The Olympic fever has hit us all, and Minus the Bear's front-man Jake Snider is no exception. When we sit down to chat, he's sitting in a tall Victorian chair in Sonos Studio’s green room drawing the Olympic rings while drummer Erin Tate snacks on a slice of pizza.
The band has just arrived from Seattle for Sonos' private preview of their new guitar-heavy album Infinity Overhead. They're hungry and tired, but you'd never know it the second they hit the stage, their sound promoting the audience to go into a head-bopping, feet-tapping trance.
“I love our records but we are totally a live band; I think that’s where we shine,” says Guitarist Dave Knudson. “A live show is were people can really appreciate what we do—they can see what’s happening.”
Infinity Overhead, out August 28, marks the band’s reunion with their former keyboard player and now producer, Matt Bayles. Here, we chat with Minus the Bear's Jake Snider, Dave Knudson and Alex Rose about Seattle, secret chants and the danger of birds.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
DK:Well, we put our hands together in a circle...
AR:We have a chant.
DK: We chant something that we can’t let you know because it’s top secret (laughts).
AR: It’s sort of our mantra.
Do you prefer to play outdoor or indoor venues?
DK: Festivals are fun but it’s nice to have a show where you can have your production and you know...
JS: It's dark.
DK: Yeah, you don’t have to go on at two in the afternoon.
AR: It’s a controlled environment where you can conduct your audio experiments.
JS: Yeah and no birds. No birds!
Has that actually happened to you guys? Birds interfering with your show?
DK: No, not yet.
JS: But I imagine it could.
You guys are from Seattle so we have to ask, sunshine or rain?
AR: I like both.
DK: That’s totally a ‘Seattle’ answer!
AR: There’s something nice about rain, you know, you can hole up and write stuff.
DK: That’s what makes us so creative right?
JS: No pressure to go outside!
DK: Yeah, you can just stay inside and write music all day, and not feel like you have to care about the sun (laughs).
Is there a venue you can’t wait to perform in?
DK: I’m excited to play in LA and New York because we are playing in the bigger venues. I feel like the Fun Fun Fun Fest will be surprisingly, well, fun.