CL Interview: Sunbears! (the impressive Jax duo plays Crowbar next Friday) (with video)

Two years ago, Jonathan Berlin was in a bad place. He was the lead singer and songwriter for a band called Bernard that had a distribution deal through East/West, a division of Warner Bros. The trio, whose drummer was his longtime collaborator and best friend Jared Bowser, had played 300 shows on tour.

So what exactly was the problem, you might wonder?

“With Bernard, we worked our asses off to make it happen,” Berlin, 25 (at right in photo), says in a phone interview. “As it turned out, it just wasn’t fun. I always loved writing songs, but after we got hooked up with Warner Bros, I started writing and I couldn’t do it. It was like, ‘I’m writing a record for Warner Bros. This has to be good.’ The whole thing wasn’t really awesome.”

Given those circumstances, a lot of artists would’ve continued to flog it, but Berlin decided to walk away. The Bernard split led in part to a four-month rift between him and Bowser, 23.

Berlin decided to rethink this whole music career thing. And he came up with something of a novel solution: He had to basically stop trying. So Berlin retreated to his loft in downtown Jacksonville and started making music for himself.

Read more.

Videos after the jump.

Check out CL's main music site.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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