Features

Minus The Bear
submitted by
Thomas
 on
Saturday, May 3, 2008 - 00:00

Hey, here's a short email interview we did a while back with the nice fellas that make up Minus The Bear. Their line-up boasts current and former members of Botch, Kill Sadie, and Sharks Keep Moving and if you love adventurous rock music, don't be shy and check out their latest album "The Planet Of Ice". PRT: Who are you and what would you like to tell our readers about yourself? Jake: I am Jake and I am in the band Minus the Bear. It's what I do. PRT: What were you doing ten minutes prior to this interview? Jake: I was eating pork at a mexican restaurant. PRT: Who are the other band members and what would they give me if I were a homeless beggar Jake: Erin, Dave, Cory and Alex. Maybe they'd give you some change, but most likely they wouldn't give you the time of day! PRT: Can you give me a short history of the band written in less than one minute? Jake: Dave, Erin, Cory and Matt got together and I joined soon after, did an ep with Suicide Squeeze followed by several other releases. Insane amounts of touring in the USA and over seas, and writing over the past few years have given the world what we now know as Minus the Bear. PRT: If Minus the Bear was the brain child of two (or more) older bands, who'd be mommy, who'd be daddy and in what Kama Sutra-position was Minus the Bear conceived? Jake: Mommy would be The Police and Daddy would be Pink Floyd. We'd have been conceived in the 'Yawning' position PRT: What would you like to tell us about 'The Planet of Ice'? Jake: What would you like to know? It's a rock n roll record. Much more rockin than our old stuff. Generally more guitar riffage. PRT: Titling the album 'Planet of Ice' made me think you disagree with Al Gore over the whole 'global warming'-hype. Do you think it's just a trend to be environmentally aware or is the global warming a natural thing that happens every couple of thousand years? Jake: It has nothing to do with global warming. Global warming is obviously real and supported by science, it's not a trend and its effects are being seen now...we may be past the point of no return regarding the Earth's environment. PRT: In what way has the band evolved over the course of three records? Jake: Not sure...I think we've progressed and created more interesting musical tapestries. We've let ourselves branch out more recently and I think we'll become more experimental in the future. PRT: I read somewhere that after the first record, you got labelled as a funny band (great music with funny titles and lyrics about drinking and girls) but you wanted to shake off that stigma. Why? And did it work out? Jake: I never thought the lyrics were humorous whatsoever. Sometimes light hearted, but there is not a single joke in the lyrics of a minus the bear song. A lot of songs are about drinking and most songs are about girls in one way or another, so not sure how that's funny. The song titles were just jokes. Not related to the lyrics. We want to shake off the stigma because people keep talking about it instead of the music (kind of like now!). It's not like we're the only band that had funny song titles...just the one that gets picked on. PRT: Are you still haunted by the Botch-history of some band members? Jake: Only dave was in botch. Not reallly. Sometimes kids yell 'botch' at shows and it's neither funny nor cute...just annoying PRT: Many people file Minus the Bear under 'indie'. I, however, see it more as smart pop music for music lovers. Where do you classify Minus the Bear yourself? Jake: I think we're a rock band. We're indie because we're on an independent label. Indie doesn't give any impression as to how music will sound...an 'indie' band on a major label for instance is an oxymoron. PRT: Music-wise, Minus The Bear is in the top league, pretty technical and, well, hard to play (perceived by a mere amateur). How do you guys challenge yourself in song writing and playing? And is there still any room for progress? Jake: We simply try to make music that's interesting to us. There's always room for progress...I don't think we've scratched the surface of our potential. PRT: In addition to that, how hard is it to write complicated music that is still accessible? Jake: Yes, that can be difficult. But that's this band's challenge. We always want to be able to marry the complex and the catchy. PRT: Even more than on 'Menos El Oso', 'Planet of Ice' focuses on atmosphere in the songs with these soundscape-y things. A conscious choice? Jake: Yes. PRT: What would be the three main differences between 'Planet of Ice' and Justin Timberlake's FutureLove/SexSounds? Jake: POI has more guitar, worse singing and a much lower recording budget. PRT: Hey, I just stole your iPod. What bands are on there that I should definitely check out? Jake: Tiny Vipers, Subtle, Cloudded, Pink Floyd, The Who, etc. PRT: Why did Minus The Bear cross the road? Jake: To fuck the chicken PRT: If you'd have to write a musical, what would it be about and what would it be called? Jake: It would be about cooking pork. It would be called 'Pork Funk'. PRT: What's the biggest Spinal Tap- moment in the history of Minus the Bear? Jake: Pretty much every show. It seems like we have moments that are ST worthy all the time....last night for instance I couldn't find the stage to save my life. PRT: Can you give us three reasons to buy 'Planet of Ice'? Jake: It's a fucking killer record, we need the money and people love it. In general PRT: What does the future look like for you guys? Jake: Very bright. We're going to tour our asses off and hopefully start writing soon. We're going to be everywhere all over the world. PRT: You have ten seconds to type your last words. Go! Jake: Holy shit, only ten seconds! And then, what, I'm dead? Damn...this is awful news..