Monday, August 23, 2010

Q&A with Chicago band Big Science, show 8/27 at Bottom Lounge

Posted by Frank

Big Science
This Friday, August 27, Chicago's Big Science will headline Bottom Lounge, with fellow Windy City acts Post Honeymoon, The Kickback and Camera also on the bill. The four-piece mix post-punk and new wave influences with a modern rock vibe to create a sound that's as atmospheric as it is danceable, as heard on their recently-released second EP, Skyscraper Sound. They're bound to bring a good time Friday night, and to help gear up for the show bassist Jason Richards answered a few questions for WCR on Big Science's history, style and plans. Read what he had to say below, and check out a free download of "Basement Lights" off the EP for a taste of the band's sound.

Download mp3: Big Science - "Basement Lights"

WCR: You guys have been playing together as Big Science for a few years. How did the band get started?

JR: The band got started when Jason Hendrix (vocals, guitar) and I moved to Chicago. We aimed to start something with Jason Clark (guitar) who we knew from San Diego. Not long after we started generating ideas, a friend said that he knew someone that he was working with (Jeremy Pena) that wanted to play music and that he was a drummer. And that was that.

Tell us about your recently-released second EP, Skyscraper Sound. What was the recording experience like?

Everything that we've released we have recorded on our own, in our own studio. The recording experiences are always a learning process. We're always getting new tools that help us make our recordings sound better, but there's a learning curve with them and it can be frustrating because a lot of times there are kinks that pop up in our work flow. I'm mostly talking about problems that arise with the technology involved in recording. For Skyscraper Sound we had to switch recording programs right as we were about to mix. It was a total pain.

Skyscraper Sound follows-up your debut EP, 2009’s Coast of Nowhere. How would you say you’ve grown as a band from the first release to the new one?

I think we're more confident as a band and as songwriters. I also think I'm taller now. I'm definitely way taller than Jason Clark.

You’ve released the EP on AEMMP Records, a student-run label through Columbia College Chicago. What’s your experience been like working with AEMMP?

AEMMP has been a good experience for us. We have had some students that we're really excited about working with us and I think they took away a lot from the class in terms of what it's like to work on a record and what it's like dealing with a band.

What do you think sets Big Science apart in the Chicago indie rock scene, and how do you think the city influences your music?

I think that our live shows help to set us apart here. I also think that musically, we have a different aim from a lot of bands in Chicago as far as the sounds that we're after to make our songs happen. Chicago gives us experiences and feelings, both good and bad, that I think we sometimes draw on. I know that Hendrix sings about it some in "1000 Years," but mostly I think it's a subtle thing if it's there. If we ever write a song called "Fuck, It's Cold" you'll know Chicago has taken hold.

Most memorable show you’ve played to date?

Wicker Park Fest was a really great experience. Getting to hang out all day and watch great bands and seeing all the people that came out was amazing. We got to play on the same stage as Mission of Burma and Cap'n Jazz.

If there was one band – past or present – that you could play a show with, which would it be?

Right now, I would say The Clash.

What’s next for the band?

We're playing Bottom Lounge on the 27th of this month. It's going to be a fun time. We're going to play a couple brand new songs. After that, we're leaving for a little week-long tour on September 10. When we're not playing shows or touring, we're always writing and recording. We're currently working on a full-length debut.

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