Since their debut in 2008, The Bunny The Bear have become known for their eccentricity, in the studio and beyond. The Buffalo-based duo have been combining electronica with hardcore breakdowns long before it became a part of the norm in metalcore, and with an extensive touring history, have created a stage presence that is both hyper and intriguing.

Matt Tybor, who takes on the persona of “The Bunny” in the band and serves as the group’s primary songwriter and unclean vocalist, gives The Aquarian an inside look at their fifth studio album, Food Chain, his love for writing, and what’s behind those bizarre music videos.

The band’s last album, Stories, came out in 2013, and you have had a record out yearly since the 2010 self-titled debut. How do you produce music so consistently?

I actually just write all of the time. I don’t think Victory wants us putting out records as often as we do; it’s probably not the best thing to do business-wise. But I think I just write way too much, and I’m always ready to put something new out.

What is the normal writing and recording process for The Bunny The Bear?

I write all of the music—the vocals, the melodies, everything. I write everything on computer programs and actual keyboards at home. Then I head to the studio, take some of the things I can turn into live instrumentals, and put actual guitars in and drums and such. But as far as the writing process goes, for every album, it has always just been me on my own, privately in my room.

Where do you get inspiration for your music from? Any particular artists?

Not that I know of. It’s just life in general. I don’t really listen to anything electronic or anything close to what we sound like. I don’t listen to many bands. I listen to Brand New and Manchester Orchestra and stuff like that. I have a really selective taste. I’m not really diversified (laughs). I like a lot music, I just don’t listen to a lot of it, generally. So probably Brand New more than anything. I listen to my own stuff that I’ve been working on more than I listen to outside music.

How does Food Chain differ from the band’s previous releases?

“Mature” would be the best way to put it. I think the structure of the music is a little more well-rounded and well-defined. Mostly, aside from one or two songs, it’s a lot heavier musically than the previous albums. But besides that, I think it is overall more mature and well-rounded. Generally, all of the sounds I’ve had in music in the past just kind of put together a little better.

Where did the album name come from?

It’s actually the name of the first single on the record, so it’s the intro to the album. I had a little side-project I was kind of dicking around with a while ago and I had this track I wrote and I kind of rewrote it for The Bunny The Bear. But it’s not really meant, as far as the phrase “food chain” goes, as an actual “food chain.” It’s meant to be more of a “food chain” between people—like guys, girls, and everything in life. It’s kind of always the polar opposite, it seems to me, who controls situations. It’s never what you expect. But besides that, I just thought it was quite suitable for a name that wasn’t as fucking cheesy and jokey as the rest of our album titles. I wanted to go a little more mature with it but I also wanted to stay in the same direction where it is kind of sarcastic and out of place. I just thought that out of all of the tracks, it would be suiting just to leave it.

An acoustic EP is also set to be released alongside the full-length album. The Bunny The Bear are largely based around electronica, so what made you want to create an acoustic disc?

Every other band I was in before this was a lot more mellow, and a lot of the stuff I used to write was as well. A few of the tracks on there were old things I worked on that were never released. But I thought it would be cool to do, because it’s a little more focused on the actual lighter side of things. I think writing-wise we are a little more capable than people would think. So I thought it would be a good time and be cool for people who were actually interested in the other side of the spectrum and to see what we’re are capable of doing.

Electronica is becoming increasingly more mainstream. As an electronic-based artist, do you have any input as to why?

I think it’s appealing. There a few bands that I actually do like that are electronic-based. I listen to [Scottish synthpop band] Chvrches; I don’t know if you’ve heard of Chvrches, but they’re amazing. I think it is just appealing and kind of fun. So it would make sense to me that it’s marketable, especially if it is done correctly.

The group has become notable for your outlandish music videos, even having the video for “In Like Flynn” be voted “Music Video Of The Year” by fans in 2013. Where do these ideas come from?

Most of the ideas—even the ones we’ve done with Victory—had been an idea I had brought to the team. They go over it and come up with their own kind of thing, and we come to an agreement on it and what we think is suiting. But I think, for being a little obscene, being a little more theatrical is really important for us. I think one of the more appealing factors of us are the theatrical elements, and I think it’s suiting for the kind of obscene, overly-obnoxious at times, music. The crazier that the ideas are, the better for us. We take some lyrics and do a video, and take it to a different level where it makes you step back for a second because you don’t expect it. I like to keep it that way, too. I like the surprise, and in a weird fucking way, the theatrical elements to the videos just work for us.

Your music videos are very concept-oriented. I love the fact that there is a story behind them and they aren’t just a bunch of people standing around and not really doing anything.

I know, right? I’ve never been a fan of full band videos. Honestly though, if The Bunny The Bear was a band, I would expect to have videos like that, because you have to show off every element of it. But because I write everything and it’s more of a one- or two-man project with revolving touring musicians, I think it’s more suitable to do something else aside from us playing with a different live band in every video. It would just be confusing and make no sense to have two dudes with a bunny mask and a bear mask with a bunch of people behind them dressed in all black and skinny jeans while we have a water main break above our heads and water splashing off of the cymbals (laughs). I don’t know, I think it would just be boring. There is only so much you can do with that without it being repetitive.

What are the band’s plans for this upcoming year?

We have the album coming out on March 18, I believe. And we have a tour we are leaving for in March with Mindless Self Indulgence. We’re also doing a few festival, like South By So What?! I mean, aside from that, the only real plan I have is to keep performing and to stay on the road as much as possible. I think that’s really important, especially with this album, to stand out with touring and staying on top of things. A lot of touring, probably too much touring. I don’t really like it, but you have to do it; it’s part of the job (laughs). And that’s about it. Touring, promotion, and probably still writing because I can’t control myself (laughs).

Any reason you’re not a fan of touring? Just don’t like being on the road?

It’s not that I hate touring. I think my favorite thing about touring is meeting fans and hanging out with people. That’s how it is at every show, I’m always having a drink with someone or smoking a cigarette, rambling their ear off. But as far as performance-wise, it has never been my favorite thing. I like writing, recording, and giving something to people and seeing their reaction; it’s kind of like an addiction. But as far as touring, for me it’s like an add-on, just part of the package. So you have to do it.

But there are downsides. You never see your fucking kid, and it gets old after a while. It gets tiring. But I still enjoy touring, but at the same time, it’s strenuous and strains relationships, especially when it’s on smaller levels: when you’re touring small-size and medium-size venues; when we’re not playing in front of 3,000 kids a night, headlining and rolling in money. I mean, I enjoy it, just sometimes it gets rough, but you know, it’s part of the job. I love socializing and meeting new people, so in the long run, it’s definitely worth it.

Anything you’d like to add that wasn’t covered?

That was beautiful, and perfect. I liked it.

 

The Bunny The Bear will play at the Starland Ballroom on March 21, the Theatre Of Living Arts on March 23, and Irving Plaza on March 25. Food Chain will be released March 18 through Victory Records. For more information, go to thebunnythebear.com.

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