Jack and the Bear

photo by Jordan Wilson 



“The greatest thing you’ll ever see, probably.”


A local family band with a genre that can only be described as “theatrical rock”  with “vaudevillian tendencies.  Producer and drummer Adam Schreiber talked to me about their sound and background.


“We are three siblings (and Evan, a longtime family friend) first and a band second. What we do on stage/in studio is the same thing we would be doing even if there was no audience. We are just a weird family being weird. “ Schreiber said.


Their sound is often described as "Dark Disney"; and with influence from the Disney movies the band grew up watching together.


“Brandon, Christina and I were heavily raised on classic Disney movies and various musicals. Disney is one of the things we have always gone back to referencing as far the sound of the band/writing/performance. That mixed with a bit of a early 20th century Hokum edge provides a darker sound. In the words of Tom Waits ‘Beautiful melodies saying terrible things’.” Schreiber said.


"Jack and Bear " has performed at music festivals such as: Bristol Rhythm and Roots, The Frendly Gathering, Nashville PAW Fest. They have worked with Grammy award winning artists, engineers and producers. They have had music on MTV's Catfish & Teen Mom.


"Dreams Get You Nowhere" (their debut album) was released in 2013. 


"Gruesome Gruesome"  is their most recent release from last fall.


“We currently have a handful of separate projects in the works for Jack and the Bear. First, a 1940’s Trinidad Calypso inspired EP to be in collaboration with some of the amazing horn players of the Theater Bizzare Orchestra, Second we will have Gruesome Gruesome PT.2 which will be a follow up to our EP we put out last year of original Halloween music and finally our third full length record.” He said.



One might ask, ”Who's Jack and who's the Bear?" 

 According to the the frontrunner, Brandon Schreiber, Jack is a cockerspaniel owned by the lead trumpet player (Christina) and Bear is an acronymn representing the first four original members of the outfit.


I somehow always spot Adam and Brandon walking around town. On April  3 I decided to take some friends to Ferndale on a otherwise regular Wednesday night to see the band open for the Animal Years at the popular bar, Otus Supply.


They played a variety of old and new to their set, with base, guitar, trumpet and drums, the sound was unique and theatrical.


The band recently moved to Monroe from Ann Arbor. Their new studio has inspired their music.


“The space we are currently in on Cass has some very special sounding rooms. As a producer my favorite way to make a record is to start with a room that inspires/challenges me and actually use the room it self as an instrument. Recording in treated rooms in commercial recording studios with no life left in them never really work for us. A unique sounding record starts with a unique sounding room. It is always nice to be doing records in my hometown as well. That’s something I never thought would happen “ Schreiber said.



Initially I found the band to be unique and fairytale like. Their sound has a transformative quality that can take the listener somewhere else.


The Band has gone through a series of reincarnations, this however, is Adam’s favorite.


“This is personally the happiest I’ve been as it feels the most true to who we are as people. It is more like an expressive outlet now rather than a stressful business when we first started out. There’s no measuring ourselves to other bands, there is no competition, we are who we are. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and because of that each live show is completely different and a bit more reactive I’d say. “


The band’s tagline has quite the interesting meaning as ‘the greatest thing you’ll ever see probably’.


“Well, It came from people asking what we sound like. The probably tagged on at the end is there as insurance in case it’s not the greatest thing He said”.