It’s taken a few years, but Minus The Bear are finally getting as much attention for the quality of their music rather than their members previous musical endeavors.
With one of the album’s of 2007 under their collective belts and an Australian tour locked in for February, Erin was nice enough to answer the following questions for us…
Interview w/ Erin (Drums) Minus
By Cameron Chambers for Kill
What is your name and what
do you do in Minus The Bear?
Erin tate and I play drums.
For those who are unfamiliar
with the band, can you please tell us how Minus The Bear first got together?
Dave and Cory had talked about
getting together and playing some music, at the time we were all in
other bands. They asked me to play drums, and we quickly got Matt Bayles
to play keys. After we had written a few songs, we asked Jake to sing
After playing some shows all
our other bands broke up and we all began just doing this band full
Did you a set sound in your
head that you were looking to achieve when the band started, or did Minus The Bear’s style just come about once you started jamming?
In the beginning it kind of
started jamming around the guitar “tapping style” that Dave was
playing around with. Now we just kinda do what we feel, and what sounds
good to us.
A lot of people feel the
need to label bands. In your own words, how would you describe Minus The Bear?
“Planet Of Ice” was
your first full length since Matt Bayles exited the band in 2006.
Was his involvement with the record purely from a production point of
view or did he have some input into the music and arrangements, given
his history and understanding of the band?
Pretty much just production,
he may have helped a little with some arrangements once we were already
in the studio? But I can’t remember.
Was there any awkwardness
with Matt and Alex (replacement keyboard player) recording
No not at all, Alex fit right
in, and Matt was ready to leave.
“Planet Of Ice” has
been out since August and the response has been absolutely massive.
Did you think the album would be received as well as it has?
I’m not sure if “absolutely
massive” is right, but it has been doing well. It’s not like we’re
all rich now cuz of it.
Album number three is traditionally
the make or break record for a lot of bands, not necessarily
in the commercial sense, but from a creative point of view. Were you
guys feeling any kind of pressure to better your previous records?
Not pressure…. But every
time we sit down to write new stuff or a new album we set out to make
it different/better than what we’ve done before.
Was there a dominant song
writer on “Planet Of Ice” or was it a collective effort from the
Planet of ice was the first
time the band had really written as a whole (a collective effort).
We’d done some in the past,
but a lot of it was Dave and I writing the songs than having the other
guys come in to put the finishing touches on the songs.
There’s a lot of very happy
fans here in Australia now that you’ve announced your first tour here.
What can we expect from a Minus The Bear show?
We’ll play songs.
Will you be bringing another
US band as your support or will be picking up locals in each city? How
much say do you guys have in choosing the bands who tour or play with
I think it’ll just be us.
When we tour over seas, we don’t have a lot of say in it. In the u.s.
we hand pick all out support bands
Minus The Bear have
been around for six or so years, but do you still get people in the
crowd asking for Botch or Kill Sadie songs?
Sometimes, but shit it’s
not like we’d ever play any of those songs.
What’s been the most memorable,
or enjoyable tour that Minus The Bear have been a part of?
This one has been pretty great
(sept-end of dec 07).
What have been your top
five records for 2007?
R.Kelly- double up.
Feist- the reminder
Night canopy –of honey and
Radiohead- in rainbows
If you could tour with any
three bands, who would take on the road and why?
Thanks very much.