Grizzly Bear began as a home recording project for Boston-bred experimentalist Edward Droste who laid the groundwork for the band’s otherworldly debut album on a small hand-held tape recorder while holed up for 15 months in his Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment.
Grizzly Bear began as a home recording project for Boston-bred experimentalist Edward Droste who laid the groundwork for the band’s otherworldly debut album on a small hand-held tape recorder while holed up for 15 months in his Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment. His homespun D.I.Y. effort took on new life with the help of multi-instrumentalist Christopher Bear, a Chicago native who had worked in a diverse range of musical projects ranging from laptop electronica to free jazz, who added additional instrumentation and vocals to Droste’s stripped-down sonic blueprints. The resulting album, Horn of Plenty—a pet project originally meant only for Droste’s friends—eventually circulated through New York ’s underground music scene, with its unique blend of acoustic instruments and layered vocals. In 2006, the band released their second full-length album, Yellow House. Grizzly Bear will be on tour with Radiohead this summer.
Check out the interview with Christopher Bear, and enjoy the intimate gallery he shot with his nomadic amigo, the LC-A+
REAL NAME Christopher Robert Bear
CITY Brooklyn, NY
Describe the LC-A+ in five words…
CB: Simply snapping vibrant surprises, remember?
The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had…
CB: Not sure… I guess i felt really sneaky trying to take pictures of old italian men. I’m a little shy when it comes to taking photographs of strangers…. but there were multiple occasions where I really wanted to capture these guys. Anyway…. most weren’t super successful, but I got to feel a little bit like a spy.
Your Amigo portfolio has a lot of different locations.
CB: Let’s see….. My first few rolls were from LA. The band was out there doing a show with the LA Phil,
a radio show, and Ferguson . There was lots of driving, taco hunting, and cactus/succulent admiration.
After that I was home for a while, so a handful of stuff from around Brooklyn and a quick trip to Cincinnati …..
After that, I went on a vacation to Italy with my girlfriend and her family. We flew in and out of Nice , Fran ce (le Dirty South) where her sister and husband live. We drove around and saw some more of the coast there.
A highlight was a town called Ez. It is this tiny little village in the mountains with all these small streets and doorways that eventually lead up to an amazing cactus garden. Then we drove along the coast to a small village
outside of Lucca , Italy … It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. After that…. back home… and
here I am on a plane to Calgary .
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be (song title & artist please).
CB: not so much because these songs are necessarily thematic with the images….
but i was listening to these songs a lot: Why? (extended version) – Carly Simon
Hands In The Dark – Chromatics
What the Driven Drink – Thee Oh Sees
As your debut album was captured on a hand-held tape recorder, you’re surely no stranger to the world of analog. Tell us why it’s better (or not) than digital.
CB: I think both have their benefits… But for photos I definitely feel like analog is the way to go for me. I don’t shoot all that often. But when I do I really like to think about how something looks… I feel like i can never get the depth I am looking for from a digital camera. Also there is something that just feels more permanent about it and the whole mystery and waiting time before you get to see what you shot is pretty fun too.
If you could be anywhere, doing anything, right now > where would it be and what would you do?
CB: I wouldn’t be on a delayed flight to Calgary via St. Paul and fearing the inevitable missed connector
flight, stay and the airport scenario…. But I would love to be somewhere coastal, hanging at a rad house down from the beach, grilling some stuff, eating arugula salad, and sippin on some rye.
We really dig the Paul Simon pic. Please give us the story on that.
CB: Well Alexandra got me readjusted with my Lomo during the week GB was playing at BAM for this Paul Simon series, so I had it there the whole time and would mess with it in the dressing room quite a bit. Then I started taking it out on stage when we would do this end of the night, group bow thing. The lights were
always really bright and I thought it could be cool to shoot that. So I would have it out there and try to snap some shots of people without being too obtrusive. I’m actually surprised that one of Paul came out.
And… you’re going on tour with Radiohead this summer!! What your biggest dream for the tour? And while we’re at it – tell us one Radiohead song (or a few) that people don’t really notice – but SHOULD.
CB: Oh man…. I’m just unbelievably excited for that tour. The two times I’ve seen them have been totally incredible. I just hope that we get all adjusted to playing big stages like that and gel with them well. I think it should work out well… my dream?..? mmm… I guess it would be sweet if they came and joined us for some bbq’ing outside the bus one night. It’s hard for me to tell what Radiohead songs are sort of unnoticed… It seems like people are generally pretty fanatical about them… I’ve been listening to the new record because my iPod just erased itself… Maybe not the most immediate tracks for people…. but I think Faust Arp and Videotape are pretty amazing.
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph.
CB: Chet Baker? Jean Seberg?
Your advice to future LC-A+ shooters.
CB: As everyone else probably says… Shoot a lot. Have your camera with you always. Try a couple rolls where you pay close attention to how you are shooting, film speed, shooting distance, lighting conditions, etc… and get that film back right away… It will reveal a lot about how the camera reacts and you will get to know it better, quicker. But yeah…. mostly have fun.