The Lion The Bear The Fox
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The Lion The Bear The Fox

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Folk





This trio from Vancouver melted few faces and secured plays on future playlists with dose of stompin folk’n roll with powerful yet melodic harmonies. Made up of or Christopher Arruda (the lion), Cory Woodward (the bear) and Ryan McMahon (the fox), the rugged trio played with such ‘in your face’ intensity that those in conversations were compelled to stop and take in the music. Highlights? What about the time when the band inserted Pink Floyd’s legendary words “we don’t need no education” in a bridge? Or how about coming into the audience for the last song “Home” accompanied by crowd initiated claps and stomps. Yea, that will make you pay attention for sure. - Ride The Tempo


After listening to The Lion The Bear The Fox's newest release We'd Be Good Men, perhaps the most shocking thing is not what this band has done, but what they haven't. Getting a taste of the music, there seems to be something very unifying about the three voices (Christopher Arruda - the Lion, Cory Woodward - the Bear, and Ryan McMhon - the Fox), something refined. It seems too obvious that this is a band that has slaved away for years, working long hours in the basement as the three perfected their sound and vocal coordination. But the truth is, as amazing as it seems, this is the band's first release. No, not their first release on a major label or their first LP after doing years of smaller, less-noticed EPs. This is their first release, period. In fact, this isn't even an album, but an EP composed of seven songs. The length hardly matters, however, because as short as it might be, these seven songs are full of brilliance.

It was perhaps a bold move for the three artists, who were originally solo artists, to come together in May of 2012 and form one band. Bands, after all, are messy. Being a solo artist, at least from this perspective, is relatively easy because the only person you have to respond to is yourself. With a band you not only have to think about the music that you hear in your hear, but also about the music that the other band members hear, as well as any differences in style or lyrical content. The Lion The Bear The Fox has managed to not only rise to these challenges, but to also take advantage of their various styles to morph a unique sound. Mumford and Sons might be the closest mainstream comparison, but The Lion The Bear The Fox brings more blues and soul to their folk-rock sound. Think Tom Waits with a clearer voice and background vocalists that bring just as much intensity as the lead.

Besides intensity, the EP shows that they are more than a one-note band. The first song Freedom puts the EP on the right start, with a nice mix of acoustic and electric guitar riffs and a steady drum beat. The chorus, with words "Freedom lives around the corner from me" feels believable given the talent of these musicians. We'd Be Good Men slows down the EP, but doesn't lack in emotional honesty. Go You Own Way brings in a much more intimate, more stripped down performance. Several times throughout, the vocals become so quiet that there's almost a feeling of guilt, as if you're listening to someone's private, although very polished, bedroom performance. With Room 32 we're back to the energetic sound that kicked off We'd Be Good Men. Stop the World adds just a touch of cutesy pop while lamenting the troubles of the world. Yet, for all of the negativity, the song avoids clichéd mourning in favor of progression and getting to a place where "I can be myself."

There are many things to mourn in the world, but The Lion The Bear The Fox isn't one of them. If We'd Be Good Men is a taste of what's to come, we can't wait for the next release. - Geyser Music

"Music collective touched by teen's battle"

The Lion, The Bear, The Fox are a three-man collective as passionate about charitable causes as they are about music. Prior to this weekend’s annual Music Therapy Ride, Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with Cory Woodward (The Bear)

24: How did you get involved in the Music Therapy Ride?

CW: It all started from Megan McNeil and her Will to Survive campaign. At the age of 16 she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and only given months to live. She chose not to believe the prognosis and went on to beat cancer three times until she passed away at the age of 20. During those four years she wrote a song with her music therapist at BC Children’s Hospital called the Will to Survive that eventually came across Ryan McMahon’s desk and the two work-shopped it to the point of it being recorded and produced by Garth Richardson. With that song Megan raised thousands of dollars for childhood cancer research. Having known Ryan for years at this point, I was so moved by the story that I was inspired to write a song for Megan celebrating her strength and passion. The title is 16 and she called it her new anthem. Upon her passing, Ryan and I were asked to sing at her celebration of life, which is still one of the most emotionally rewarding and hard experiences we have had in music to date. The first Bandwagon was created shortly after and permanently placed in the BC Children’s Hospital as a result of the work that Megan did. Her story is solid evidence of the immense healing powers that music possesses.

24: The band really seemed to grow organically. How did you all come together?

CW: Just over two years ago, Ryan was headed out on a solo acoustic tour and wanted to bring along a couple of support acts. He had known Chris Arruda from the island music scene and he had met me during his time in Vancouver. Since then I have always been a huge fan of his writing and he of mine so when it came time to find a couple of acts to hit the road with, he asked Chris and myself. What started out as three solo acts touring turned into a lifelong bond and brotherhood. We got along so well on that tour and couldn't bear to watch each other perform every night and not want to jump up and sing on each other’s tunes. By the end of that tour we had accomplished a full set of material that we could perform together and had people asking for our record at the end of each show. We bonded over our similar experiences in the music industry and feel more powerful as a team than doing it on our own. We believe to live a fulfilling life one must be living and working towards their ultimate passion and purpose. Music is that for us and we are happy to be doing it together.

24: How do you find people are reacting in a live environment?

CW: People are feeling connected to our story and to us as humans. People are loving what we represent, which is three men doing what has to be done to achieve and live in their passions and to do so one must be willing to rely on and trust one another. I think it’s a story that resonates with everyone no matter what your dreams or passions are. We are filled with a lot of self-defeating beliefs as we grow up in this western world, that you may not be good enough or even worse you don’t deserve to be happy, I’ve struggled with that last one my whole life and we don’t shy away from that level of vulnerability when we hit the stage. When you’re vulnerable it immediately creates a soft ground where folks will let down their defences and invite you in and then feel comfortable to share back. It’s after the shows we play, the folks coming up to us, sometimes in tears sharing how meaningful a song or what we said on stage is to them. The more we receive that kind of retain, the more open we became and the more we connect with people everywhere we go.

24: Your music is described as an energetic brand of stomp rock. What exactly does that entail?

CW: When we interact with audiences we are honest, vulnerable and passionate. When we sing we are soulful and authentic. The words we write are to inspire and invite the listener in, onto a common ground of shared human experience. The connections we make with audiences are not something I have ever experienced as a spectator. The amount of laughter and tears that we share with the audiences is continual evidence that we are doing something right. I actually don’t know how to sum that up into a genre of music and at the same time that is what we are. - 24hrs Vancouver

"The Lion The Bear The Fox"

“Son, don’t you dare give up now / Your cavalry has finally arrived, a bear and fox by your side / I think it’s high time you found out that sometimes you lose everything before you can find a place you call home.”
For singer-songwriter Christopher Arruda, these lyrics — the chorus of a song he wrote called “Home” — represent hope. He didn’t feel quite as hopeful when he first wrote the song, before he brought it to Cory Woodward and Ryan McMahon, his bandmates in the lion the bear the fox.
“‘Home’ started off as a sad little number before I introduced it to the band,” Arruda says through an email interview. “As a musician, from the moment you start playing shows, your friends and family become extremely supportive of your efforts for the most part. You get a lot of positive feedback from them and from people that become genuine fans. ‘Home’ is about waking up one day and realizing that you’ve really gotten nowhere and feeling ashamed that you’ve bought into all the bullshit people have been feeding you and allowing your ego to grow.”
When Arruda brought “Home” to the band, it became a very different song. “As musicians, the three of us have had many of the same struggles over the past decade, so the song was turned into something of a battle cry or anthem for us,” he says. “Before I started this band, I felt like I had nothing, like I’d lost it all (again), but with the bear and the fox by my side, I truly feel like our struggles are over and that it’s our destiny to propel each other further than we ever thought imaginable. It feels like I’ve come home.”
And right now, home is an exciting — and busy — place for Arruda (the lion), Woodward (the bear) and McMahon (the fox).

Arruda and Woodward, who live in Vancouver, and McMahon, who lives in Ladysmith, are Top 20 finalists in the Peak Performance Project. And at the beginning of October, the lion the bear the fox will release its debut EP, We’d Be Good Men, an album they recorded and mixed themselves, initially motivated by finances — or, more accurately, lack thereof.
“I love that we’ve had the opportunity to do it this way,” says Woodward. “It gave us the chance to do some guerilla-style recording in the 30-odd locations that we set up shop to track in. I’ve learned so much about common recording techniques and have had a blast creating my own. All of this has added a certain honesty to the record, a lovability that has made me happy to say it’s the best record I’ve been a part of to date. I look forward to the next one immensely.”
After releasing the EP, the lion the bear the fox is hitting the road for a 13-date tour through BC and Alberta, ending on October 25 in Vancouver.

It was on a tour just like this one that the band started to take shape. In May 2012, Arruda, Woodward, and McMahon toured together to promote their respective solo efforts. Travelling across western Canada, an unshakable bond began to form as they shared their stories and their dreams. They began supporting each other on stage, and by the end of the tour, they discovered they had a set-list worth of material — and that they wanted to keep making music together.
McMahon says he was inspired by Arruda and Woodward during that tour because they are their whole, honest selves, and that honesty continues to inspire him today.
“They are two big personalities, cut from the same materials as I am,” he explains. “That much was apparent early on, sitting around a campfire in Winlaw. That night when we shared stories about our wins, losses, and aspirations, I was like the Bee Girl in the Blind Melon video years ago. I had found my colony of like-minded friends where I could feel safe to be my whole, honest self.”
In the wild, a lion, bear, and fox would make for an unlikely team; in this case, it makes for beautiful music. - Discorder



“Gone are the days of the boy band — let’s welcome the man band!”

This is what Edmonton-born, Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Cory Woodward says he hopes people will think when they think of his new alt-folk band, the lion the bear the fox. And to Woodward, being a man band has to do with much more than being in your 30s and being able to grow a thick beard.

Woodward and his bandmates Christopher Arruda and Ryan McMahon are immersed in B.C.’s Peak Performance Project radio contest as Top 20 finalists, while at the same time, the band has been recording its debut EP, We’d Be Good Men, and preparing for a western Canadian tour that runs October 8-25. Through it all, Woodward says they’ve shared laughter and tears in moments of vulnerability and honesty.

“A man needs to be vulnerable and accept the full spectrum of emotion that we all feel,” he says. “The greatest thing I’ve gotten out of the Peak Performance Project so far is a clearer definition of what it is to be a modern-day man, or what I desire all men to be. A man needs to be driven by his passions and always in the pursuit of learning more while on this endless road because our passions, just like us, are always evolving and will do so until the day we die.”

Evolving and trying to be better men is a theme running through the lion the bear the fox’s EP, We’d Be Good Men, which is being released at the beginning of October.

“This band, at its core, is about three best friends who are trying to improve as human beings and become the best men that they can be,” says Arruda. “It’s about being honest and owning up to your mistakes and moving forward with integrity in life through pure sincerity and being genuine.”

The band, which formed after Arruda, Woodward and McMahon toured together as solo artists in May 2012, recorded and mixed the album themselves.

“It’s been an interesting exercise,” says McMahon. “We’ve taken some chances and created something that we hope people will enjoy. We’ve learned that we can do almost anything in-house. This is a very small, young family business.” - BEATROUTE

"Review – “We’d Be Good Men” – The Lion The Bear The Fox"

reviewed by Eleni Armenakis

The story of how The Lion The Bear The Fox came together sounds a bit like a never-ending jam session. The trio were touring together in support of their individual projects when they found themselves sharing stories and inspiration, before moving on to supporting each other on stage and eventually walking away from the tour with a new full-time project together.

It requires some coordination as Christopher Arruda (The Lion) and Cory Woodward (The Bear) live in Vancouver while Ryan McMahon (The Fox) is based in Ladysmith, B.C. The three were able to work out recording their debut EP We’d Be Good Men by self-producing it in numerous locations throughout British Columbia, including bedrooms, boardrooms and undefined open spaces.

Despite the varied location for the recording, We’d Be Good Men comes out clear and unified—bound by powerful and passionate performances. While The Lion The Bear The Fox shift between country, folk and rock, that smooth, emotive feel never wavers—adding depth to the vocals and boosting the instrumentation so that it soars alongside.

There’s a blues-infected rolling rhythm to opener “Freedom” while titular “We’d Be Good Men” plays out with a somber indie rock feel as the voices of all three come together to create a hauntingly memorable melody. “Go Your Own Way” again shifts gears with a strong country twang.

Most tellingly is how the three take Ray LaMontagne’s Henry Nearly Killed Me (It’s A Shame) and work it seamlessly into We’d Be Good Men so that it feels like one of their own songs. The final shift comes with “Home,” a soft acoustic track that lets the chorus shine as the three voices unite to carry the tune—it’s a beautiful finale for an album that exemplifies the experience each member brought to the band, and how easily that came together for a new project.

Top Tracks: “We’d Be Good Men”; “Home”

Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) - Grayowl Point


We'd Be Good Men

Released October 4th 2013



In May of 2012, the three men set out on tour to promote their respective solo efforts. Over wine, campfires, nights in cheap hotel rooms and woodland cabins an unshakeable bond began to form. They shared stories of their lives, successes and failures and ultimately their dreams.  The three big voices began to support each other during shows and at the tour’s conclusion, they had a setlist worth of material. It came together so naturally; so organically; it simply had to be allowed to grow.

And grow it has – in the eight months since the band’s inaugural show, the lion the bear the fox have set Western Canada on fire. After securing a Top 20 position in 102.7 The Peak’s prestigious “Peak Performance Project”, the band released their debut EP “We’d Be Good Men” on October 8th, 2013 and went on to celebrate the effort in numerous sold-out venues across BC and Alberta. 

The self-produced record is steeped in character with performances captured in bedrooms, hallways, board rooms and open-spaces across British Columbia. By experimenting with sounds freely and building the sonic landscape from the ground up, “We’d Be Good Men” succeeds in showcasing a genuine energy and sincerity rarely heard this side of the 2000′s.

Amidst the chaos, the band has also started a life-long partnership with “Music Heals” (, a charity that advocates, fundraises and creates awareness for music therapy across Canada. Having been touched personally by it’s effectiveness, their first initiative “” aimed to increase the use of mobile recording studios in a wide array care facilities, from patients facing life altering diagnosis, to schools and retirement homes.  They reached their goal of raising $10,000 in August 2014.

“All three artists are known for the passion they bring to their performances and the honest songs they write” says the Ladysmith Chronicle, and they have succeeded in creating gripping, dynamic songs while capturing a sincerity rarely heard this side of the 2000′s. Now with a focus on their first length album release they’ve teamed up with producer Nygel Asselin (Half Moon Run) to bring their brand of passionately honest songs to the next level.

In less than two years, The Lion The Bear the Fox have cemented themselves as a hard-working Canadian band with an uncompromising dedication to performance. Gone are the days of the boy band. Harken the era of the Man Band!

Band Members