video and words by Bridget McQuillan
If you ask the members of Guilty is the Bear why the band’s name is what it is, you probably won’t get any kind of satisfying answer. “All you need to know is that Ian is the bear,” was the response Braun Pacheco gave when concertgoers asked him about the band’s namesake last Saturday when they opened for Nashville-based singer Griffin House at a backyard concert event in West Omaha.
The Lincoln band formed last August after Pacheco posted a flyer at Concordia University looking for people to play music with. Almost a year later, Guilty is the Bear is comprised of Pacheco, Jarvis Davis and Ian Smith, occasionally with guitarist Mitch Kreiger, all twenty-somethings who dropped out of college to pursue music full-time. While the band was a product of Pacheco’s idea to start playing music with like-minded people a year ago, their songwriting and music-making is a collaborative effort, with Pacheco coming up with the bare bones of songs and then, with Smith and Davis, evolving it “into something collaborative.” That collaboration over the past year has yielded the band’s first EP, Guilty Pleasures…, and an EP previewing their upcoming album will drop in late August.
Until then, the band continues to play shows in Lincoln and Omaha. When asked about their continued work together, Pacheco said of his band members, “They can only help you grow. It’s all about growing, I guess: becoming who you hope you can be.”
Catch Guilty is the Bear live at the Barley Street Tavern next Wednesday at 9 p.m. with Island Alumni and Jacob Duncan.
Bridget McQuillan is a Hear Nebraska intern. She hopped in with the Normans today to film Lloyd McCarter's Hear Lincoln concert, which proved to be some down-home, honky-tonk fun in the sun. Reach Bridget at email@example.com.