Interview: Big Mess

Staccato riffs, dry drums, and explosions of muddy power chords–Big Mess serves this up in spades in their glorious, mostly instrumental pieces. Check out their track, The Hook, an exemplar of their doomy magic. They’re playing Boxfort in Allston on October 27.

How’d you get into playing music?

Nick W (guitar)– I started playing the flute when I was 8.

Olivia (bass) – The Body Guard Soundtrack. I started playing bass when I was 13 years old.

Nick E (drums) – My uncle got me a drum set when I was 8 years old.

How do you go about writing songs?

Nick W – Get a phat riff and sit on it until it’s purple. Then stretch it out.

How’d you get your band together?

Nick E – Nick W was playing a solo set on WUML (college radio station) and he wanted a drummer so he called me that night. We worked it out live, decided we liked it and kept going. We were a two piece for a while, and after we recorded our first EP our friend Josh slapped some bass, now Olivia does.

If someone were trying to get into starting a band, what advice would you give them?

Nick W – Don’t worry about fitting into a particular genre or scene, and practice as a group until you’re blue in the face.

What do you use for practice space?

Olivia – Our basement!

How often do you practice?

Nick E – We try once a week, but sometimes that doesn’t work out.

Any horror stories or funny things happen during practice?

Olivia – There’s a lot of cat piss in our basement.

Any practical advice for people who are starting to practice for gigs?

Nick W – Practice the parts you keep screwing up over and over and over, until you’re totally confident that the next 100 times you play them you’ll get it right.

Olivia – Play the songs.

What was your first live show–what was it like?

Nick E – Our first actual live show was on the radio, which was the first time we played together. It was great.

Any horror stories or funny things happen up on stage?

Nick W – One time we played in Washington D.C above an El Salvadorian restaurant. There were some weird grounding issues with the place, so due to some radio interference during the first couple of songs, Call Me Maybe was playing through my amps and some Fleetwood Mac song was coming through Olivia’s amp, very loudly.

How do you record?

Nick E – Our good friend Aaron Kotilainen (Onslo, Rabbit) has a studio he runs out of his house in Bolton, MA.

Any advice for a newbie trying to get into recording his or her stuff, either professionally or as an amateur?

Olivia – Find a recording student. They usually have projects they have to get done for school, so you could get free recordings out of that.

Is there anything you experience when recording that you think would surprise a person who doesn’t know anything about the process?

Nick W – It’s not as fun as it might seem.

Nick E – Yeah, very tedious.

What are your impressions of the Boston scene as you’ve experienced it?

Olivia – It’s alright.

Could you recommend one album by some other artist?

Nick W – Pissed Jeans, King Of Jeans AND First Aid Kit, Drunken Trees EP.

Olivia – AFI, Very Proud of Ya

Nick E – Windhand, S/T

Local bands Big Mess recommends: Fat Creeps, Fat History Month, Pile, Sneeze, Kal Marks, Onslo, Host, Matahari.

(Featured image source)

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