BIG Something have already had one big year, and things just seem to keep getting better. The six piece North Carolina powerhouse just dropped their fourth studio album, Tumbleweed in February, and in celebration of the release are currently in the midst of an extensive tour that will see the band playing shows across the country well into summer. Right in the middle of BIG Something's upcoming tour dates is an extensive stay in Colorado, which kicked off last week and will take the band through Fort Collins at The Aggie Theater on March 22nd, Denver at The Bluebird on March 23rd and throughout Telluride and Winter Park the 24th through the 26th!
Get to know the band below, and help them feel more at home in Colorado this week! To purchase tickets to an upcoming show, visit https://www.bigsomething.net/tour
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
You kicked off 2017 with the release of your new album, Tumbleweed in February! Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Nick MacDaniels [guitar/vocals]: This is our 4th studio album recorded with producer John Custer. This one was really special and so fun to record. We tracked all 8 songs in one week at Echo Mountain Studios right in the middle of spring tour so it felt like the band was really firing on all cylinders. We had been performing this batch of songs live for while so everything was developed and structured the way we wanted and then our producer John helped add some really cool layers and extra parts to give it that fine tuned studio polish. I think this is probably our most complete and best sounding album so far. We love how it turned out.
Tumbleweed marks your first full length album done in a professional studio. What was the biggest change you saw during this writing and recording process compared to your previous releases?
Casey Cranford [sax/ewi]: The studio was quite nice. It was similar in a way to recording we have done in the past, but we had way more to work with as well as an incredible staff working. The engineers were brilliant, and the sound was more crisp than I could have imagined. We had the opportunity to play around with some gear, effects pedals, amps, a Leslie speaker and some Moog synthesizers.
How do you feel recording in a professional studio affected the album?
Jesse Hensley [guitar]: There are lots of advantages to working in a studio like Echo Mountain. The whole place is designed to not only be sonically amazing, but it was so relaxed and accommodating. Somewhere we felt we could all do our best possible work.
When working on Tumbleweed, did you have any major goals in mind?
Nick: Yes, we wanted it to have a big full sound similar to how we sound live on a big stage with lots of energy. We also wanted the album to represent our catalogue of songs and our identity as a band - kinda taking listeners on a journey musically and lyrically.
What was the biggest challenge you came across when working on the album? What was the most rewarding part about it?
Nick: Probably trying to record and mix the entire album in 10 total working days. The last 2 days of mixing the band actually had to leave and head down to Florida for The Wanee festival so we were communicating with our producer John and our engineer Jim and listening to rough mixes from the van and in our green room at the festival.
You’ve mentioned that this album is a little darker than previous releases. Where did the inspiration for this come from?
Nick: Well the title track is about a character aimlessly wandering through a post apocalyptic desert wasteland trying to survive while hallucinating on peyote. I think that idea can be a metaphor for a lot of things. And that “middle of nowhere” concept kind of comes full circle from our first album Stories from the Middle of Nowhere which was a concept album. We actually re-recorded a track (“In the Middle”) from that album to appear and close out this new album Tumbleweed. I think the darkness in general was more of a subconscious inspiration as the songs were being written over the past couple years with all the crazy things happening in our world and in our personal lives. It wasn’t really a conscious decision to make this album darker but it just kind of fit the overall theme and direction of the art.
How do you feel you’ve grown or evolved between Truth Serum and Tumbleweed?
Jesse: We have been touring so much that we are getting a lot tighter and are learning how to communicate better. I feel like we all are growing not only musically but also as individuals. We are all constantly exposing ourselves and each other to new music and art and feel like that shows in our songwriting as well.
With the new year kicking off and the album out now, do you have any plans to hit the road anytime soon?
Josh Kagel [keys/trumpet]: Yes! We’ll be on the road quite a bit. Some highlights will be hitting Colorado soon, a run of shows with Umphrey’s McGee in April and playing in several new States for the first time including California. Full tour schedule can be found at bigsomething.com
Do you have any big plans or goals for 2017?
Ben Vinograd [drums]: We’d like to see more sandwiches & drinks named after our songs.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nick: Yes thanks for having us. Also please check out our music festival - The Big What? - happening this August 17-19 in Pittsboro NC - www.thebigwhat.com
UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
3/22 - Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
3/23 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
3/24 - Telluride, CO @ The Sheridan Opera House
3/25 - Telluride, CO @ The Sheridan Opera House
3/26 - Winter Park, CO @ Ullrs Tavern
5/5 - Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
4/6 - Morgantown, WV @ Mainstage Morgantown
4/7 - Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
4/13 - Baltimore, MD @ The 8x10
4/14 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
4/15 - Asheville, NC @ New Mountain Theatre
4/18 - Fayetteville, AR @ George's Majestic Loung
4/19 - Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom
4/20 - Austin, TX @ Stubb's BBQ
4/21 - New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater
4/26 - St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
4/27 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
4/28 - Miami Beach, FL @ Fillmore at Jackie Gleason Theater
4/29 - St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater
5/5 - Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
6/3 - Minden, WV @ Mountain Music Festival
6/29 & 6/30 - Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival
7/27 - Floyd, VA @ Floyd Festival
7/28 - Floyd, VA @ Floyd Festival