Q&A: U.K. Duo Broken Bear Releases New Video for 'Toxic Positivity'
If you aren't familiar yet with the independent British duo Broken Bear, you're forgiven. The alternative rock outfit certainly deserves more of a following than it has, but they're one of the pleasant surprises I've come across while networking with artists on Twitter.
Broken Bear, which has been together "since about 2016," is made up of Laura, singer and occasional drummer, and Paul, who plays bass, drums, sings background vocals and adds noises. The members declined to share their surnames; whether that's because of privacy or wanting to add a bit of mystery to Broken Bear (or a little of both), it does give more intrigue to this already cool duo.
The song that first caught my attention is called "Toxic Positivity," and it received a new video on Feb. 1. Broken Bear released the "The Void" EP last year. The release includes that track and three other songs.
Ben: I was curious to learn about the meaning behind the song "Toxic Positivity." And I love the loud-quiet-loud dynamics of the song. That was a really good stylistic choice!
Laura: Thanks! "Toxic Positivity" came about following an argument Paul had with a colleague at work, who was trying to greenwash the company's effect on the environment. Paul was told he was being too negative. Paul told him he is realist and that his colleague was an idiot [laughs]. The song is about not appreciating the reality that sometimes there is no positive spin and things are just sh**. The song brings in lots of the examples we all hear frequently, like "some have it worse than you" and "look on the bright side" that don't, in any way, make you feel any better about anything. Toxic positivity dismisses a real human reaction.
Ben: What can you tell me about the new for video for that song?
Paul: Our manager Mark was the brains behind the new video. It's a cool animation based around our band logo.
Ben: How did Broken Bear form?
Laura: We were in another band together which was a bit twee. We wanted to go over to the dark side. Broken Bear was born!
Ben: Who are some of your influences?
Paul: Loads: Nirvana, Radiohead, Alanis Morissette, Damien Rice, John Lennon, Kinks, Raconteurs, Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Ben: Do you have a favorite song from your latest EP, "The Void"?
Laura: We've just had a listen back but couldn't decide! We both like them all for different reasons.
Ben: What are some of the challenges and advantages you have as an independent duo?
Paul: The challenge is always getting into new ears. The main advantage is that we have no limitations. We can experiment with whatever styles we like and write and record what we want!
Note: This interview was conducted by email, and it has been edited for style and clarity.