Spirit Of The Bear

James Harker vocals, guitar, production
Danny Svenson
synths/keys, production
Ethan Schwendeman
synths
Jamie Vitullo
drums
Mike Perorazio
bass

Years Active 5 with our current lineup

Latest Release Just released a self-titled LP in January!

Favorite Local Artists our fave Ohio bands are Harbour and Sylmar (both from Cincinnati), who we were planning a big tour with before COVID cancelled everything! Also Sam Goodwill from Youngstown is an artist we’ve all loved and respected a ton over the years!

Current Album on Repeat Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork

Favorite Venue to Perform Back when shows existed, Beachland Ballroom/Tavern in Cleveland, Mahall’s in Lakewood, Rumba Cafe in Columbus, Westside Bowl in Youngstown! We also played at the Woodward Theater in Cincinnati once and it was amazing.

Favorite albums of 2020 Moses Sumney – græ, The Strokes – The New Abnormal, Lianne La Havas – self-titled, Fleet Foxes – Shore, HAIM – Women in Music Pt 3, clipping – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

How is everyone holding up during this time?

Surprisingly well, all things considered! We’ve all taken some time to hone our skills at promoting our music online and have all found a lot more time to work on our own personal niches. James is now working as a recording engineer in Columbus nearly full-time, Jamie’s been doing a lot of mastering for other bands, Danny has been producing a lot more out of his home studio, Mike is working a lot as a web developer, and Ethan does cancer research in a lab. None of us were doing much of any of those things before the pandemic!

Are you working on anything new / specific at the moment?

We’ve mainly been working on setting up some new ad campaigns and super unique merch items, like a custom pair of shoes and some one-for-one pieces of vintage clothing that we’re rebranding and redesigning as merch! We’re still trying to figure out exactly how to roll all of that out, but it’s an exciting prospect for sure

What would you consider your best local show experience?

Easily playing the main stage at Brite Winter in Cleveland in 2020. It was about 3 weeks before the COVID shutdowns became the norm, but we played for our biggest crowd ever (around 2000 people) and went on before Ra Ra Riot. Insane!

How do you balance music with jobs, partners, children, etc.?

Luckily, a lot of us have jobs are music or media related, so our jobs actually really help us when we’re making music! Also, none of us have kids, which is great for being a bunch of guys with music careers that are early on, haha!

Were you anywhere before Cleveland?

We all started in Youngstown, which is about an hour East of Cleveland. We met in high school and then scattered, but at the moment e have members in Cleveland, Columbus, and Youngstown. We generally call ourselves an “Ohio band” now.

What’s the biggest thing that your band could use help with? (Promotion, Recording, Merch, Booking, Touring, etc)

Always promotion! Since we have 3 people with music production degrees in the band, we never have trouble on that front. We’ve gotten a lot better at the promotion thing in the past year, but that really is hard, especially when we spend so long making the music. It seems like after all that work we’d finally be done, but that’s really only the beginning every time.

What has your recording experience been like?

We’re lucky because James owns a recording studio in Columbus, so we have pretty much infinite creative freedom when it comes to recording. In the past we’ve gone to other studios to lay down tracks, but now that we have the setup we do, it’s opened up a whole world of new options.

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