Interview: Matthew Tybor of The Bunny The Bear Talks Inspiration for New Album, Touring Plans and Much More

On March 17th, The Bunny The Bear will be releasing their 7th studio album, The Way We Rust. This will be the first release on their new label, Needful Things Records, and marks a turning point in the bands career. I had a chance to send over some questions to Matthew Tybor (aka The Bunny) in relation to the album and what his plans are surrounding it! Below, you can read the resulting interview and also find links to check out the band on their social media channels, the new music video for “Love Lies,” which was released in conjunction with the signing announcement, and pre-order the album with a number of bundles. 

First of all, thank you for doing this. Can you introduce yourself and your role in the band?

Matthew – My pleasure! My name is Matthew Tybor, and I’m one of two vocalists and the project’s primary songwriter.

The Bunny The Bear is known for having a unique sound. This is a sound that stands out amongst any genre and even seeks to blend some of them… what do you attribute to that sound and how has it progressed to The Way We Rust?

Matthew – I’m not sure. I have always listened to an extremely wide variety of music, maybe that’s part of the reason. In all honesty, I just write. I simply let it flow, whatever it may be. I just write what comes naturally and it just happens to come out the way it does. I try not to restrict myself to a particular sound, or genre. I like that TBTB’s music is consistently changing.
I think our upcoming album, The Way We Rust, is where I’ve been trying to be, for some time now, where I needed to be. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but in my opinion, it is The Bunny The Bear perfected. Just the right, matured blend of everything.

The new “Bear” in the band is Joseph Garcia, who toured with you back in 2013. What made you go back and decide to add him into the fold and what will he bring to the table?

Matthew – It just felt right. When I was informed of certain situations forcing me to change the direction of the project vocally, Joseph was the first person who came to mind. He’s an incredibly talented individual, and I couldn’t be more pleased having him on board.

Tell us a bit about the writing process for The Way We Rust and how you came up with the title.
Matthew – The writing process this time around was quite different than I’ve ever done. Now that I’m living in Florida there had to be a lot of back and forth writing and idea collaboration. The album took a few months to complete, while I usually record an album in a week or two.
It was just a lot slower, probably for the better too.
The title The Way We Rust is my personal reference to how we become tarnished as we age. We grow from innocent children into people who can, at times, be terrifying. It’s the journey from purity to darkness.

Who created the album art, where did the idea come from and is the child on the cover your son, Noah?
Matthew – I created the album art. My good friend and artist Brearisdead worked the whole layout and cleaned everything up for me and yes, it is a photo of my son, Noah. I was playing soccer out in a field with him while visiting him in Baltimore. While we were goofing around, I snapped the mentioned photo of him, and honestly, I just thought it was awesome.

Is there a track on this album that was particularly difficult to write?

Matthew – Eh, if anything, there were some rough ones from the lyric aspect of things. It’s a very personal album to me. Some of the tracks took a form of honesty that I had tried to keep away from in the past. I had to face my demons…. come clean.

You departed from your long-time label, Victory Records, last year in pursuit of something bigger and better for TBTB. How did you land on Needful Things and how will that relationship help to further the band in the future?

Matthew – Yes, I finished my contract with Victory a little over a year ago. In regards to Needful Things, well, it kind of just fell into place. I was almost at the point of self-releasing when the offer came to me. I had declined various offers from labels and had pretty much given up hope on seeing eye to eye with anyone. I luckily found something I could get behind. I think the dynamic is just there. I can be open with them and not feel like I need to sugar coat. I’m fairly sure the same goes for them. We’re just on the same page. Hopefully the relationship blossoms and opens more doors.

The Way We Rust is your 7th full-length, studio album in 7 years… do you ever feel you’ve rushed any material or does it just flow out of you like the mouth of a waterfall?

Matthew – Haha, surprisingly I have never felt rushed.

You have another couple of projects, one of which being a poetry project called Ramblings from the Rabbit Hole. What fueled the existence of that project?
Matthew – Yes, I do. Well, R.F.T.R.H is a new musical endeavor I’m trying to get off the ground. It’s entirely different than anything I have done musically and focuses more on the lyrical value of the material. It’s poetic. I’m digging it. But yea,  It kind of just happened, haha.
As far as poetry, I just released my first book of poetry a few months back, under the pen name M. T. Ramblings. It’s called Starving For Color. THAT was something I’ve been wanted to do for a long time, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m nearly finished with my second book!

You’ve been doing quite a few limited edition TBTB items, including masks, your debut full-length album and two volumes of rare tracks and demos. How does this fair with fans and what is the process of deciding what you want to put out in that regard?

Matthew – Fans seemingly have loved that I’ve been releasing so much rare material. I just have a lot I haven’t shown them, and I find it rewarding to be able to provide unique and collectible material for the diehards.

How much touring are you planning on doing around The Way We Rust and are you planning on hitting areas you haven’t yet been to?

Matthew- Oh, as much as possible! I believe this is a highly significant record for the band and I plan on being on the road as much as my schedule allows. Nothing in stone yet, but I would love to hit Russia, Japan, and Australia this year!

What do you think draws new fans to The Bunny The Bear and how do you manage to keep things interesting?

Matthew – I think it’s just something a tad different than the norm. The music is unique in a way. Everyone wants change, no one wants to listen to 20 artists who sound the same. So I don’t know, maybe that’s it? I honestly ask myself how this has gone on so long on a daily basis, haha.

Thank you for doing this interview with us. I appreciate you giving me the time to pick your brain.

Matthew – No, thank you! It was completely my pleasure!

You can pre-order The Way We Rust here

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