[EXCLUSIVE] Bear Scouts On Their Mellow Sound | Malaysian Band Spotlight

The chaos behind Bear Scouts

Keep up with the Bear Scouts on Instagram.

“A band that makes sad songs gaily,” that’s how frontman, Alif, would describe the Bear Scouts; so it’s no surprise that heartbreak is their biggest muse. “Sad stuff I went through. Mellow nights. Fights. Those are the times where I’d just write something in my phone or in my book and we have song,” Alif adds.

Some call it ’80s pop, some say it’s indie pop — either way the Bear Scouts know how to make you dance even to the saddest lyrics.

How did the band come about and what’s the story behind the name?

I started playing around with Garageband and I would record myself singing in the car late at night because I was too shy to sing at home. Then I started to send whatever ‘songs’ I did to few of my friends who are in the music industry to see what they think of it. Then one day, I sent this song called “I Was Heartbroken When I Wrote This” to Ze from Spooky Wet Dreams and everything changed.

His reaction to the song was not what I expected it to be. He ended up as my manager. At first, I thought of going solo but what I really wanted was to be able to make music and enjoy playing on stage with a bunch of friends. So I asked Aiman Aqwa, Ismael Aman, Zayaana Shazlene, Arief Aiman and Anuar Roslan if they wanted to form a band with me. It was an instant yes and until today, I’m grateful for each of them.

And the story behind the name Bear Scouts, I don’t have a story. I just like bears and I think it’s cute to see bears in scouts uniforms, haha.

What kickstarted the journey into music?

It has to be when I first listened to Panic At The Disco’s “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” album. I was 15 and that album gave me so much feels and I thought ‘it would be great to have a band and make music like this!

Bear Scouts gearing up for a show

Where do you get your inspiration for your music?

Heartbreaks. Mellow nights. Fights. Those are the times where I’d just write something in my phone or in my book and hello, we have song. I know it’s cliché but for me, it’s difficult to write happy songs. The last time I tried writing a happy song, it sounds like a Miley Cyrus song (to be specific, it sounded something like Party In The USA). But we are trying our best to produce happy music with happy lyrics though.

Are there any artists you look up to that inspire your music/style?

Of course, Brendon Urie from Panic At The Disco is my number one inspiration. Lady Gaga comes second.

What is the song writing process like? Melody or lyrics first?

It really depends. For “The Pills” and “RTOT’”, the lyrics come first. For a song called “Make You All Mine”, the melody came about while we were playing around during practice and we loved how dance-y it sounded.

Do you think people can relate to your music? If yes, in what way?

Honestly, I would be surprised if there are people who can actually relate to it, haha.

Do you have a song that means a lot to you?

It has to be “I Was Heartbroken When I Wrote This”. The title says it all. I was really at my lowest point and I needed to pour it out. I wrote the lyrics down in my phone and made a demo, which was all done in the car at 6am. It was a crazy night but it was worth it. Can’t wait to properly record the song.

Alif hyping the crowd at their show

What are your views on the Malaysian music industry?

It’s booming! So many new singers and bands nowadays – they grow like mushrooms and I think they are all amazing. It makes me happy when I see our local acts pushing themselves to be out there and they make good music that go beyond expectations.

Any changes you’d like to see in the industry?

More music festivals I guess? I hope we can have more platforms where local acts can play their music. I think even with Spotify and other online music platforms, there is no feeling as compared to listening to music, live.

What are the future plans for the Bear Scouts?

We are also planning to release an EP this year. We are super excited for this. We can’t say any details for now but keep a lookout.