I was recently given the opportunity to interview Cory Murchy, the bass player for one of my favorite bands, Minus The Bear. He was “walking down the streets of Denver” on his way to a photo shoot when I got the chance to catch up with him via phone, and needless to say, I was a bit nervous, but I did manage to squeeze a bit out of our short dialogue.
Read on to find out all about the concept behind Minus The Bear’s video for “Steel and Blood” (as well as info on which song off Infinity Overhead will be the next to get the video treatment), the framework for Minus The Bear’s writing process, and what the band has planned for 2013.
So how was Texas?
Texas was good. Texas is always a fun state for us, so we had a good time as always.
You guys just had four shows in a row there, right?
Yeah, we had a day off on Halloween and then did four shows and ended last night in Lubbock. So yeah, good times.
How are you enjoying the tour with Cursive and Girl In A Coma?
It’s a blast. Cursive are old friends and have become dear, dear friends at this point, so it’s an honor to be playing with Cursive every night. Girl In A Coma are great, too. We just met them recently, but they have been awesome.
What would you say your favorite moment of the tour so far has been?
Let’s see, gosh. Ahh, anything involving the Cursive boys. It’s tough to pinpoint one particular moment, but you know, every night is a highlight.
You guys are always one of my favorite shows of the year. I would love to get your perspective on who the best group you have seen live this year is?
Honestly, Cursive. I watch them at some point at least once every night, and they are just awesome. They are all great performers, and Tim is just such an amazing lyricist. I am not just saying that because we are on tour with them now. I am saying that because we are lucky enough to be on tour with them.
Well, I know you guys are both touring off your new albums, right?
Yeah, we both are. It made sense, and Matt Bayles produced both of our albums, too.
And you guys are both on Big Scary Monsters.
Yeah. Over in the UK, absolutely.
I’ve seen Minus The Bear so many times in a few different cities now. Is there any particular city, excluding your hometown, that you really enjoy playing?
Philadelphia and New York are great. Texas is always fun. Los Angeles and Pomona/Glass House is always a highlight.
Have you guys ever considered self-releasing a tour DVD?
We’ve talked about doing something like that, and we’d love to at some point, so that’s definitely in the works. There is actually a photographer right now taking our picture as I speak to you.
Which might be on video. He is the best dude in the world. His name is Hiro. Hiro Tanaka. And he actually has a book coming out that you can order through Asian Man Records.
What is it called?
Hiro, what’s the name of your book called!
[Hiro in the background]: It’s Dew Dew, Dew Its.
I will definitely do that. I wanted to ask you a little about Minus The Bear’s writing process. It seems like with every album, you guys change your sound considerably. Everything from Pirates to Infinity Overhead seems to have its own unique vibe, and I was just wondering if that was a concerted effort on the band’s part? Or more of something that has happened organically over the years?
Yeah, I definitely think it’s organic and that is kind of what the whole band has been about — just kind of letting things happen as they come. We all listen to similar music and some of the same music, and we all also have different music that we get into separately. We all bring it together at the end of the day, put it into a pot, and that’s what makes Minus The Bear.
I think each record we have done is a progression, you know? We want to push ourselves with each album we do, so hopefully that translates into something different each time. I feel like our live shows tie it all together. All of the music we played and the different records seem to make more sense together in a live setting.
Is there anything on Infinity Overhead that you didn’t get the chance to do that maybe you really wanted to do?
There’s always stuff that you say after hearing the album, like, “Ahhh! I wish I would have done this!” or “I wish I would have done that!” but that’s like anything. It’s always hindsight, you know? You learn from it. With Infinity Overhead, there’s not something particular that I can point my finger at, but yeah, that happens with every project. It has to be expected, which is why you continue to do more projects with the lessons you learned on the last one and the ones before. It’s an ongoing process.
Is there a certain song off Infinity Overhead that you really enjoy or liked recording?
“Diamond Lighting” has become one of my favorite songs we have ever done, and performing it live has been really fun as well as “Toska.” It was a tough one in the studio for me, but it’s a really great song.
Why do you like playing “Diamond Lighting” live?
It’s just really dynamic, and I think that it’s a very Minus The Bear type of song, lyrically and musically. It goes places.
Yes, it does. You guys recently released a video for “Steel and Blood.” I wanted to get your input behind the concept for the video. Did you have a concrete message behind the video or are you leaving it open to interpretation?
It was actually a concept that came up through the director [Dan Brown], and we all really liked it. It was in a different direction than what we have done with our music videos in the past, and it is probably the darkest video we have ever done, but we felt like it worked well with the imagery, the lyrics, and the overall feel of the song. We are really happy with it, so yeah, it was definitely startling to some people, I think. [LAUGHS]
I think it’s a very powerful video.
Was that what you guys were going for? Kind of like a powerful or startling statement?
Yeah! And, you know, just something different and darker.
The album Infinity Overhead seems to have a darker feel in general than most of the other Minus The Bear albums.
Especially in songs like “Heaven Is A Ghost Town,” which has become one of my favorites off the album.
Ours as well!
I think lyrically — and please correct me if I am wrong — but it touches on an area that you guys haven’t really dived into a lot. Is this the kind of stuff we might see on the next album? A darker Minus The Bear?
Oh sure. I don’t see why not.
Is there any hint about what might be the next video to come out off Infinity Overhead?
Yeah! The next video we are actually going to do is for the song “Listing,” which is another song we really love.
Is that the song that you would pick for the next video?
I could see a video for every song on the album.
It’s really tough to say, but I think “Listing” is a great song, and I think it will make a great video.
I know 2012 isn’t over just yet, but does Minus The Bear have anything big in the works for 2013? Any festivals you would really like to play? Possibility of a world tour?
Ah, yeah. Hopefully all of the above. I know first thing is talk of doing another acoustic record in the beginning of the year, and then we’ll take it from there. Touring is in the equation, and probably just recording when we can.
For more info: