2000 Trees: Nancy and Mort meet Bears In Trees
Nancy and Mort caught up with TikTok’s very own ‘dirtbag boyband’, Bears In Trees, on the Friday of 2000 Trees! Here’s what went down…
So we’re here at 2000 Trees, with Bears In Trees! How’re you guys doing?
Iain: We’re doing good! Having a lovely time, it’s lovely and sunny, and we’re here in trees! I was just talking about how lovely it is on the hay bales, I’m just loving the haybales. Perfect for sitting.
So you guys are playing later today, how’re you feeling about that?
Nick: Really excited! We went down to the stage just now to catch Me Rex, which is an artist we all quite like, and it’s just such a lovely vibe there.
Have you guys been to Trees before?
Nick: I’ve volunteered here before, and that was very lovely back in 2016.
So, it’s Mort’s first ever festival – what words of advice do you have for someone who’s never been to a festival before?
Nick: Talking about Trees specifically, there’s a really good watermelon stand that opens about 6 am every morning and closes at like 9, 10 – morning breakfast watermelon, it’s insane!
Iain: I’ve only been to one other festival, the other’s we’ve all been playing, and ultimately I was very unprepared for that myself, and I don’t really learn lessons, I just continue making the same mistakes over and over again. So that’s what I’d say – don’t learn any lessons!
George: I think a lesson I still haven’t learned is suncream – I haven’t got any on, I know I’m going to burn, and I’ll survive, hopefully.
Iain: After I came back from my first ever festival, I bought this bumbag – I’d bought bags with me, like backpacks, and one day I tried to walk round wearing a backpack, and it was just terrible! So the next day I borrowed someone’s spare bumbag and it just fell apart, and I lost all my stuff, so ring a sturdy bumbag – I did learn lessons, I don’t know what I’m talking about!
I feel like a better question is what mistakes have you made, and then we can work backwards, reverse engineer.
Iain: One thing I would say, is the only warm item I brought was a really dull jacket, because it was really warm, and I was like oh camping, this is what I normally bring! And I was like oh, I look so boring! And you need some really wavy, warm garms for the evening, and some nice, cool garms for during the day. And an assortment of just really silly clothes.
You guys released your debut album earlier this year, how’s that all been?
Iain: Terrifying! But now it’s out there, it’s all very lovely.
Nick: I think it was terrifying like you were saying, but also I think it was the first fully cohesive piece we’ve created, so all the songs were distinct about specific events in our lives, and we created it to have a cohesive narrative through the whole thing, which was nice. For the tour for the album, we were able to make things aesthetically to put on stage to really create an experience, like you’re immersed in the world of the album, and all of that was such an artistically fulfilling thing.
Iain: We don’t write songs where two songs on the album would sound the same, but I reckon you could shuffle it – we wrote it and we sat down and thought about the narrative we wanted to play out and we structured it song by song, so I think the best way of listening to it is front to back, because it’s cohesive in the sense that there’s a clear progression throughout, and also soundwise, we really hit our stride in creating cool sounds and soundscapes, and at the same time visually, with the album cover, the music videos, all this stuff, we really tried to make a piece that was larger than just the sum of its parts.
Speaking of videos, you’re very big on TikTok – how did that come about, how did you find your niche on there?
Nick: You know, when you’re locked inside for the better part of a year, you just start being silly, and then people start listening! It’s really weird, we didn’t expect it, it wasn’t planned – we’ve always been an online band, we were away in different parts of the country at uni for most of our career, 2 to 3 years ago, so we were just doing what we’ve always done on Twitter, on Tumblr – just visually. And I guess, people like that, which is really sweet.
George: And there were enough people also inside wanting to have silly, goofy fun.
Nick: It’s just been kinda crazy, but it’s just been really lovely, because we have such a nice group of fans who are just so caring to each other and the wider community, and that’s all we want to do as a band, make good music and make people feel like they have a place.
Iain: I think, like you say, we’re from Croydon, which isn’t great for the kind of music we make – which is fine, but we had one venue in the entire place that we would be able to play at. Big up Scream Lounge, it closed down because of various health code violations, it was definitely laundering trafficking money of some kind, it was a terrible, terrible place and it was funny because it was an 80 cap venue that you could definitely manage to fit 100 people into without them checking, and it was a silly place but it was the only place we could go so there wasn’t really a scene where we were. So what we did when we were teenagers was go to places like Tumblr where we found people who liked the same music as us, who liked the same jokes as us, we shitpost, we do all this stuff – and it’s like we never stopped doing that stuff, it’s just now more people were able to see it.
Are you here for the rest of the festival? Are there any bands you’re going to try and catch?
Nick: We’re here for the day – we caught Me Rex earlier, they were lovely. Just insane lyricism and awesome music. Turnstile later is going to be very fun, can’t wait for that.
Iain: I wanted to see Bob Vylan, but we’re playing at the same time, it’s a shame because I really got into him recently. I just like walking around – we were just walking back and we heard Heck playing, I’ve been into Heck for a very long time and it’s just nice that you get to explore, and I like getting to hear new bands as well.
What’ve you got coming up soon? What’s going on in the world of Bears In Trees?
Iain: We’ve got Community Festival next week in London, which is very exciting – it’s headlined by The Wombats and Two Door Cinema Club, who are very cool in my opinion, and then we’ve got a couple of other festivals throughout the year, maybe some more touring towards the end of the year… maybe another release?
George: We just don’t stop!
Cross The Tracks Festival is a day festival about music community, culture, family, flavour, and history.