Tampa’s very own five-piece rock-metal fusion, Bear Within Us, has struck a chord with their newest single, “Devils Day”. Bending the line between thunderous riffs and lyrical depth, the band has declared this song an anthem for the underdogs, the rebels, and everyone who has faced adversity.
The essence of the band is captured not only in their musical prowess but also in their origin story. Starting as a ragtag group of musicians found on Craigslist, they’ve journeyed from being mere fragments of a musical dream in 2019 to opening for rockers like Saliva, Tantric, and Powerman 5000. Their metamorphosis brings to mind the age-old notion of a phoenix rising from the ashes – fitting, given the combustible energy they bring to the stage.
In a candid conversation, charismatic vocalist Bobby Ruffin shed light on the band’s journey, their ethos, and the stories they wish to tell.
“‘Devils Day’ is our tribute to those who refuse to conform,” Bobby stated. “To fight for what you think is right. It shouldn’t matter what others think. You’re entitled to be yourself. Stop hiding behind a mask for the sake of acceptance. Flee from the horde.
It’s an important song for the band.
“The inspiration behind Devils Day stems from watching the world go by. Watching more and more people become afraid to use their voice or give their opinion for fear of becoming outcast,” he explained. In a world where musical acts often stick to familiar tropes, Bear Within Us looks out at society, absorbing its changing dynamics and channeling them into their songs. Ruffin added, “As far as the songwriting went we knew we wanted to song to consistently get a little heavier while still remaining catchy. A gradual increase to a crisp crescendo.”
The song’s spirit of defiance and courage resonates deeply with Ruffin. “Moving to Florida was a challenge in itself. Very few people believed in me, and even fewer in me as a vocalist. So I was willing to die on this hill and chase my goals even if I had no one in my corner with me,” he reminisced. The resilience in the face of personal challenges showcases a visceral authenticity that shines in their music.
The story of Bear Within Us, however, extends beyond individual experiences. It’s a story of a community, of a world that’s shifting. “We miss when the world was more human,” Ruffin laments, reflecting on a society more polarized than ever. A time “when you could disagree with someone and still remain friends, or at least civil.”
Despite the profound message behind their music, the origins of Bear Within Us remain endearingly grounded. Ruffin laughingly recounts the struggles of forming a band from Craigslist. “Oh boy, yes. After about 10 member changes, I feel like we’ve generated a good lineup that has like-minded goals in mind. 5 years later,” he shared.
On the note of authenticity and staying true to oneself, the band’s moniker, Bear Within Us, reveals layers of meaning. “The name revolves around the concept that while many display a fierce exterior, deep down we’re all teddy bears. It’s about embracing both strength and vulnerability,” Bobby explained.
Interestingly, this dual nature is also evident in their songwriting. A track they often perform live, “Too Long”, paints the tumultuous picture of a dysfunctional relationship spiraling into chaos. “It’s a story of a couple who stay together even though they shouldn’t. The cyclical nature of arguments leading to rage and then drowning those feelings in a drink,” Bobby reflected.
Navigating changes, the band’s line-up has seen some shakeups. “Pretty easy when the only remaining members from 2019 are John and I,” Bobby remarked, hinting at the band’s evolving dynamics over the past years.
When asked about what to expect from their live performances, Bobby painted a vibrant scene: “We’ve got our light show, fog, and a heavy dose of crowd interaction. The energy is reciprocal – the more the audience gives, the more we radiate.”
This sense of connection extends beyond their music. The band remains grounded, always eager to resonate with listeners on a human level. “We write what we feel, hoping our music can be a beacon in someone’s dark times. And if our tunes aren’t enough, we’re here to lend an ear. Sometimes, just listening can save a life,” he shared.
Looking ahead, the future is bustling for Bear Within Us. “We’re releasing four more songs this year, each with a video. There’s also a December tour with Scotty Austin,” Bobby revealed.
For those eager to dive into the band’s soundscape, Bobby had a candid suggestion. “Currently, we only have a handful of songs, three being demos. But I’d urge fans to follow our Spotify page and brace for the upcoming releases.”
From Craigslist beginnings to sharing stages with rock luminaries, Bear Within Us is a testament to perseverance, raw talent, and the magic that happens when like-minded individuals rally around a shared dream.
Visit the band on Spotify: spotify.com