Bear Lake CD Release Show Saturday at the Magic Bag
Rochester Hills-based band featured on TV release third LP Saturday in Ferndale.
Jon Rice, lead guitarist and singer of this layered rock band, said the six-member group would play the new album in its entirety for the audience.
Bear Lake consists of Rice, Keith May (Bass, vocals), Erik Pederson (keys, percussion), Brian Kwasnik (keys, vocals), Matt Hines (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Steve Stetson (Drums, percussion).
If You Were Me takes a more intimate turn than the previous album, with the songs containing "more personal and up front messages," Rice said. "(If You Were Me is) our perspectives about life."
The band also pared down the production, Rice said, in order to let the songs stand on themselves and to allow Bear Lake to “perform the songs with passion onstage”.
Jim Kissling in Ferndale's Tempermill Studio mastered Bear Lake's new album. Kissling has worked on all of Bear Lake's albums as well as albums for The Dirtbombs, Jill Jack and The Von Bondies. (A few more Ferndale connections include Rice's sister who lives in the city and a few band members get their hair cut by Billy Sandifer, owner of Dye Hair Salon on West Nine Mile Road.)
“It’s not just a record release show, it’s a party!" Rice said. "We’re celebrating. It’s like: ‘We’re done, we finally did it! Here it is!’”
When you’ve been working on a record for over a year, spending weekends here and there in the studio, it’s no surprise that Bear Lake feels like celebrating. But, a year's worth of work is not all that’s worth celebrating.
Bear Lake has had their music featured on Melrose Place, One Tree Hill, Bones, and ABC's The Gates as well as the 2010 Sundance Audience Award Winner, Happythankyoumoreplease. Rice said that allowing Bear Lake’s music to be used in TV and movies is a good way for a smaller band to keep putting music out.
“Income has changed for bands, you’ve got to make money to put out new records and to tour,” he said.
It seems like it’s working, too, with the band planning a national tour this summer and gearing up to enter the studio this August.
I Love Lightning Bugs and Brae will open the show for Bear Lake while Eric Hoegemeyer – as Deep See Soundsystem -- will be playing dub-step remixes he’s created of the new album.
Soulful vocalist Jessica Hernandez will also make an appearance, performing a song she recorded with Bear Lake for the new album.