Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Local band composes songs around unusual subject matter

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"The War Will Be Here Soon," the latest album from Bears on Fire, has a title suggestive of sober songs and disastrous events. However, according to lead singer Jonathan Poston, it is actually a concept album chronicling a war between bears and robots.

"Are they all about robots? Subtly, I guess," Poston said about the album's tracks. The reason behind the robot theme?

"It's fun," Poston explains with a laugh.

Bears on Fire's lead singer Jonathan Poston. - Submitted photo

"We wanted to do something fun, and what's more fun than robots?" Poston said.

The band tries to play music that "makes you bob your head, tap your feet. It's a rhythm and beat that makes you want to do stuff."

The band formed in 2008, though many of the current and former members played together in various bands over the past eight years. Their current lineup includes Poston, who also plays synthesizer and guitar, Josh Reeves on the drums, Nick Pupek on bass and backup vocals and David Pfanstiel on keyboards, drums and backup vocals.

Poston describes the band's sound as a mixture of indie, rock and dance music and notes that they have come a long way from their first album, an EP entitled "Space Travel Has Never Been So Fun." Their latest album was released in late 2010 after months of recording in St. Louis.

"It was intended to be a short album. Most of it was written in my head in the middle of class and I'd go home and record it," Poston said. "It was great."

Bears on Fire is currently about half way through its next album. The band's fan base is beginning to grow beyond the Cape Girardeau area with the help of iTunes, local radio stations and the work of Reeves, a graphic designer who designs shirts, posters, stickers and wristbands which are sold at shows. Poston said fans consist mostly of early college students, many of which are female.

"It's not tough music," Poston said. "Guys like to have big bad muscles on their music, so I'm not surprised."

The band has played at Dockside the Upper Deck, Pitters Café and Lounge, the terraces at Southeast Missouri State University and RAGEfest, sponsored by Southeast's campus radio station RAGE 103.7.

"We would love to go international, but just to break even that would be great," Poston said. "We're not concerned with being huge. We're just being the best band we can be and having fun."

Upcoming shows will take the band through the Midwest and it is hoping to start connecting with bigger bands that play a lighthearted style of music, something that is difficult to find in Cape Girardeau.

"We want to add something positive," Poston said. "There's not enough of that out there."

Although Poston will soon be relocating to Germany, Bears on Fire plans to stay dedicated to their friendships and music.

"Everybody is looking out for everybody," Poston said. "It's like my favorite quote from that movie 'Josie and the Pussycats,' 'friends first, band second'."

To find out more about Bears on Fire and upcoming events, visit their website at