Minus the Bear divides, conquers at Grog Shop

Ben Breier

Okay, so there was this band and this bear, and the bear dropped out of the band. Meet Minus the Bear, an up and coming band from Seattle, Wash.

Credit: Ben Breier


Minus the Bear

Playing with Thunderbirds are Now! and These Arms Are Snakes

Where? The Grog Shop

When? Sept. 17 at 9 p.m.

How much? $10, plus $2 if under 21


Take some slowed-down guitar, blend it with the occasional synthesizer-driven backdrop and mix in some nonchalant, concordant vocals: When all is said and done, you’ll have a recipe for Minus the Bear, a band who hails from Seattle, Wash.

Occasionally, touring gets frenzied for artists who are trying to push a record, and this rule of thumb is no different for Minus the Bear, who had a three year gap in-between its last full length record, Highly Refined Pirates, and its latest effort, Menos El Oso, which hit store shelves on Aug. 23.

“Sometimes we just end up touring more than we would expect on a record. It just takes so much time to put everything together,” said singer/guitarist Jake Snider in a recent phone interview.

One of the band’s defining characteristics is the extraordinarily long and odd titles that have been featured on past records. Highlights of unique song titles include “Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo,” “I’m Totally Not Down with Rob’s Alien” and “Hey, Is That a Ninja Up There?”

With the release of Menos el Oso, Minus the Bear elected to discontinue the quirky song-naming tradition.

“Unfortunately, the song titles would just get in the way of things,” Snider said. “After hearing about song titles for a couple of years, you eventually want people to talk about the music at some point in time.”

A majority of the group’s fan base seems to lie within the realm of indie rock, but Minus the Bear doesn’t confine itself to a genre.

“I don’t know where we fit into the landscape overall,” Snider said. “We’re playing with indie rock bands, but hopefully we’re a little bit more innovative than the typical shit.”

Indie bands such as Thunderbirds are Now! and Criteria are opening up for Minus the Bear on its current tour.

When the band isn’t on tour, members sometimes find themselves participating in one great collegiate pastimes: The magical sport of beer pong.

“This summer, we have been playing quite a bit of beer pong. It just seemed like the thing to do,” Snider said.

Minus the Bear is currently getting recognition through various radio stations across the country and managed to sell out two of its shows on their current tour. Things are definitely looking up for Minus the Bear.

With the band appearing at the Grog Shop on Saturday, Sept. 17, you just might get the opportunity to take on the band in a match of beer pong.

Contact ALL reporter Ben Breier at [email protected].