Over a decade into a career that has seen them write the blue-print for nearly every inventive guitar band that has cropped up since, Minus The Bear are on the brink of releasing their brand new record, and their first in the UK with our favourite label, Big Scary Monsters. The new record has been described as a “return to their signature sound” after the more electronic OMNI LP. As promised, the new record does indeed hark back to their best work; full of gloriously-mathy guitar lines and some of their biggest riffs yet, Infinity Overhead could well be their strongest LP to-date.
We caught up with bassist Cory to find out a little more about the new album and what it means to them to reach the ‘fifth LP’ mark…
Good day sir, how is the Summer treating you?
Pretty damn good, now that the sun started shining. Seattle an the UK have similar weather, so you know the drill.
Your 7″ just sold-out straight away in the UK, that must feel pretty good?
Very happy to hear people snatched up the 7″ so quick! I’d say it feels RADICAL!
The new album is imminent – what can you tell us about it?
We are really proud of this record. It was great to work with Matt Bayles again. Having ten plus years under our belt there was a certain amount of confidence we all had in the crafting of Infinity Overhead, and I think it shines through.
It’s been described as a “return to your signature sound” – what does that mean? And what made you veer away from that in the first place?
I feel like you can listen to any of our material and say “Oh that’s MTB…”, but there is never necessarily any two songs that sound the same. We constantly want to progress and push ourselves so as to not be bored or bore our fans. That said, I think this one is more guitar based than OMNI, which is what we started out doing in the first place.
How did the writing and recording process compare to your previous records?
Dave usually brings in a guitar part and along with Erin they will hash out a rough sketch of parts and progressions. Then the rest of us will come in and add and subtract and flesh it out. Lyrics tend to come last. It’s a process that has happened on and off through the years, depending on the situation.
Do you have a personal favourite track on the record?
Diamond Lightning has quickly become one of my very favorite songs we’ve ever made. It’s a really strong song live, too. Lyrically and musically, I love it!
The record is coming out on Big Scary Monsters over here in the UK, how did that relationship come about?
BSM just seemed like a perfect fit, so we are excited to be working with them.
This is your fifth full-length record – which is pretty damn impressive in this day-and-age. Did you expect to get to this point when you were starting out?
At the very beginning we were all in other bands, so MTB really just started as a few drinking buddies having fun and doing something we couldn’t do in our other situations. Kind of an exciting affair, really. We feel extremely lucky that it has gone so well and we’ve had an incredible and insane decade together. The key I think is just KEEP GOING.
You’ve got a headline show in London to celebrate the record, do you enjoy playing in the UK and can we expect some more shows soon?
The UK has been good to us and gets better and better each time we come back. We’ve got some dates on the V Festival and I’m sure we’ll try and put together a proper tour when the time is right.
What’s on your stereo at the moment?
Not sure what the other dudes are listening to at the moment but I still can’t get enough of The Phantom Band. I love The Phantom Band. I wonder if they would ever want to go on tour together…
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
TOUR! We have a big one happening Sept-Nov in the States with our friends and fellow road-hogs, Cursive. It’s going to be ridiculous and amazing. Such great dudes and an amazing band.
Thanks for your time.
No, no… Thank You!
Infinity Overhead is out in September, pre-order it here. The band play Heaven in London on 17th August.
Words and interview by Tom Johnson