as you should
We're born the same! We're carved from the same!
We're born of the same And I'm bored of the same...

The record shows incredible progress over their Only Child EP from 2007. “Leda Atómica” is the sole track to make the cute for the band’s debut. As promising as Only Child was, it lacked the sneering intellectual discontent of The Ed Mitchell Clinic. Not every song here is the dark masterwork of a brooding band, but the more powerful songs like “Melancholyism,” “Digital Divide” and “Airports” serve to punctuate a greater more important goal: to make the album vital, powerful and undeniable.
- Stranded in Stereo

Full of verve and with chops to burn, Mostly Bears start this record off with strong track "The Digital Divide" that sounds a bit like a non-acoustic, amped-up version of Arcade Fire with vocalist Brian Lopez sounding a bit like Win Butler. The group settles the proceedings down a bit with the tight, melodic, rootsy ditty "Leda Atomica" that has an organ used to great effect. But at times Mostly Bears seem to lose the plot somewhat, as is the case with the rather light but aimless "Airports," an apt title considering the song's direction is in question early on. Fortunately, that effort is the album's aberration as "The Pharmacist" is a great, dark, slow-burning kind of song that lures you in instantly along the lines of "The National"-meets-the Mars Volta and is well worth the seven-minute adventure. The same applies for the haunting, eerie, funereal "Eclipse the World (Oh, My Brain)," which resembles some collaboration between Antony and Devendra Banhart. Perhaps the highlight of the record is the powerful and very promising "Melancholyism," which contains the brawn of Muse but the intricacies and nuances of the Dears. Another keeper has to be the equally hypnotic groove oozing from "Your Smile Decorates the Afternoon," which is bound to put a smile on the face of most listeners.

Tucson's Mostly Bears' debut full-length is a promising collection of emotionally charged progressive rock. The songs are a blend of much of what's been kicking around indie rock for the past few years, distilled into a rewarding sound that, while not entirely original, certainly makes a bold statement about a new group of talented musicians in Arizona.

Sure, the music here sounds very familiar, especially the vocals. Singer/guitarist Brian Lopez uses his voice like an instrument, moving from tenor to falsetto, stretching words and phrases. It's a voice reminiscent of Tim Buckley and Thom Yorke, Win Butler and Spencer Krug. While it's a voice that easily brings others to mind, it's hard to fault someone for singing this way, especially when he's quite good at it.

More importantly, though, is how the group manages to fit that voice into the music. While there are aspects of the trio's appreciation for The Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Radiohead, Tortoise and Muse in their music, it's also hard to find too much fault when everything is performed so well.

This is another in an increasingly long line of modern progressive rock releases, complete with long songs that move between instrumental passages and carefully constructed pop tunes. And like other bands now working with this sound, more attention is paid to how the music reaches an emotional center than showing off the musicians' abilities. Of course, it's evident this music takes ability. Lopez, along with bassist Geoff Hidalgo and drummer Nick Wantland, are obviously talented. At no point does this sound like the work of three people.

This is dense music, but it isn't overwhelming. The band creates an enveloping sound that uses heavy, rubbery rhythms to give the songs a pulse, a flow that never seems to descend into moments of pounding aggression. Over this, they lay down Lopez's melodic guitar lines and vocal acrobatics. The construction allows for space, something too few bands remember helps project feeling just as much as layers of sound. Working like this, the band moves the album from a modest folk-like first third through to the end, where the volume is kicked up a few notches and the band's music reaches for a final moment of catharsis.

It's not a perfect debut, but it's one that has enough promise it's easy to forget how much the band still owes to their influences.

Mostly Bears making a name on college radio
By Kevin W. Smith
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.24.2008

Mostly Bears is surrounded by mostly bears at Mostly Bears.
For the first time ever, the local rock band is exploring the store that inspired its moniker, Mostly Bears at 2309 E. Broadway.
After initially discovering the business in the phone book, the band appreciated the non-committal nature of its name: It sells mostly stuffed teddy bears of every imaginable variety, which you can also make, but that's not all.
"This place is cute," drummer Nick Wantland says.
"We should have our band practice here," singer and guitarist Brian Lopez says.
The group stopped by the store to talk about its long-awaited debut album, "The Ed Mitchell Clinic," which will be celebrated with a CD-release party Friday at Club Congress.
In just a couple years, Mostly Bears have conquered the local music scene. Last year, the three-piece released a four-song EP, "Only Child."
"Ed Mitchell" expands on things hinted at on "Only Child" and proves the music of Mostly Bears is some of the most interesting and forward-thinking in town.
The 10-track album proves Mostly Bears can do a lot of things right: It now can deftly handle a catchy radio rock song ("The Digital Divide," "Melancholyism" ), a warm ballad ("Leda Atomica") and a dark, seven-minute opus ("The Pharmacist.)
"The Pharmacist" is the centerpiece of "Ed Mitchell," in the vein of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android," full of mood swings, frenzied instrumentation and unease.
"Ed Mitchell" was recorded at The Upstairs Studio in Tucson and is being released on local label Funzalo Records.
The group named its new album after Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon who experienced something bassist Geoffrey Hidalgo called "instant global awareness": seeing the planet from afar and realizing that the world is one.
Space is a recurring theme in the world of Mostly Bears.
The title song on the "Only Child" EP mentions dreaming of "stars and astronauts" and the "Ed Mitchell" artwork shows planets behind a deconstructed sketch of a human.
Lopez said he's infatuated with the final frontier, and it carries over into the band's music.
"If you took away the vocals, there'd still be a spacelike element to it," he said.
Mostly Bears will be touring heavily to promote the release the rest of the year, but it's already getting favorable response from college radio stations across the country, cracking the CMJ top 30.
Lopez said the airplay for "Ed Mitchell" has already been more than expected.
With the bar set high now, the goals for Mostly Bears' next album might be a little tougher.
"But we'll worry about that later," Lopez says. - CALIENTE

Mostly Bears--among the few Tucson bands that might convincingly vie for the title "most likely to succeed"--play engaging, inventive alternative rock in which quirky melodies and a brisk pop sensibility don't neuter the music's visceral kick.
"It's experimental, sure, but a controlled experiment," lead singer and guitarist Brian Lopez said of his band's offbeat approach to making music.

Some have likened the band's sound to the progressive hard rock of the 1970s through the '90s, and there are iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove elements that might recall the heydays of Led Zeppelin and Queen. But some listeners also will hear echoes of avant-pop from XTC to Radiohead, with a little primal-scream therapy thrown in for good measure. The band has been compared to the Mars Volta and Wolfmother, but that's more because of Lopez's limber falsetto than musical connections.

One testament to Mostly Bears' potential came last summer, when the band was named Best New Band by critics polled for the 2007 Tucson Area Music Awards, aka the TAMMIES.

With the release this week of its debut full-length album, The Ed Mitchell Clinic, Mostly Bears could become the next local act to have an impact on a national level. The stars must align for such magic to occur, but recent appearances at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, an upcoming summer tour and the gathered forces of local label Funzalo Records won't hurt.

Mostly Bears will celebrate the new CD's release Friday night, April 25, with a gala gig at Club Congress. Also on the bill will be the San Francisco-based duo Leopold and His Fiction and Tempe band What Laura Says Thinks and Feels.

The trio gathered recently on the patio at Funzalo's midtown offices to discuss the new album, getting their feet wet in the music industry and the history of Mostly Bears so far.

Lopez, bassist and vocalist Geoff Hidalgo and drummer Nick Wantland all attended Tucson High School. They range in age from 25 to 19, respectively, and all are natives of the Old Pueblo. Prior to Mostly Bears, Hidalgo and Lopez played in a band, Gorilla Behind Bars, which folded about three years ago.

After spending six months living in Barcelona, Lopez returned to Tucson to form a new band with Hidalgo. They discovered Wantland at a drumming competition at the Guitar Center, and Mostly Bears was born in October 2005.

Wantland was the missing link that made Mostly Bears coalesce, Lopez said.

"We had tried playing with other drummers, but there was never that spark. With Nick, it was more a personality thing. We just got along with him better. If you can take care of that, the music will just follow and come together. I mean, you need to play with someone who's competent, of course. But would you marry a woman you didn't like?"

"Someone you couldn't laugh with?" Wantland added.

From the beginning, Mostly Bears didn't limit themselves to being simply a power trio. Early Mostly Bears rehearsals took place at the home of Wantland's parents. "They had all this crazy music equipment lying around. We just started using it," Lopez said.

The band continues to experiment. Recording The Ed Mitchell Clinic with producers Fred Huang and Nick Luca at the Upstairs Studio allowed the players access to all sorts of instruments. In the mix were organs and a glockenspiel, eccentric old guitars, the Chinese gu zheng, various percussion instruments and the electronic Omnichord, which is played by pressing buttons on a touch plate. A cellist also appears on a couple of songs.

Although most of the tracks were recorded live, the recording sessions' secret ingredient was the bathroom, the band members agreed.

"We loved to run a cord down the hall and record in that bathroom because of the natural reverb," Lopez said. "We'd do yells and handclaps in there, and we recorded the cello in there. I played an old Danelectro guitar in there."

"We'd be like, 'You think that sounds good? Let's try it in the bathroom!'" Hidalgo said.

"For (the song) 'Airports,' the percussion is mostly the three of us hitting the bathroom sink," Wantland said.

The Ed Mitchell Clinic is a light-years leap from the band's four-song EP, Only Child, which was released last summer by Funzalo.

"The EP wasn't intended to be released; it was just something we recorded mostly on Pro Tools in a friend's bedroom," Lopez said.

The new album is a "more accurate representation of what we are capable of doing," he said.

After 2 1/2 years of paying dues in Tucson nightclubs, Mostly Bears have become a reliable and busy entity around town, opening shows for national acts and headlining their own gigs, and getting the occasional out-of-town booking.

"On a local level, finding a gig has gotten a lot easier," Lopez said. "Playing out of town has given us more of a global perspective. In Tucson, some people know who we are and like us. But in Austin, for instance, we're nobodies."

And the experience of opening for - Tucson Weekly

Adventurous and never boring, Mostly Bears have stirred up a hornet’s nest of buzz since a SXSW showcase earlier this year. And based on this album, they have quite a few things going from them. Although the vocals bring to mind Arcade Fire, there is plenty of oomph and jump to the opening “The Digital Divide” which is drenched in fuzz guitar. Meanwhile, “Leda Atomica” is a lighter, roots-oriented, earthy pop ditty as is the soft but sincere “Airports”. Mostly Bears shine on the lengthy, prog-leaning “The Pharmacist” which finds its groove early on while “Eclipse the World (Oh, My Brain)” is a dirge-ish, creeping kind of song that evolves into a spacey, psychedelic effort. Although there are two “radio edit” versions which close the record, Mostly Bears shine best on the Muse-like “Melancholyism” as the big beefy chorus works quite well. Perhaps the highlight of the album is a dark and somewhat mysterious “Your Smile Decorates the Afternoon” as singer Brian Lopez leads his band mates through.

On their outstanding full-length debut, the Tucson trio Mostly Bears own a dense, swirling wall of sound on par with early Modest Mouse and The Mars Volta. "The Digital Divide" begins as auspiciously as the first release from another band they've been compared to: The Arcade Fire. It's a tight, frenzied opener that verges on veering off the tracks at any moment, with Brian Lopez's angsty vocals eerily akin to Fire's Win Butler. Clinic never lets up: "Leda Atomica" is pure acoustic-pop bliss, while "Melancholyism" and "Your Smile Decorates the Afternoon" drift into heady, haunting prog-rock, with crescendos of thumping drums, guitar and bass capped by Lopez's yowling falsetto. But while Volta doesn't know when to rein it in, Bears take things down a notch, even with the occasional cello and organ flourish. One of the year's best albums thus far, and among the top indie bows of the past decade. 4.5 stars --Amanda Schurr
- Creative Loafing


Only Child EP 2007 Funzalo Records
The Ed Mitchell Clinic 2008 Funzalo Records
Bus Stop - Single - 2009 Funzalo Records
Team Spirits: Live at Club Congress 2009 - Funzalo Records



MOSTLY BEARS – 2008 was a good year for Mostly Bears!

The year's best concerts – Las Vegas Weekly January 2009
Spencer Patterson
1. Monotonix, March 8, Bunkhouse The Israelis' musical mayhem was memorable in its own right, but frontman Ami Shalev's outrageous antics ensured this night won't ever be forgotten. Most insane moment (among many): Shalev's emergence from the ladies' restroom with trash basket in hand and subsequent dumping of its grotesque contents over drummer Haggai Fershtman's head. Fershtman never broke rhythm.

Photo: Ryan Olbrysh
Justice at House of Blues
2. Justice, March 20, House of Blues
3. Mark Knopfler, June 26, The Joint
4. Akron/Family, April 20, Bunkhouse
5. Mostly Bears, July 1, Revolution - The Tucson, Arizona, trio painted its faces and shirtless torsos in glow-in-the-dark grease, then scared up some of the best modern prog this side of The Mars Volta.
6. Gogol Bordello, March 15, Canyon Club

Bio & stuff

Finalists in the 2008 Zig Zag/CMJ Live Contest, Mostly Bears have becoming a force to be reckoned with. With tons of critical acclaim, a national tour underway, and a first full-length album that made it to #30 on the CMJ charts, Mostly Bears have left the “local band from Tucson” label in the dust and are making an impact with their outstanding live shows and sparking personalities…

It doesn’t matter how or why Brian Lopez, Geoff Hidalgo and Nick Wantland met each other. What does matter is their transformation into the musical tour de force that is Mostly Bears.

Fireworks. Pounding drums. Unusual, shall we say, backing vocals and sounds in general. Perfectly rumbling bass lines. Chaotic and frenzied guitars played with aplomb. And over it all, the unique and undeniable voice of Brian Lopez.

Lead singer/guitar player Lopez is a bilingual traveler who spent a mysterious year in Barcelona doing unspeakably exotic things – or at least, that’s what we like to think. He’s also a champion swimmer and a hell of a snappy dresser. You should see him rock the extremely short shorts. But we digress. Known for his quick humor and skewed lyrics, Brian is a man who will never need auto-tune, for vocally he is a behemoth: growling, howling, crooning and velvet-toned when the mood strikes or the song beckons.

Nick Wantland, the lanky dervish behind the drums, is a former waif who turned down a chance to be Chanel’s first cross-dressing model so he could play with Mostly Bears. His winning smile and mellow demeanor often surprise people who have just witnessed him beating the drums like a madman. An internet entrepreneur, Nick is a keen businessman and budding real estate salesman who is always on the lookout for the perfect plaid polyester pants to prove it ... Oh, and he’s a hell of a tambourine smacker as well as the backbone of Mostly Bears.

Geoff Hidalgo, who manhandles the 4-fat-stringed/low-voiced guitar, is an enigma. He resembles Jesus so closely (at least, white peoples’ version of Jesus) that priests drop to their knees when they see him, tourists pay to have their picture taken with him and on Thursdays when the moon is full, he experiences stigmata. No one knows much about Geoff’s background. He just emerged one day from the desert south of Tucson, Levi’s faded and clinging, scuffed desert boots, Ray Bans shielding a far-off look in his eye ... Oh, and he’s a smokin’ bass player as well.

From the beginning, the chemistry and talent that makes up Mostly Bears has been undeniable. Much like the explosion that happens when you throw an aerosol can into a fire, a Mostly Bears show might just singe your hair off. Well, your eyebrows at the very least. Enjoy.

“…vital, powerful and undeniable.” – Stranded in Stereo

“…among the top indie bows of the past decade.” – Creative Loafing

“Chillingly raw ... astonishingly sophisticated ... Whether you want to be there from the start or just hear decent tunes, you should find a way to get this album.” – Arizona Daily Wildcat

“Adventurous and never boring, Mostly Bears have stirred up a hornet’s nest of buzz.” –

520.628.8655 –