Friday, 20 September 2013 13:50

Minus the Bear: Indie Rock's Melting Pot

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Minus The Bear Minus The Bear COURTESY PHOTO

Minus the Bear wsg INVSN and Slow Bird
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
$20 advanced, $23 at door
sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232

Seattle-based outfit Minus the Bear is a band that revels in musical experimentation and employing a diverse set of techniques to acquire its signature catchy indie mathrock sound. Vocalist Jake Snider attributes the band's openness to new sounds to a rather laid-back approach to songwriting.

"We usually just see what happens without too much of an agenda," said Snider, whose band will be swinging through Grand Rapids on Oct. 16. "I think that's the way to do it, to just see what comes out rather than try to plan a certain type of song."

Although many of the members are originally from much heavier bands such as Botch and Kill Sadie, Minus the Bear takes a more melodic approach to music, and takes inspiration from a vast array of musical influences.

"It depends on the day of the week, really," Snider said about his musical influencs. "It's hard to tell because our band's been together so long, and we've gone through so many different changes in terms of what we're listening to."

While the members have changed their listening habits over the years, the official lineup has remained stable, save for the addition of keyboardist Alex Rose in 2006. Snider attributes the commitment to the members' professional mentality.

"I think that we all kind of committed to the band as a job and have had a good work ethic about it, making sure everyone's taken care of," Snider said.

"I never really knew if I considered it a real possibility until this band started," he said.While Snider began playing music at 12 years old and has performed in various bands, it was Minus the Bear's dedication and vision that turned music into a full-time career for him.

And for Minus the Bear, the possibilities just keep coming. The band is currently on a U.S. tour and recently released Acoustics II, featuring acoustic versions of previously released songs, as well as two brand new tracks. Snider is excited about releasing the newly recorded material, but he admits that he much prefers the live touring experience to working in the studio.

"[Playing live] is exciting, and recording is boring," Snider said. "To have a whole crowd full of people who love what you do and feed the energy back to you, that beats sitting around waiting to do something." 

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