Minus The Bear Farewell: Guitarist Dave Knudson Remembers Spain, Seattle, Forgets Miami (Kind Of)
Pollstar has records of Minus The Bear the band selling out the place as recently as 2017 ($25,530 gross) and as far back as 2006 ($17,720) as headliners, all the way back to 2002 opening for Cornershop, which sold all of 284 tickets and grossed $4,171.
The October-December tour will take the veteran rock band — known for big guitars and unorthodox yet danceable time signatures, with acclaimed albums including Planet of Ice (2007) and Omni (2010) — to both coasts. The tour wraps a 17-year run that includes highlights such as bonding in Spain in 2004 and bringing the house down at NYC’s Webster Hall as first-time headliners. (Pollstar has records of them selling out that venue in 2008, with 1,400 tickets sold and $33,275 grossed).
The band’s guitarist, Dave Knudson, had more to say about the farewell tour, thanking those along the way and recalling one memorable night at Dade County Jail.
Why is the band ending its touring now, and is there any chance of a reunion in the not so distant future?
It seems like a natural time to wind down the band. We’ve been on the road for the better part of our 17-year-career and it’s time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished but also move on. Life is a whole lot different for each of us than it was when we started and everyone has other ambitions, plans and life goals to achieve… and no, there’s no talk of a reunion — it’s been less than a week since we announced our Farewell Tour! This is it and we’re excited to go out in the best way possible.
Any extra memorable shows, concerts (or even full tours?)
One of our first trips overseas was to Spain in 2004. It was a crazy week of shows and some of the band’s most intense bonding memories. Lots of new friends, inside jokes, food, culture, drinks etc.
It’s also the trip where we came up with the title for the next LP, Menos el Oso. That LP ended up being one of the band’s defining releases and having the title already in our heads along with all the memories from tour provided some great inspiration for the writing and recording that was upcoming.
I remember the first time we headlined Webster Hall in NYC — the crowd were losing their minds and in turn, so were we. It felt like the building was going to collapse the floor and the stage were shaking so much.
Any memorable road stories? I’m sure crazy stuff happens out there.
Yeah lots of crazy road memories. Long ago on the Cursive tour of 2003 I was arrested in Miami for “resisting arrest without violence and drinking in public.” We’d all gone out after the show and apparently I’d had too much. As we left the bar I wandered away and thought I was at the hotel but it was just some random apartment building. I was behind a gate in the front lawn of the apartment building and the police report says that I said, “Fuck you, you fucking pigs, open the gate yourself!” repeatedly 6 or 7 times. Spending the night in Dade County jail was definitely not the highlight of my career but Cory bailed me out the next morning and we made the show in Orlando. The cops were actually really nice, I was just a dumbass.
Any solo projects or solo tours possible?
I think we’ve all go stuff in the works or at least have ideas. Alex is always writing and recording, Jake has talked about doing a project, Cory has been focusing a lot of time on his painting and artwork lately. I have a bunch of ideas and songs I’ve written that I hope to record this summer. There will definitely be a Dave solo tour/LP at some point in the near future.
How about shoutouts to booking agents or promoters? (This is Pollstar, after all..)
Oh man, we’ve worked with so many great people along the way. Obviously Ron Opaleski at WME has been an incredible agent to work with. He’s always looked out for our best interests and is a genuine fan which provides such a huge level of comfort and trust after all the years we’ve been together.
In terms of promoters, Chad Queirolo at the Showbox in Seattle has always been there for us and is a great friend. Some of our best and most memorable shows in Philly have been at the Electric Factory and Bryan Dilworth is a huge reason for all that success. Mike from Soda Jerk in Denver has always been an incredible partner—the list is long and we can’t thank them all enough for the support.
What can fans expect on the new tour and EP?
The new EP is a four-track sendoff. One of our favorite songs from the VOIDS sessions leads it off. I don’t know why it didn’t make the proper LP but I guess we had a ton of material and flow-wise thought it’d be better on a different release.
We’re all really looking forward to the Farewell Tour. We’ll be digging deep and playing songs off all the LPs and I’m assuming most of the EPs as well. It’ll be bittersweet. Rewarding and painful at the same time.
Seattle at the Showbox, one of our favorite venues in the country, will definitely be a blast. We’re announcing the second show by the time you read this and I’m hearing there’s a possibility of even a third.
We just want to thank all the fans, promoters and other folks who have helped us along the way. The support has meant the world to us.