Big Something

WTSQ’s Michael Grass recently got to sit down with the members of Big Something and pick their brains a bit on
The Big What, life on tour, and their musical influences…

Michael – ‘So your new album titled “Tumbleweed” (released February 24, 2017). Tell me about the new songs and why the older ones like UFO’s Are Real and Waves were added to album?”

Jesse – “Those had not been recorded yet, so it made sense to put those [songs] with this group of songs. Yeah, the album came out in February. Everything’s been really good. We did an album release in Greensboro the night of and it went really well. The songs are kind of out there. They tell a story about a guy that’s kind of on a trip through a desert in a post apocalyptic kind of world, so the whole album kind of has that same feel throughout.”

Michael – “Is there a particular song that’s your favorite on the album?”

Ben – “Wave’s in a personal favorite of mine at this point. It kind of ebbs and flows at certain times and, especially playing them live now after the album, they kind of take on a life of their own. It can change month by month, but right now Waves is my favorite for sure.”

Josh – “I’d say my favorite also changes, depending on how I’m feeling or whatever mood I’m in. But I also like Waves and Tumbleweed.”

Michael – “What’s life like on tour, and how many days are you on the road throughout the year?”

Jesse – “Last year we were on the road right at 200 days. Most days are filled with driving and Wendy’s and lots of meeting fun new people, new towns, and getting to play music everyday. That’s the best part: Just being able to create and play live music everyday that you’re gone. It’s the best part about it.”

Michael – “So you guys have your own festival called “The BIG What?” It’s August 17-19 in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Tell me, how many years has it been running?”

Ben – “I think this is the sixth one we’ve gone through. This’ll be our third different venue we’ve had it at. It started at this place called Possum Holler, which belongs a friend of ours. Is it five?”

Jesse – “I don’t know.”

Ben – “Shit.”

Jesse – “Five or six. I don’t know.” [laughs]

Ben – “That’s Nick’s thing. NICK!!?? Uhm, it’s either five or six, one of those. But uh, yeah Possum Holler is where it started. Our friend Jeremy Belle owns that property. Then, we kind of outgrew that and we started throwing it at Lynch Farm, which is our friend Butch Lynch’s farm, and kind of outgrew that one too. So, now we’re at the Shakori Hills. What is it? Shakori Hills Arts?”

Jesse – “Yeah I think so, the Arts Center.”

Ben – “Arts Center, something like that. It’s kind of a built-in festival ground. They do Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival there and there are stages that are already pre-existing. It’s a much bigger spot, so a lot more people can camp comfortably, come out and watch the bands, and have fun. It’s great. Wait, was there a part two to that question?”

Michael – “Actually, there was. What inspired you to create the music festival The Big What?”

Ben – “Uhm again, Nick. Nick was the brianchild for this, so our answers are going to vary a little bit from his. But in talking to him and us talking as a group about doing the festival, it was important to us to get the most out of our touring. We started to see so many awesome bands that we just really really got into while we’re out on the road and it was a way of bringing those bands home to show our friends and our fans in town.

So, we basically just go out throughout the year, hand pick the all bands that we love and want to come to the festival, and then just get to unleash them in North Carolina. That was kind of a big reason why the festival started and a important thing Nick was bringing up. We’ve played so many festivals (and even before that Nick was going to festivals) and he saw it as a opportunity to kind of whittle away the crap that he didn’t like about festivals by doing it himself, and just make it all good, like basically just an all kill or no fill kind of deal.”

Michael – “Nick, you got any input on that? What inspired you to create The Big What?”

Nick – “We had been doing smaller festivals prior to that, and it was always just kind of a fun way to get our friends together. We did this thing called The Farm Party back on our friend’s farm – like right when we were getting started as a band. That was kind of the precursor to The Big What. It was also the first time we played as the band Big Something, and so we met a bunch of cool people that liked throwing small festivals in North Carolina, teamed up with all these like minded people, and created The Big What.”

Michael – “Alright, now I have a couple more questions for you guys and then I’ll let you get back to business: Who’s your favorite or most influential artist or musician?”

Jesse – “I think we all vary. We all like a lot of different music. Mine personally would probably be Jimmy Herring. I love his jazz guitar playing and I’m a huge Jimmy Herring freak, so yeah.”

Michael – “Josh, what about you? Do you have a favorite inspirational artist or musician that you’ve looked up to over the years?”

Josh – “There’s just so many, but Frank Zappa is one. King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizzard is my favorite thing right now, in general.”

Ben – “In terms of like formative years, probably Stevie Wonder. That was the first thing I heard and I just – there was a lot of catalogue to dig into, ya know? It’s such a dynamic work of his span, there’s just tons of different styles and it was fun to listen to right off the bat. So, that was the first thing that kind of got me into gooving and enjoying music and dancing and stuff like that.”

Nick – “I think lyrically I’ve always been inspired by David Byrne. Bob Marley is somebody I’ve always kind of looked up to as well, just in terms of the vibe and the energy that they put out and what they stood for, and you know, kind of creating a movement in the community.”

Michael – “Awesome. Thanks, man. So, one more here: What do you guys like most about Mountain Music Festival and West Virginia all together?”

Jesse – “You can’t have a bad time when you’re here.”

Nick – “West Virginia’s been so good to us. I’d say it’s one of our favorite places to play at this point. The Mountain Music Festival has been a big part of that, since we’ve played every single year that it’s been a festival. This is our fourth year here and it’s been really cool to see it grow and become the beast it is now, because it started with humble beginnings, kinda like our festival The Big What. There’s just so much love there. The people here are so friendly, so nice, so hospitable, you know, it’s just always a great time. The nature side of it, too. This is one of the most beautiful outdoor events we get to do. You get to go whitewater rafting, hang out on the beach at the lake, you kind of get to be a kid again out in nature and that’s that’s always refreshing.”

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