Levitation Interview: Amerikan Bear

10516828_721651804537846_3900417630713542853_nThe city of Austin is gearing up for Levitation Festival (Psych Fest) in just a short couple of weeks and you have to know your friends at ATH will do our best to get you ready.  I’m kicking off the coverage today with an interview from San Diego based psych rock group Amerikan Bear.  Let’s get it on after the jump.

All answers coming from Nathan Wettstead.

ATH: Would you guys classify yourself as a psychedelic rock band?  How would you describe your sound?

Nathan: Yeah, I would say the sound is about as classic psychedelic as it gets. We definitely walk in the shadows of our influences (13th Floor Elevators, Love, Quicksilver)

ATH: As someone who has heard very little of your music, what’s in store for the first time listener?  A mind melt?

N: Well, melting is good. But I enjoy a good experience. I think the music will keep them weaving in and out of thought like a ride. Its still all upbeat and enough to get you on your feet tho.

ATH: You guys have started a GoFundMe page to get you to Austin for the festival.  What’s the strategy behind this?  Are you staying home if it doesn’t raise enough money?

N: Nah, the reason for that is just because life is pricey these days. Half of us are driving with the gear, the other half are flying because they gotta be home by the end of the weekend. It all adds up. None the less, we will be there. Its just nice to get a lending hand every now and then.

ATH: Tell us about the music scene where you’re from.  Do you guys make it into San Diego or L.A. at all? 

N: San Diego has a budding music scene right now but nothing really in the way of psychedelic music. We have an incestuous pot of punk, metal, prog rock bands, and pro skaters who try to moonlight as musicians. We play between SD and LA faily often. 10-12 shows a month.

ATH: Tell us about some up and coming local bands from your area that we should be paying attention to.

N: JOY is probably the best actual band to check out. They just knocked out a long tour and got their eyes on the prize.

ATH: Has the band or anyone in the band ever made it down to Austin before?  What are you guys looking forward to about being here?

N: A few of us have played SXSW but we’ve never really gotten to experience Austin without the lines (chuckles). But this time should be different and it will be good to finally be able to see the local people, sights, food, and drink in a whole new light.

ATH: Have you had a chance to check out the festival lineup?  Anyone you are excited about seeing?

N: Of course im going to say the 13th Floor Elevators. I could go on for days. Roky himself laid a huge part of the foundation of how I compose/ sing.  But some of the newer acts have caught my eye. Acts i’ve never had the chance to see like Holy Wave, Fever the Ghost, and Tame Impala.

ATH: List 3-5 must haves for your band on the road.  What can you not live without?

N: Tunes, buds, grub, cold ones, and a destination.

Amerikan Bear play on Saturday at 12:40pm on the Campground Stage.

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