Seattle indie rock band Minus the Bear return to Australia in just a couple of weeks for headline shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in support of their recently released album ‘VOIDS‘ for Suicide Squeeze Records.
The band will play Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on August 3rd, Max Watt’s in Brisbane on August 5th and Max Watt’s Melbourne on August 6th.
Tickets are on sale now and remain available for all shows if you are yet to grab a ticket. Get yours [Here].
Over the course of their 15-year career, Minus the Bear have made music on their own terms while carving out their own unique musical world, selling over 500k records in the process and playing to countless sold out crowds along the way. This isn’t to say they’re impervious to outside influence. They’ve borrowed components from a wide swath of genres—the brainy clangor of New York’s proto-punk scene, the cerebral buzz of IDM, the poptimist evaluation of hip-hop and R&B, and the grandiose visions of prog rock—but always managed to defy classification.
The group’s tireless work ethic has helped build a robust live following with the band headlining countless sold out shows across the globe, as well as sharing the stage with such diverse and respected artists as Soundgarden, Jimmy Eat World, and Foo Fighters.
To find out more about ‘VOIDS‘, the band answered our On The Record questions this week. Listen to the album, and read about it below.
Being a band for over 15 years you go through a lot of growth both personally and as a unit. VOIDS referenced that big hole you can find yourself in (or falling into) and how it’s up to you to avoid those vacuums. This album was a statement that the four of us can and will continue regardless of the black holes we find ourselves surrounded by.
Tell us about the artwork.
Nick Steinhardt took the art direction and design helm and we are stoked at how it all came together.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We recorded at Litho, Avast! and Hall of Justice. All three of those rooms are steeped in Pacific Northwest music history and the vibes are all just right. Great rooms.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
We recorded with Sam Bell and he is AWESOME! We interviewed a few guys but we really hit it off with Sam. He had a lot of great ideas from the get go and his approach to us as a band and as individuals was right on. He was a constant cheerleader through all of the darkest moments, and the darkness was real. He kept our ship from drifting off into the abyss and through it all we’ve all become quite close. I count Sam as a real friend. A top bloke!
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
We had a handful of songs and a few handful of “parts and bits” that we went in and played around with. I wouldn’t say we had a clear direction but we knew we just needed to move forward and carry on.
Were there any albums you were referencing in the studio to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
I need to have Sam make me a mix of all the stuff he played us in the studio for reference, as I can’t remember what it was but there were some jams!
How long did you spend in the studio recording?
We spent about 9 months crafting VOIDS.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
Usually we’d all track together (drums, guitar, bass, keys…) and then go back to see what was working and what wasn’t. Generally that meant keeping the drums and Dave’s guitar and then going in to rework or smooth out bass and key ideas. Dave would do some overdubs and then Jake and Alex would come in and sing. Every song was a little different depending on how fleshed out it was before coming into the studio.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Our friend Irene Barber sang on “Robotic Heart” and Eric Akre played a little percussion. Sam Bell also played some guitar licks on “Last Kiss”.
When it comes to naming the tracks, is there any particular approach or process to it all?
These days we tend to name the songs so that they actually reference the lyrics. We used to be wacky about it, but to our fans dismay we’ve dumbed it down considerably.
Any memorable studio moments?
I think we might have broken up once or twice over the course of recording but that luckily never lasted too long.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
YES! We still have a few tricks up our sleeves, yet!
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
To be honest all of them are really fun to play. I think they translate to the live setting really well.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
I’m really proud of this album. Dave’s guitar parts are technical and challenging and as fun as ever, Jake’s stabby guitar and lyrics hit home pretty hard and Alex really stepped up the game when it comes to songwriting and singing. it’s a Minus the Bear album through and through but there is a certain sense of maturity to it all.
MINUS THE BEAR
3rd – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney [18+]
5th – Max Watt’s, Brisbane [18+]
6th – Max Watt’s, Melbourne [18+]
—> Tickets on sale now.
—> For more information, visit [Here].
Minus The Bear photo by Shervin Lainez / Bradley Hale.
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