Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste Finds Motivation In L.A. Sunshine

8_GrizzlyBearPhoto: Courtesy of Grizzly Bear. Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Few bands have proved as indelible to indie rock as Grizzly Bear, as least over the last decade or so. Originally started as a solo venture by Ed Droste, the project swelled to its current four-piece lineup by its second album. Still, Droste remains an integral part of the group, both as one of the main songwriters and de-facto public face. Though the band is known for its Brooklyn beginnings, Droste recently uprooted himself for sun-soaked Los Angeles in search of more space and better weather. We dropped him a line at his new digs, just after he returned from a year on tour behind the band's latest album Shields, to talk surviving the monotony of the bus, his recent move, and the one piece of advice he'd tell his younger self.

Best Coast
"The sunshine changes my perspective in a way, where I'm so much more motivated and creative than I was during the times I was cramped in my [New York] apartment…I've been enjoying it so much I keep wondering why I didn't come here sooner. I've actually found it so much easier to work on music because I have more space. I'm still getting things set up, because we're in the end-stages of moving in after a couple months of me touring. I don't see myself leaving anytime soon, but call me in a year or two, and we'll see how I feel."

Fired Up
"With all album cycles, you're getting to know how to play [the songs] really well, but by the end of the tour, we'd done like a hundred and five or six shows — just in the past year. The last 30 or 40, we started getting really, really tight, and we were playing around with the songs a little bit more. Sometimes the audience doesn't realize how much their energy level dictates what the show is going to be like, and how much energy we give back. If the audience is super-stoked, energetic, and engaging, it only fuels the fire for us to play a better show."


Tour-Bus Survival
"I personally just sleep. We only have one bus, and we're about 12 people, so it's super-cramped...I usually wait until we park the bus [to get up], so I can get out to explore the city or the festival grounds. I don't feel like jockeying for a small spot on the couch while other people are tripping over each other for like a bagel."


On-the-Road Foraging
"The first thing I do is look for food that looks appealing. I look for good coffee. Sometimes I go the Yelp route, but depending on the city, it can be super-unreliable. Often I know someone who lives there, and I go with their recommendations. I have been known to take a cab to some far-off part of the city and get stranded there."

Advice to His Younger Self
"Don't read comments. Now I don't — I'm really good at tuning out the Internet. In the beginning, I was super-paranoid and scared and totally read things. I was like, 'Oh, that hurts'! I would have told myself that it doesn't matter what a random, anonymous commenter says. Just move on."

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