Bear Vs. Shark – Interview
After witnessing an amazing live show, I had the chance to talk to Ashley (Horak; Drummer) and Marc (Paffi; Vocals, piano, guitars, and bass) of Bear Vs. Shark. We decided to walk to the seediest, darkest alley we could find. The best we could do was right behind the Glasshouse (in Pomona, Ca). We discussed what not to do after drinking on tour, how they are in it solely for the music and exactly what happened in that cabin in Michigan while recording their new album “Terrorhawk”. The conversation was quirky at times, and serious at others. We’ll let you decide which moment is which:
Racket: I’ve never done an Interview with two people before. Do you think you can just say your name before you answer, so I can distinguish between the two of you in my recording?
Ashley: Ashley; Yes
Marc: Marc; Sure!
Racket: So your album “TerrorHawk just came out Tuesday (June 14) Right?
Marc: Marc; Yes (laughter)
Racket: Is The excitement killing you?
Ashley: Ashley; Yes (more laughter)
Racket: Yeah, I know this is kind of lame, but hey, you guys get the credit of stealing my two people at once interview virginity!
Ashley: (changes to high pitch voice) Do you want me to just talk in a really really high voice? (Laughs)
Marc: (changes to low bass pitch voice) Yeah! And’ I’ll just talk really, really low. (Laughter) You know, I think you’ll be able to tell us both apart.
Racket: Yeah, you know, I think we’ll be fine. You secluded yourself in a cabin to write most of this record. Do you think the time away paid off for the feel you were going for?
Ashley: yeah it was awesome. There was this payphone thirty minutes away, none of our cell phones worked up there or anything. We were in middle of the woods. He (points to Marc) almost broke his foot trying to build this bridge across the river with logs. We shot guns… we don’t hunt or anything, but we shot guns and crossbows with laser sights and rode four wheelers.
Racket: Where exactly was this cabin?
Ashley: in Baraga Michigan.
Marc: Yeah, it’s in the Upie… the top part of Michigan that Wisconsin really wants, but Michigan has it.
Racket: So any really interesting cabin stories to tell, or was it just a typical camping trip for you guys?
Ashley: I don’t know if it was typical or not.
Marc: (interrupting Ashley) I wouldn’t say typical at all actually. Everyday we made weapons out of sticks in the woods.
Ashley: We drank at least a thirty pack a day. I don’t know, it’s really cool to wake up and as soon as you wake up to hop on a four wheeler and just go ripping through some fields. I know it sounds super boring but…
Marc: We’re from Michigan, so for us… you know you’re from California and we’re from Michigan. To be able to wake up and hop on a four wheeler with a shotgun is just amazing.
Ashley: Well, we might as well be from California, because we all grew up around it, but we didn’t necessarily do it. You see, for us all that was a once in a lifetime thing.
Marc: Yeah it was cool; Very, very cool. We were there for like two weeks, and every single day was just absurd.
Racket: I heard people were treating you guys like HUGE rock stars.
Marc: It was very weird because it was a town of probably one hundred people. So you figure there’s these five weirdoes in middle of the woods. There were all these people coming over bringin’ booze in all hours of the night. Making bonfires and…
Ashley: Bringing over food for us. And every night this kid would come by on a dirt bike. We would trade him cigarettes for his mom’s homemade pie (laughter)
Marc: Oh! And there was no shower.
Racket: No Shower?
Marc: Yeah, so for two weeks we took a sauna which is this process where you go into a sauna and they give you this bucket of hot water and you just pour it on yourself. That’s how you clean when there is no shower. The toilet was broken…
Ashley: Yeah, so we had to shat in the woods. (laughter)
Racket: When you guys were all secluded in the cabin, did you kill anyone?
Marc: No murders, no deaths…
Ashley: But everyone up there carries guns, it’s awesome!
Marc: Like concealed weapons, one of those deals. Actually they weren’t even concealed; they’ll just walk around with a Colt 45 right on their hip. Yeah, they don’t even think about it, like it’s not even weird to be carrying a gun around… I mean you might see a nice deer on the side of the road. (laughter)
Racket: Well then yeah, you have to shoot it then. (laughter)
Marc: Well yeah, I guess. Well at least that’s how they feel.
Ashley: That’s what they tell me.
Marc: We don’t hunt, but they do. They do everyday. (laughter)
Racket: So, How’s the tour with Planes Mistaken For Stars going so far?
Ashley: Good, It’s been really fun so far.
Marc: Cool man, it’s been really hot though. I mean we just drove here from Vegas so you can imagine how hot that drive was.
Racket: Say PMFS were to piss you off and you were to fight. Who would win?
Ashley: I don’t know…
Marc: They’re pretty crazy guys.
Ashley: Yeah! They are metalheads. They have long hair and stuff.
Marc: They have long hair (laughter) I mean there are four of them and five of us. I think we’d be OK for a little bit but…
Ashley: You never know…
Marc: You really don’t know, but just off the top of my head um…
Ashley: I’m going to say Bear Vs. Shark in round two!
Marc: Wow. Honestly what I think would happen is we would think it’s done and begin to walk off. You know like maybe when two of left or something and they would all…
Ashley: They’d probably get up behind us and attack because they are dirty pansies. (laughter)
Marc: They’re really crazy!
Racket: What’s the worst city you have ever played?
Marc: Well, it’s not exactly the worst city, but when we played Omaha there were only like two people there. I don’t know anything about the town, but playing in front of two people is kind of weird. As far as cities that we “hate” playing… I really don’t think there are any. We tend to have a pretty good time no matter where we go. And with those two people in Omaha we had a lot of fun, so…
Ashley: Yeah, We bring the party (does disco pose)
Marc: Amen Brother Ashley, Amen! (laughter)
Racket: So, who gets the most play on tour?
Marc: um Play?
Racket: You know… BOOTY! (Laughter)
Ashley: Oh, because I was going to say I play the drums (laughter)
Marc: We’re not concerned with all that. We’re strictly here for the music. (Stern serious face) Print that! (Laughter)
Racket: What’s the drunkest you have ever been on tour and what was the outcome?
Marc: (points to Ashley)
Ashley: At South By Southwest this year I lost three hours of my life, and these guys just left me down at the strip. When they realized I wasn’t coming back, they went down to the strip to find me. They couldn’t find me and I suddenly showed up at like five in the morning, yelling at everybody, picking fights and stuff.
Marc: It was definitely the drunkest I had ever seen him, and I’ve known Ashley for probably sixteen years now. That was easily the drunkest I have ever seen him.
Ashley: I don’t know what I did.
Marc: He was out of his mind!
Racket: What were you drinking?
Ashley: Jaeger bombs!
Racket: Ooooh, I’ve been down that road, man.
Ashley: Yeah, I was nuts that night. And I do not regret a second of it!
Marc: Yeah, he had a great time and he doesn’t even know what he did.
Ashley: yeah, I’m totally clueless as to what happened that night. (Laughter)
Racket: So, are you a lover or a fighter?
Ashley: That night I was a fighter for sure! Every other day I’m a lover
Racket: So who in the band would you say can do the best moonwalk?
Marc and Ashley: (in unison) Derek!
Ashley: Definitely Derek.
Marc: Any dance you name, he can probably pull off.
Ashley: the Salsa
Ashley: Mixed meringue (laughter)
Racket: If you could be a box of cereal, which would you choose and why?
Marc: I would probably be the old Nintendo Power cereal. Remember those?
Racket: I sure as hell do!
Marc: It was split in two and you could do the Zelda / Mario Bros. thing. You know, it’s just interesting.
Ashley: That’s a tough one, umm… (Remains deep in thought)
Marc: What was that stuff called, umm like rocky road or something? It was like an ice cream flavor. It had tons of shit in it like cookies, marshmallows… you know, all the shit you don’t want to eat for breakfast. Yeah, I’d choose those too!
Ashley: Umm, I’d be Raisin Bran because I’m good for you! (Laughter)
Marc: Oh Wow! (Laughter)
Racket: So, if there was a tag team match where the Bear and Shark teamed up against a Rhino and Giant Squid, who would win?
Marc: We can’t answer that.
Ashley: Yeah, we’ll leave it up to the readers to decide that one.
Marc: We leave it up to fate… We try not to answer a lot of Bear Vs. Shark questions, because we get them a lot.
Racket: Hmm, well they are a harmonious team this time, I tried to team you guys up!
Marc: Um, well… What were the last two animals?
Racket: A rhino and a giant squid.
Marc: Let’s just roll with those… I‘d probably say the giant squid because I don’t think Rhino’s can swim that well. So yeah if was between those two, I would have to say the squid for sure man.
Ashley: Agreed… go squid!
Racket: It was great talking to you guys. Your set was amazing tonight…
Marc: thanks a lot, it was our pleasure.
Ashley: yeah, it was way fun!