If someone had to make a list of words to describe Virginia rockers Bear Crossing, “unconventional” would have to be at the top of that list. In fact, almost everything about the band is unconventional – their sound, their inception, the recording of their album; the list goes on. And while they may be different from most musical acts out there, they’ve proven themselves to be plenty talented and about as driven as anyone else in the business.
Bear Crossing is comprised Jason Eure (lead vocals, guitar), Mason Waldrup (bass, backing vocals), and Robbie Robb (drums). And just from talking with the guys, it’s clear they’re a tight knit group. In fact, Waldrup and Robb actually have a close friendship dating back to the second grade, and also played in a metal band for five years before joining Eure and becoming members of Bear Crossing.
Of course, the formation of Bear Crossing was far from a simple process. Eure already had a band in place, but when the original bassist quit shortly before a string of shows, Waldrup seized the opportunity to join the group despite the fact he was predominantly a guitarist up until that point. And when the drummer soon left the band following the addition of Waldrup, the bassist wasted no time in enlisting his longtime friend and former bandmate, Robb, to become the band’s new drummer. And with that, the current lineup of Bear Crossing was finalized.
In September, the trio released their debut EP entitled Our Friend, Hope and the band is currently preparing to release a full length disc this upcoming spring. The reality is the album most likely would have been available long before its actual release date, but unfortunately Eure paralyzed his left vocal cord during recording causing a substantial delay in the completion of the album. The only positive aspect of the situation was that the band was 90% of the way through the recording of the LP when Eure sustained the injury. “We were really pressed for time to get the album done and we kind of over did it vocally,” commented Waldrup when recently talking with Alternative Addiction. “Then we did a going away show and just totally overstrained it. The doctors still can’t tell him exactly what happened to it; all we know is he was pretty much out of commission for a solid 9 to 10 months. But about four months after injuring it, he went and got the injections into his vocal chords to get him a temporary fix. So then he basically went in and completed two choruses, a bridge, and a verse to finish the album before his voice went out again.”
As unfortunate as Eure’s injury was, it wasn’t the only obstacle the band faced while recording the album. Because of the late addition of Robb to the group, the drummer had little time to learn the band’s material before heading into the studio. In fact, Robb had only been playing the songs on the album for about two weeks prior to recording the EP. “Some of the songs on the album he had only played maybe a handful of times before we went into the studio with him. So that’s another crazy story to me. I think he got them done in about fifty hours…there’s always something crazy going on with us; nothing ever really runs smoothly but it always gets done one way or another.”
And despite all the adversity Bear Crossing has faced in only two years together, the band remains just as close as ever before. Though each member brings with them a different set of skills and musical influences, the trio doesn’t seem to have much trouble avoiding conflict within the band. “The biggest problem with a lot of bands is there are always a couple of people that aren’t really riding the same train as everybody else. But with us, we’re all working for the same goal and are pretty much ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen…we’ll disagree on some things but in the end we’re all trying to achieve the same thing so it’s just a little bit easier that way.”
Bear Crossing is currently signed onto Silent Majority Group and plans on releasing a thirteen track LP in the spring of next year. The album will include the five songs that are featured on Our Friend, Hope.