Random Facts With… The 2 Bears


Right now it's all go for the nation's favourite furry suit wearers. With a much hyped XOYO residency settling into its stride, a new single and album about to drop, and a summer of global festival appearences to look forward to, life with the 2 Bears is looking very busy. When better than for us to piss away an hour of their precious time talking nonsense about the existence of the cheese gene, the niceness of the Dalai Lama's Twitter profile, and how Joe Goddard can catch a fish with his bare (bear) hands. Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself for the joy of random facts with 2 Bears…


Here we go then… At some hotels, ordering an extra pillow is a codeword for ordering a prostitute.


Raf: Is that right? Is this a fact? What does that mean if people actually just want an extra pillow? This is a fact, if you ask for an extra pillow you’re actually ordering a prostitute. Do you ring and ask for a prostitute if you want an extra pillow?


I’m just calling to say that I don’t want a prostitute, I just want an extra pillow yeah?


Raf: I wouldn’t mind a prostitute but really it’s a pillow i’m after.


Joe: A guy in Iceland teamed up with a guy in New Zealand on the other side of the world and they each put a piece of bread on the ground at the same time and they made a world sandwich. 


Raf:That’s pretty wicked!


Joe: Terrible indigestion… It’s really hot in the middle, it’d be like a pop tart!


Raf: Crunchy on the outside and molten on the inside.


That’s great!


Raf: The blue ranger from Power Rangers was gay and left the show because he was being harassed for it. By the other Power Rangers? Do you reckon they ganged up on him? Even the pink Power Ranger wasn’t gay! I remember being at the cricket one time and lads dressed up. One was dressed up as the Pink Panther and someone went over and felt him up. He got really angry and went ‘just because I’m pink i’m not gay!’. He got well angry with the geezer!



Joe: This one says that blind people’s eyes actually sense light still. They don’t see it, but photo receptors in their eyes respond to light. That’s a pretty fucking annoying thing to tell blind people isn’t it?


Raf: You can still see some light…


You can kind of see.


Joe: Did you know photo receptors in your eyes still…




Raf: Coffee house in Russia where food and drink are free but you pay for time.


It’s like that one up the road, they’ve just introduced it at the top of Kingston Road.


Raf: So you basically get as much down you as possible?


It’s 3p a minute and you can just sit there on the internet all day.


Raf: Do they give you like a stopwatch when you walk in?


I think they give you a code then when you leave you have to pay. But you can drink all the coffee and fruit and stuff. It’s a Russian fad that’s apparently sweeping over here.


Raf: 3p a minute? How much is that an hour?


£1.80 an hour?


Raf: That’s cheap! You could get a few coffees down in an hour.


Joe: I can’t drink too much coffee though.


Raf: So it wouldn’t be financially viable for you.


Joe: I’ll implement it at my house.


Raf: For anyone that comes round?


Joe: Yeah, and my children.


Raf: Charge them 3p a minute.


Joe: Off their pocket money!


Raf: It goes up, the older they get. Extra tuppence a year.


Joe: And when they’re sleeping…


It’s a big fad with the ‘hot-desking’ generation.



Raf: Being in a green setting or even glancing at the colour green can make a person more creative. The fuck man? How do they know this? We should paint the walls green in here!


Joe: It’s also that if you actually just smile then you do feel happier.


Raf: You look mental though!


Joe: It’s a psychological trick you can play on yourself if you’re feeling depressed, just smile! 


Raf: Laughing is definitely good for you.


Definitely, 100%. The world’s first Buddhist ruler, Emperor Ashoka was the first ruler in history to ban slavery, animal cruelty and deforestation.


Raf: Well… That’s a shocker.


Joe: Dalai Lama’s the best person to follow on Twitter. Every day you get all these dicks telling you about their new remix and then he turns up and is just like ‘Be compassionate’. The world would be better if we were all compassionate to each other. I do sometimes feel like replying to him and just saying fuck off.


Raf: Leave it out!


Joe: Every fucking day!


Raf: You’re relentless positivity is grinding me down man!


It’s making me depressed. These ones are so bad.


Raf: Too much stress can stunt a person’s growth, very boring. Mike Tyson offered a zoo attendant $10,000 to open the cage of a bullying gorilla to ‘bash that silverback snotbox’. His offer was declined. Tyson… He’s run out of people to fight so he’s gone to the zoo and been like ‘I want to fight that one’.


Joe: My favourite article in the whole Grand Royal magazine, the Beastie Boys magazine. There was a small bit about Cool Keith, they interviewed him, and asked him if he could create any television programme what would he create? He said he wanted to create a programme called battle of the animals where he’d put 4 giraffes in a cage and shake it around and 2 gorillas in another cage then release them together and see what happened. I love it so much! This accused murderer has a tattoo that says ‘MURDER’ across his neck  and he wants it removed before his trial for murder.


In case it prejudices the jury… That’s amazing! You couldn’t make that up!


Raf: Boffins have identified a cheese gene. ‘Jubilant scientists were celebrating that they found the gene that determines whether or not a person likes cheese’.


Joe: I’ve got that gene.


Raf: Eggheads at the human genome project have spent years sifting through DNA to find the genes that make us partial to parmesan, crazy about camembert or hanker for half a pound of halloumi.


Joe: Are we paying for that research? Am I paying for this?


Raf: It’s on the Viz website, BrieNA! Although it’s present in everybody’s DNA, it’s switched off in 20% of the population said professor Intray…




Joe: Is there any way we can talk about the Greg Wallace article?


Raf: That was an offer for a ‘6 course punch-up lunch-up’ with television gastronome Greg Wallace. Every course is followed by 6 glasses of wine. It starts with an angry look on arrival and ends in a full-on red mist onslaught. A kick in the bollocks is an additional £50.


Joe: Here’s a good thing for 2 Bears, you can get business cards made on beef jerky. ‘We start with 100% beef jerky and sear your contact information into it with a 150watt laser’.


How much does that cost?


Joe: No idea!


Raf: ‘Joe Goddard: Bear’.


Joe: I’ve eaten all my business cards again… If we had them, we’d finally make it into the Ibiza set.


Raf: Do you reckon Troxler and his crew have got jerky cards?


BBQ’d ones! Man born with 2 penises.


Joe: That’s handy.


Is it actually true?


Raf: The makers of Dr Pepper employ monkeys in their bottling plant so they can truthfully say it has never been touched by human hands. This is nonsense.


Joe: Check out this bear sleeping bag!


Raf: That is wicked.


Joe: That isn’t going to come across well in print…


How about some bear facts?


Raf: That’s a good idea.


Joe: We’ve got bare facts!


Raf: I saw on Carnaby Street, this is a fact I suppose, I saw some lads doing a video on Boris bikes. It was like their answer record to German Whip. That’ll be appearing on the internet soon. Heard it here first. I got in there for a second, I was on my bike as well. They didn’t seem impressed. I was talking about being a bowl of peas and that. 


Grizzly bears are omnivores and their diet can vary wildly, they may eat… Well, what of this do you eat: seeds, berries, roots, grasses, fungi, deer, elk, fish, dad animals and insects.


Joe: Not much elk…


Raf: Everything else pretty much. No insects.


Joe: You accidentally eat loads of insects in your life though don’t you?


Raf: Intentionally, no insect eating.


Joe: You get them some places.


Raf: In Thailand, Mexico and places.


Joe: In Mexico you get chili grasshoppers as a snack, I’ve had them.


Raf: You have?


Joe: Yeah.


In the late summer or fall [autumn] grizzly bears enter hyper… hyperphagia which is a period of 2-4 months when they increase their calorie intake to put on weight for winter denning.


Raf: We do that. It’s usually in the winter we put on weight to show off in the summer. Apparently grizzly bears have exceptional digging ability.


Joe: I don’t have that. I’m really good at catching crabs at the seaside.


Raf: With a hook and a bit of bacon on the end?


Joe: Just with my hands. I once caught a fish with my bare hands.


Bear hands?


Joe: My brother has a video of it.


Raf: Really? Shit!


Joe: When I was about 12.


Raf: You need to get that on the internet.


Joe: It would break the internet!


Raf: So they’ve got these guard hairs which I guess are like whiskers on their backs and shoulders and they’re tougher hairs with white tipe. That must be what it is, super-sensitive ones.


For if someone’s attacking him.


Joe: Someone’s going to slap him on the head.


Raf: If they can get through a tight space!


Joe: An octopus can get through any hole that’s the size of it’s beak or bigger.


Raf: That’s the only solid bit. They can do the octopus through the hole.


Squeeze through it!


Raf: There’s no bone in there!


That’s interesting.


Raf: Grizzly bears use rub trees. These are trees where they scratch their backs.


Do you have one in here?


Raf: We need some rub trees.


Joe: Baloo’s got one in Jungle Book. We wanted one for XOYO actually.


Raf: There was talk of that for people high on e to get their back scratched. It’d be phenomenal. I think the idea wasn’t a goer, it was too strange.


Too much condoning of e!


Raf: Mating season is from May to mid-July. One of the slowest reproducing land mammals.


How are you getting on? Getting ready for it? It’s not far off now!


Raf: The sap is rising so be careful!


I better get out of here soon!


Raf: You better run! Come May 1st, you better run boy!


I’m not coming to XOYO after 1st May.


Raf: The first few weeks were brilliant then it got really weird…


Joe: Really horny!

Raf: Chuck Norris facts, here we go!


Raf: Chuck Norris invented the hi-5! That’s quite a big claim to have invented the hi-5! 



Joe: You should say that over the mic.


Raf: To be like ‘I invented that. You know the hi-5? That was me!’. 


Joe: I did that, my contribution to the world.


Mic facts then… Is there a lot of mic action that goes on down at XOYO?


Raf: Some, yeah. There’s a bit. We’ve been actually doing a thing today so we can sing over it in the club. Bits, any sort on MCing on a long night out, you don’t want to overdo it really.


Joe: Gotta be a bit more in the Konrad vane. 


Raf: More in the Konrad vane than anything. Little bit of drum, little bit of bass, the ones and twos.


So you did an all-nighter…


Raf: We did yeah, we really enjoyed it. Then we were like ‘I wish we hadn’t asked all these people to come play every week, we just want to do it ourselves’.


Sigmund Freud liked cocaine so much that he would give it to friends and family as a gift. 


Joe: That’s wicked.


Raf: Nice one Sigmund. You can come for Christmas any time.


Joe: [In a German accent] Just not before zee turkey!


Raf: Pudding first Sigmund! Pudding first! [German] Nein! It was an excellent Sigmund Freud impression! I reckon it would be similar if you had to do Einstein… A white-haired man with a teutonic lilt.


Don’t mock your girlfriend/boyfriend’s choices, you were one of them.


Raf: Good advice! Not strictly a fact. But maybe it is…


This is from Factbook. Memorising the lyrics to songs can help strengthen your brain and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. 


Raf: That’s good!


Joe: We’d better do that soon. 


Are you going to do a live, sorry, LIVE!…


Raf: Yeah, 2 Bears exclamation mark. We’re just getting all that together. We mastered our album a couple of weeks ago so we’re just getting all that next bit together now really. Figuring out the technical side of things.


How’s that going to work? 


Raf: Mostly us doing singing and playing bits and pieces. Just a bit of slightly nutty, psychedelic homemade – no LED screens. Bit more vibey than that, a different vibe.


Have you got vocalists on the album?


Raf: We’ve got a couple of other people doing bits and pieces but mostly it’s us so we don’t have to do that thing where you play other people’s vocals which I always feel a bit odd when you go to see something live. That’s an advantage. We got various bods to come in and help us. Other voices and so on. We recorded a guy in South Africa, a couple of them. One old star called {Senaka} who was amazing to hang out with.


You went over there did you?


Raf: Yeah we went over to do some gigs for Live magazine, you probably know them – they ran in Brixton to start with. So Gavin, you might even know Gavin, he used to run Werk Disks right when it started and he and I used to do the Werk parties at Corsica studios. Anyway he was working at Live in the UK and they did some work in South Africa and he ended up getting a bursary from the Shuttleworth foundation.


Joe: John Shuttleworth set it up…


Raf: His philanthropic set up. Shuttleworth was actually the first African in space or something. John… Anyway, Gavin set up Live down there and they’re tied in with the British Council and actresses and whoever go over there. We got taken over there in October/November last year and we had a real whistle-stop 5-6 days, couple of gigs in Johannesburg and a gig in Cape Town and a couple of days in the studio here and there in Johannesburg. Which was just brilliant. So bits and pieces of that are on the record. This young singer called Spuciso who sings the lead on one. That’s really the only other person doing a lead vocal on a tune.


Were a lot of the others instrumental?


Raf: No, we sing it. Stylo G is on there as well, we made a reggae tune that Stylo G is on.


So it’s very varied then?


Raf: Yeah it is.


That’s what you do though.


Raf: I think so. The last record was more varied than I remembered it when I listened to it recently. I think we were worried for a minute that this one was too varied because we’re known for doing house music I suppose. Most broadly. Loosely. You get yourself into a tangle thinking about what it is other people think you do. It’s a hiding to nothing that. It’s varied, it represents a lot of different moods and atmospheres and sounds that we’re interested in. Things that we feel like we need to say on whatever level. 


Will that be out in time for the summer?


Raf: The first single, we’re taking it to Annie Mac to do Special Delivery this evening. We’re on Radio 1 at half 7 tonight, or 8pm to play the first single for the first time. That’s coming out the end of May, beginning of June – some time around the end of the residency. Then we’re filming a video for that next week. Then there’ll be another single in August I think and then the album at the beginning of September. The first live show proper is at Bestival on the Friday night in the Big Top.


Is that the first time you’re going to… 


Raf: Pretty much so we’re going to have to get our shit together a little bit for that. It’s good, it’s a proper challenge. It’s not like you’re doing a lot of work and we’re not actually going to put it in front of anybody, we are actually going to go and do it. Gulp. It’ll be alright though.


Have you been using a lot of records at XOYO as well?


Raf: We’ve played a couple of things every week so far, pretty happy with how it all sounds. We sung a song last week there and we’ve been sort of ending the night with the title track every time. It feels like a nice time at the moment, lots of cool stuff going on. We’re sorting out all the artwork and videos and remixes. It’s a fun time after the, not serious business of making a record but you know… There’s a point where you really get your head into that and then afterwards you feel a little more, it’s not so much heavy weather.


I was saying to Joe actually that we should get you to chat to the guy that did your artwork as well.


Raf: Oh definitely, he’s brilliant. He’s a proper… fruit. He’s just absolutely great, he has a real belief in the proper creative process and allowing things time to ruminate. Not in a lazy far-out way. 


Joe: He takes it really seriously.


Raf: He needs time to form.


You’ve gotta break stuff to get somewhere haven’t you?


Raf: Exactly and he came over the other night and he was showing me the first sketches for the album artwork and telling me loads of things about the record. I was like ‘this is fucking great, I don’t need to worry about what I’m going to say in interviews now. He’s made the story up for me!’ He’s like ‘It’s like this, it’s like that but then you’re doing this and it shot through with a feeling of this’. I need to write all this down! It makes a lot of sense, we’d had a couple of beers in the front room but…


Transcribe that conversation, stick it on the album sleeve.


Raf: Exactly. The fact that he’s done all that thinking and figuring it out for himself. It’s a lesson really. What he’s saying makes sense to me a lot but of course none of that was intended at the point we were making each individual track. It’s only from a distance that you see an arc. It reminds you that people will make of things whatever they want to make of them. Which is brilliant, that’s part of the magic!

Keep up with all bear related shenanigams, and pre-order the new album and single over from the 2 Bears website