I get asked about the music we use for The Bear Swarm! Podcast from time to time. Why I picked what it or where I found it in the first place. I figured now that I have this fancy music column, I could write an article about it. Now I can just direct all further inquiries here. In the past we’ve used three different bands for our show; Sore, 137, and Ghoultown. Where I found them, why we switched, what originally attracted me to them, and a little discussion of what I think of the band overall will follow after the break. Enjoy.
When we first started Bear Swarm! there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to use anything other then hard hitting metal music for our intros, something upbeat but not as heavy for the topic transitions and something soft and somber for our outro. These decisions weren’t random; they were calculated to help build an experience. When you start our show we open with a joke to get you laughing before we move into some fast and heavy intro music. The idea is that this will get you pumped up and excited for the show. When we hit the topic transition it is another chance to use our music to get back any energy that might have been lost during the discussion and do a kind of reset for the next topic. We want you coming into the second topic just as fired up as you were for the first. At the end of the show I make sure to put in something soft, melodic, and generally downbeat. Our show is over and its time for us to take that energy back, to make you miss us a bit. Music can be extremely powerful and I try to make the most of it. With that in mind, I set out to find some royalty free music for our show. It turned out much harder then I thought… Until I just stopped looking.
The first band we used was Sore, who I found on PodSafeAudio.com. According to their bio they are from Milwaukee, WI and formed in December of 2000. After days of searching and only really coming up with a handful of songs I even remotely felt fit our show it looked like they were our best bet. For me, Sore suffers from the same problem Kid Rock does. They have some great rock riffs but their lead singer destroys everything when he opens his mouth. You never saw this on the show since we never used any of the lyrics but moments after we cut away the lead singer would start rapping. There is nothing that clashes more, in my mind, then rap over rock. Having never been happy with this music it didn’t take long for a great desire to find something new blossomed into a second search.
The search began again but I jumped over to Music.Podshow.com this time, in hopes for something fresh. I came across 137, a band who’s bio claimed to have taken influence from “Dark-Groove” masters like Black Sabbath, Morbid Angel, and Cathedral to prove themselves the new kings of the genre. They had a decent sound that I was fairly happy with and while their vocals are growl metal, which I’m not a big fan of, their riffs are killer. I couldn’t dig up to many songs by 137 but I had the four that I got for free and they worked for our show. Getting everything I wanted out of four songs is fairly impressive, especially for a melodic outro. I re-cut the songs we use, typically cutting out the lyrics and meshing the beginning to the end for a nice smooth transition. When we heard an almost exact cut of our music on another podcast, one that I’ll not name as to not drive further traffic there, we were all a little disheartened. That’s when I decided I was done with free music and I would try to get permission to use someone’s work.
My first choice was Ghoultown… ok, so maybe that’s not true but I had no idea how to get a hold of Dragonforce. My first realistic choice was Ghoultown. Now, the reasons why I wanted Ghoultown will have to wait until next week’s article but for now lets just say I’ve been a fan for a long while. I contacted their lead singer, Count Lyle, and he said they would be more then happy to let us use their music. Being a big fan of the band, I was psyched. Now Ghoultown has a bit of a country twang to it but it is far darker and heavier then anything we’ve used before, so I’m happy with it. I’m not going to talk about Ghoultown to much now because I plan on writing an entire article about them, so patience.
In the end we used Sore for Episodes 0-26, 137 for episodes 27-44, and Ghoultown is from 45 until now. A couple episodes back we switched songs for our transition piece but its still Ghoultown and next week will see new Ghoultown Outro music, but I think Ghoultown will be our official band for some considerable time into the future. The biggest reason being that we’re unlikely to hear their sound on another show, something that we’ve always wanted but couldn’t achieve short of forming our own band. That’s it for now; catch you crazy cats next week for a more detailed discussion of Ghoultown that includes the story of when I met the band.
If you liked what Rob had to say, head on over to Bear Swarm! where you can hear him yack about all thinks geekly.