Tuesday, November 11, 2008

interview: minus the bear (nov. 3, 2008)

pic via kat swansey. thanks for letting me sleep on your floor!

i recently got the chance to talk to cory murchy, bassist of minus the bear for a few minutes over the phone last week, and this is what i got. the group played at fun fun fun fest this past weekend (post soon) and dude's played a great set, and got them hips moving. one of the better sets of the weekend. enjoy.

Interview with Cory Murchy of Minus the Bear
November 3, 2008
Houston, TX

Roshan Bhatt, The Daily Cougar: For the record, what is your name and position in Minus the Bear?

Cory Murchy, Minus the Bear: For the record, my name is Cory Murchy. My position is fun, but I play the bass, and I like to draw things, ride my bike and just all around being killer.

RB: How did you guys end up playing Fun Fun Fun Fest? Is this your first time?

CM: This is our first time with the festival. The people that are doing the festival just asked us to do it and heard that we were fun. So we said, “Yeah you guys are fun,” and we just decided to be fun together. So…it should be fun.

RB: Whose sets do you plan on catching at FFF Fest?

CM: I am stoked to be seeing my homie Tim Barry. He’ll be playing with the Revival Tour [with ….], also excited to see Scared of Chaka, my other homies from New Mexico. My old roommate Dave is in the band, and that should be a hoot. Hijinks should surely ensue. I don’t think we’ll be in town to see the Dead Milkman, so yeah.

RB: Do you like playing festivals more than one-off’s or being on tour? What are the biggest differences?

CM: Well festivals are a little more chaotic, and you’re just playing for a small amount of time and there is a lot going on at the same time. Tours are a little more organized. Festivals are fun because they’re just so much bigger, and when you’re stoked about the bands, it makes it better.

RB: What are Minus the Bear’s biggest influences inside and outside of music?

CM: Well, love, peace and happiness. They’re pretty big influences. We like to keep things groovy, and other shenanigans. All that hippy stuff. We just listen to a bunch of different stuff, though. I listen to a lot of reggae, dub and Jamaican music, but we’re also lucky because we’ve met a lot of bands on the road and a lot of friends of ours are musicians, so it’s nice when your friends are making good music. Bands like The Helio Sequence and These Arms are Snakes, 27, and just bands we aren’t always able to bring on tour as well.

RB: The songs on Planet of Ice are noticeably longer than most of your older material and the sound has gotten more experimental musically. Are there any particular reasons for this?

CM: We’re all growing up and we’re all getting older, so logically we’d get more experimental. We’ve been playing for 7 to 8 years now, and so if we were just writing 3-chord pop songs, we’d have exhausted the band. So we’re always exploring and trying to push ourselves musically and artistically, because it’s something that we wanna do, and we like to please ourselves as well as our fans.

RB: How is the tour with Annuals going? Reception?

CM: Tour is great, folks are coming out and dancing. They seem to be having a good time, so you can’t complain.

RB: After the current tour, are there any more touring plans?

CM: We’re just gonna be taking some time off for the holidays and we’ll be writing on our time off. Well be in Australia in February for the Soundwave festival, and even Hawaii.

RB: Are there any plans for a new album? If so, what new directions do you guys plan on taking, if any?

CM: We’ll try to get into the studio sometime in the spring, we don’t have any real plans. We’ll just try to finish up some songs, but we don’t have any concrete plans for recording, yet. We’ll definitely be writing, which we’re very excited about.

RB: What is your most and least favorite thing about the Seattle music scene?

CM: It’s pretty great. It’s a lot of good musicians and people. There’s a lot of recess as far as people playing with different people in different bands. It’s good because no one is really playing the same kind of music, which has always been indicative of the Seattle scene. IT even back in the day when the grunge thing was going on, all those bands were different from each other. So that’s what I think is good about the Seattle scene. There’s a lot of music but everyone is doing their own thing. These Arms are Snakes and Minus the Bear have a lot in common but the music is totally different.

RB: What is your current playlist?

CM: I picked up this album by this artist called Rodriguez, courtesy of my friend Julie [inaudible] Butterfield. It’s a pre-release put out by Light in the Attic records and a lot of reggae and dub as usual.

RB: If you could open a show for any three acts, dead or alive, who would you open for??

CM: John Lennon, The Cure…and who else is awesome? Who would we be stoked to play for? Jawbreaker.

RB: That’s about it. Anything else you want to add?

CM: Not much besides, keep on keeping on. Thanks for all the support, and peace to all.

holla. the group's setlist from the festival is in the comments if you're into that sort of thing.

-minus the grizzly bear


weworemasks said...


throwin' shapes
the game needed me
the pig war
dr. l'ling
houston we have an uh-oh
when we escape
new song
guns and ammo (acoustic)
pachuca sunrise (acoustic)
burying luck
-went to the bathroom, so i missed one song-
absinthe party at the fly honey warehouse

kat swansey said...

no prob, dude. thanks for hauling my ass around/buying drinks/mcdonals/hanging with me/free pass/asking my question to MTB.

that interview was pretty badass. it was tight to see them name drop helio sequence!