Minus the Bear’s May release OMNI, the Seattle-based band’s fourth full-length recording and debut for Dangerbird Records, shows the band making a sharp transformation in their sound. OMNI dives head first into the electro-pop sound that Minus the Bear flirted with in earlier works, building off the guitar focused works of 2007’s Planet Of Ice. This end result, a blistering result of contemporary progressive rock is serving as a spring-board for the band’s exciting live performances. Before an October 24th show at Albuquerque’s Sunshine Theater, Glide’s Aaron Prunier had a chance to talk with Minus the Bear’s guitarist Dave Knudson.
You used to play with the Seattle based band Botch. What did you bring from that experience to Minus and the Bear and what do you feel is being approached differently in your current band versus Botch?
Playing with Botch was a great experience for me. All of us really learned what it meant to collaborate musically and perform well together. It’s also where I began to focus on the odd time signature stuff (guitar). I really feel playing with Minus and the Bear gives me a better opportunity to create with an open canvas. We just focus on playing what sounds good.
On your latest effort OMNI you and your band-mates made the decision to fund the record yourselves. How has that changed things and was it a good idea?
I definitely think funding the record ourselves gave us some freedoms that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. We met with a lot of labels and ultimately decided to do it ourselves and see where it led us. We also wanted to make OMNI with a fresh set of ears. Our goal was to better capture the live energy of our shows in the studio. Working with Joe Chiccarelli (White StripesCounting Crows) and Dangerbird Records on OMNI was the final result of this decision and we’re happy with how it all turned out.
As your current fans know, your live performances are a huge part of what drives your success. But for the listener just starting to get into your sound, what would you suggest as some recent live gigs to listen to?
Our last show in LA at The Mayan was amazing. Anytime we play in Seattle obviously. Also NY, Philly and the East Coast fans in general are always great to us which really feeds into our energy on stage.
Your first video single off OMNI entitled "My Time" was made available via You Tube. Any plans for a second?
The second single release will be in the January 2011 time frame.
Most fans might not be aware that you also did the graphic design for previous albums as well as merchandise artwork. Your guitar background is well known but where does the graphics talent come from. How involved were you with OMNI from a graphics perspective.
Before I became a musician full-time, I worked as a graphic designer for a Seattle based firm. On OMNI however, I wanted to focus more on the music. We ended up using a Seattle based designer, Jordan Butcher on this one. He’s a friend of the band and we liked his work.