On the surface, Lions and Tigers and Bears sounds like just another Wizard of Oz reference, or for those in the know, a well-respected indie act. They started out in the basement of guitarist Andrew Kidd's dad with the ground shaking aim to just have fun and play music together. A few years later, they're hailed as heroes of the local indie scene, awash in cool-kid credibility, knee deep in groupies and... well, actually, none of that. What really separates Lions and Tigers and Bears from the rest of the bloated scene is not their considerable talent, but their humility. Without a single tour under their belts, LTB's first full-length album, Louder than your Shirt, has been available across the country since June, and has even managed to sell an album or two across the pond.
"It's interesting to think that someone that far away even heard something that began in my dad's basement," says guitarist and back-up vocalist Kidd. "It's really weird to get used to, I guess. To this point, we've always just focused on playing as many shows as we can locally. It only helps to go out and show people what we can do. We met Gareth Lukes [of the Pants Situation] and he started helping us out with where to record and he sort of knew where to go to and he wanted to get us distribution because he'd already done that."
Though distribution might be the first hallmark of an indie act becoming less so, touring is definitely the most notable. While no solid plans for a tour currently exist, Kidd says the band is interested in touring at some point when the trio is able to find time off from work and school.
"I would love to spend the rest of my days getting paid to do this," says Kidd. "I'm just not going to hope for it as the number one thing I want in the future because I know it's not the greatest chance of success in it. I just like to think of it as kind of, 'Enjoy it now while it's happening.' So when I am stuck in a cubicle for the rest of my days, I can think and remember that it was a lot of fun."
In an age where it has become popular among independent acts to not "sell out," and "just be about the music," Lions and Tigers and Bears seem to be the only local band who don't feel the need to constantly remind everyone what they stand for. The band's modesty makes them likable enough to seek out, even for those who don't live close enough to their usual show circuit.