One year after Da Bears lost four of its six members, what they refer to as a “total band transformation,” the San Diego surf-pop act says their metamorphosis is nearly complete. During the past year, the two founding members (guitarist-vocalist Ryan Solomon and guitarist E.J. Binns) scoured the city in search of the missing pieces. They finally found those people in bassist Justin Smith, guitarist Trung Ngo, and pianist Garrett Irving. “It’s been crazy,” said Binns during a March 18 phone interview. “There’s always people to play with, but finding the people you want to play with and are ready to tour is tough.”
While most of the pieces are in place, the band’s search for the right drummer hasn’t been as productive. “Drummers from San Diego can be a bit sketchy sometimes. They can’t seem to sit for too long.”
Without a permanent drummer, they haven’t played a show since January, and recording their new EP and upcoming split 7” with San Diego art-punkers the Apes of Wrath has been difficult. So far, the band has used four different drummers as well as an electronic drum machine on the five tracks they have laid down. “There’s a difference,” says Binns. “Some songs have big-sounding drums, and others have electronic drumbeats. It’s been a hindrance so far, but we have to make do with what we’ve got.”
In early March, drummer Mike Murdock agreed to sit in and see if it’s the right fit for both him and the band.
But Binns isn’t saying the transformation is complete: “As far as the drummer goes, nothing is set in stone.… The search continues.”
Da Bears will play Tin Can Ale House on April 3.