By putting down the electric instruments and picking up acoustic guitars, electro-indie-rockers Minus the Bear are revisiting older compositions on their latest release, Acoustics II. Fans expecting these unplugged versions to faithfully follow the original renditions are in for a surprise, according to singer/guitarist Jake Snider.
"We had a couple of new songs that were specifically acoustic, and also had some really great newer songs from the last few records and some ones going back throughout the catalog that we thought would be fun to try," Snider tells Rolling Stone. "When you sit down with an acoustic guitar and start figuring out how you can make it more rich and more full and fill up the space that you used to, it's just an interesting and fun exercise."
Similar to their earlier EP, 2008's Acoustics, the new release will be issued via the group's own label, Tigre Blanco Records, but this time, fans are offered a variety of goodies with the aid of PledgeMusic. "There's a lot of pros of doing it on your own," Snider says. "I'm not sure how many negatives there are at this point. One of the difficult things is coming up with funding and having a presale - this helps do that."
Snider is confident that the band will follow a similar sales model on future Minus the Bear releases, after releasing their last two albums on Dangerbird Records. "It's been a pretty smooth experience," Snider says of the band's decision to go the DIY route. "It hasn't had any of the hiccups that we might have feared at first, just in terms of using this new platform and having it go smoothly, and having it relatively trouble-free. I'd never heard of PledgeMusic before, and sometimes these things can go a little astray. But [Acoustics II] has been one of the smoother record releases we've had."
As far as what lays ahead for Minus the Bear, Snider hasn't the faintest idea. "We haven't really started talking about it too much yet," Snider says. "Three of us have toddlers now and we've taken some of the summer off. We're going to do this tour, and then reassess where we're at and start writing, or take a little more time off -- who knows? And it's nice, because without the label, without a schedule, you have a little bit of freedom in that regard."