FUN FUN FUN FEST INTERVIEW: MINUS THE BEAR

Jake Snider from Minus the Bear, photo courtesy Giant Noise.

Hi friends! Amy here.

I’m about 90% recovered from my Fun Fun Fun-filled weekend, but still happily buzzed from all the quality music (and tacos) I ingested. Well, that and the fact I had the inestimable good fortune to sit down with one of my favorite bands: Minus the Bear!

Off the top of my head, I can count at least five current friendships of mine that sprang from a mutual love of this talented, Seattle-based indie rock quintet. And can I tell you a secret? I’m actually hoping to add Minus the Bear’s frontman, Jake Snider, to the ever-growing friend list.

Jake was kind enough to chat with me at Fun Fun, so here’s a little peek into our budding friendship:

Congrats on the new album! Infinity Overhead is as nostalgic and inventive as everyone said it would be. I know producer and former keyboard player, Matt Bayles, joined you during recording, correct? How was it to have the whole gang back together, and in what ways did that influence the depth/ sound of the record?
I think it’s just what we needed to do. Having Matt be so familiar with it all, there were no theatrics. We wanted to get into the studio and be able to start working right away without any distractions, and no new personalities. With Matt, his sort of aesthetic is something we felt had been missing.

I imagine getting you all in a tiny room together for months must make for some interesting stories. Any particularly wild or funny moments you’d like to share?
This session was really just so mellow and kind of easy going. I don’t really remember a lot of exceptionally funny things. It snowed in the middle of the recording so trying to actually get to the studio was pretty interesting. Seattle sort of shuts down in that kind of weather. I think overall it was just really good. Nothing super awesome or super weird.

I don’t know about that. I can think of a few tracks that came out of it that were “super awesome.” I find Diamond Lightening particularly dreamy. And speaking of track names, I have a Super Fan friend named Ryan who I’m half convinced moved to Seattle just to be nearer to you all. We were talking about the new album, and wondered if it was a conscious decision to evolve your song titles to be more “normal sounding?” I’m thinking something like “Lonely Guns” as opposed to “I Lost All My Money at the Cock Fights” or “I Wanna Throw Up” for example.
Yeah I think we wanted to kind of name the songs to be what people would “normally” name them, in a way. It got kind of old coming up with funny song titles and having that be what a lot of conversation gets used up on, as opposed to people really talking about the music, so we wanted to make sure that was less of an issue.

You all have played a lot of music festivals over your decade-plus career, and I know you’ve been on the bill here at Fun Fun twice now. FFF always holds an extra special place in my heart because it feels so much more intimate. As an artist, how does FFF compare to like a Cochella or Lala…those sort of monster festivals?
It’s really cool. Especially this year. I think the lineup is really unbeatable. I mean, we’re playing on the same bill as Bob Mould, Superchunk, Run DMC…bands we’ve loved our whole lives. Braid, Seaweed — all these bands that we grew up on are here. It’s a really exciting and nostalgic festival for us. And compared with Coachella, it’s also really nice to be in a physically smaller area.

Second only to the quality music is, for me, Fun Fun food. This year Torchy’s, a local taqueria of ours, is literally shooting tacos out of a FFF Fest Taco Cannon. Have you had the Taco Cannon pleasure yet, and what is your favorite taco?
I haven’t had a taco cannon, and I still don’t think I really know what it is. In general I’d have to say my favorite are carnitas tacos.

But now that you mention it, during our shows we’ve been sending around confetti-filled balloons on this leg of the tour, and one night, we snuck a taco into one of our confetti bombs…

You could have put somebody’s eye out!
Yeah, well…

Only for you guys would I subject myself to such potential abuse. By which I mean…a little hot sauce in the eye.
Ha! Thank you.

***
Thank YOU to my new buddy Jake for sitting down with me for AE! I’ll get right to work on our matching hemp friendship bracelets…

And Reader, here are a few Minus the Bear songs to wrap up your week. Because it’s FRIDAY! Enjoy!



  • Megan

    Great job, Ames!