Q&A with Spencer Ussery of Big Jesus
There may only be a few months left in 2016, but Big Jesus are planning on ending the year with a bang. The band, who are currently wrapping up tour dates overseas will be hitting the road this fall with Good Charlotte, on top plans to release their highly anticipated debut full-length, Oneiric on September 30th. The Atlanta quartet are quickly becoming an artist to watch this fall, and with good reason. Their electric sound and smooth, moody vocals are unlike everything you've ever heard before making Oneiric an album you don't want to miss. Read what vocalist/bassist Spencer Ussery had to say about the new album, upcoming tour dates and more below, and catch Big Jesus on the road this fall!
Interview by Dom Vigil
While 2016 is just starting to wind down for some people, things are really kicking off for you guys! What has been the highlight of your year so far?
I would definitely say the highlight of this year is this European tour we’re currently on. It is most of our first times to Europe and I couldn’t think of a better way to experience this continent than to be playing every night and meeting folks over here.
You’re currently on the road overseas and just recently announced tour dates supporting Good Charlotte later this year. What are you most excited for on these upcoming tour dates?
I’m most excited about sharing our music with tons of new people on this upcoming Fall tour with Good Charlotte. That tour will be the first that tons of people will hear about us, and we intend to have a ton of fun performing every night.
On top of tour dates throughout the rest of the year, you are also getting ready to drop your new album, Oneiric on September 30th! What are you most excited for listeners to hear on it?
Being our debut, label-released record, I’m most excited about people hearing the 10 songs in total. Our self-released record back in 2013 ended up in a number of people’s hands, but Oneiric will be able to be experienced on a much bigger scale.
What was the most challenging or the most rewarding part about working on Oneiric?
The biggest challenge I think we experienced while writing for Oneiric was from the arduous process of making ourselves write new material. By placing deadlines on ourselves, and by intently continuing to crank out new tunes, I think we were able to stretch ourselves into new territories that wouldn’t have been accessible otherwise.
How do you feel you’ve grown with the writing and recording of the songs on the album? Did you have any major goals when working on it?
We’ve all grown immensely through the process of writing the new material. We set out with the goal of writing material that would fit cohesively along-side the 4 songs from our self-released record, One, that are included on Oneiric. This method of writing allowed us to really hone in what we are going for with our sound, because we clearly defined the parameters from the get-go on the new songs.
You guys recently released “Lock & Key” from the album - what does this song mean to you?
To me, "Lock & Key" stands as one of my favorites from the record. I really wanted to go for something big and anthemic for the chorus, and CJ and I wrote lyrics that we feel can be understood and applied to the personal experiences of just about anyone.
You’ve mentioned that you’ve sort of been sitting on “Lock & Key” for a while, so what made you want to dust it off and release it as a part of Oneiric?
While we were compiling the songs we felt best to have Matt Hyde record for the album, "Lock & Key" was a track that stood out to Matt as one that we definitely needed to record. We initially had plans to scrap it in favor of songs we wrote after "Lock & Key," but Matt insisted that it be included in what we recorded with him.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from the new album?
An experience of novelty perhaps, paired with an experience of familiarity with our sound and our vibe. We hope that people allow the grooves to sink in and do something special to them.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just a thank you to all who have supported us thus far. Thanks as well to you for your interest in what we’re doing!