Ex-Jane's Addiction Member Co-Leads Polar Bear

Cover art from first Polar Bear EP was designed by Frank Kozik.

Polar Bear, the project conceived by former Jane's Addiction bass

player Eric Avery and one time Ethyl Meatplow drummer and sampler Biff Sanders,

will release a five song CD EP next month. To ensure their lineup is not

completely rhythm heavy, Avery and Sanders have added one Thomas Von Wendt to

their ranks on guitar. The group's eponymous EP will be issued on the Dry Hump


While Polar Bear is the band's first release to garner

attention, Avery and Sanders have actually been working together quietly for

two years. The group made its debut on an instrumental 12-inch single for Man's

Ruin Records (the label operated by poster artist and ATN graphics contributor

Frank Kozik).

A combination of psychedelic and Middle Eastern ingredients

sets the tone of new EP. Even with the addition of Von Wendt, Polar Bear's

sound is very rhythm centric. On top of the guitar, exotic elements, and

Avery's overarching bass, Sanders lays on weighty percussion, comprised largely

of sampled and synthetic beats.

When Jane's Addiction disbanded following

the first Lollapalooza tour, Avery and Jane's guitarist Dave Navarro formed

Deconstruction. That band released a single self-titled LP before Navarro left

for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sanders came to Polar Bear on the heels of Ethyl

Meatplow's first album, Happy Days, Sweetheart. The group disbanded when

singer Carla Bozulich began fronting the Geraldine Fibbers.

While Polar

Bear's lineage is likely the band's biggest selling point, Avery and Sanders

have shied away from trading on their past affiliations. Thus far they've

played out only in small venues without mentioning the band's membership.

They're currently slated to play a party for Man's Ruin next month in San

Francisco, after which they'll do dates in the Los Angeles area.