Following on from previous Band Chats from across the pond, we introduce L.A hipsters The Big Gone. This Interview will tell you all you need to know about one of MIMR fave new bands. This will include insights into their sound, the L.A music scene and their latest EP
MIMR: MIMR welcomes you to the blog, how would you describe the band to us here in the UK?
Claire: There’s three of us, sometimes four, but usually three and, to me, our music is kind of minimalist. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff going on, we have beats, samples, live drums and create lots of layers with all our instruments and vocals, but I really think there’s still a minimal sense to it all which is important for me because I tend to want to overcomplicate. The stuff we write is a total reflection of how we feel and what we are trying to figure out, so the music is sometimes bright and sometimes dark, we sing about whats actually going on. It feels succinctly in line with our experience as human beings. Like we just wrote a song based on the fact that we get confused about our house and our cars because sometimes they are so messy and there’s dust everywhere and all these clothes and like, when did that happen, where are we, whats the deal? Its good and weird to be in the world and I try to articulate that in our music.
Nick: Intense and emotional with a disguise of cool around the whole thing. I think its rock and roll just done in 2015 so there’s a lot of influence from LA hip hop and beat driven rock records like The Eraser from my perspective. I’ve been really into guitar for the past 3 years specifically in the vein of early 70s Keith Richards and Marc Bolan so theres a lot of that nastiness infused in it. The words are really important and even if no one is listening the words are still really important.
MIMR: Whats the music scene over in L.A like at the current time?
Nick: GARAGE ROCK. Lots of it, as much as you can handle and then some. There’s also a lotta weird softy radio friendly electronic power pop. I don’t know where we fit in yet but it doesn’t really matter. We’re in LA, there’s a lot of people and a lot of room to build because folks are always lookin’ for the newest thing.
Claire: Yeah, on point.
MIMR: Tell MIMR about your latest EP, were you happy with how it turned out?
Nick: Im happy with it. Very happy. We experimented a lot and spent too much time on the small stuff but it was where we were at so it was honest. I don’t know if I’ll listen to again because I sat with it for so long in the mixing phase but its the best sounding thing I’ve ever worked on. We’re about to hop back into the studio for a slew of new songs that are going to sound better since we’ve moved into a better space and upped our recording game a ton since last May when we tracked this EP.
Claire: I like it. The experience of making it was great because we went to Nick’s parent’s house, moved all the furniture in their living room, set up a studio and went every day for a week. I love hanging with these guys and making music with them so daily sessions and hours on end were super gratifying for me. I’m proud of the EP, Nick and Danny did a great job mixing and mastering it, and Will and I got a chance to put our two cents in all throughout–its honest and sounds good too. It makes total sense for what we were doing. It always amazes me how songs come together and right now my head is in the newer stuff because thats whats true for me right now.
MIMR: What music have you been listening to this year so far?
Claire: I mean, staples for me are always Frank Black and Lou Reed–those guys make me feel good and grounded. Especially Frank Black in all his many forms–whenever I feel weird or happy or sad or excited, I listen to Frank Black. In terms of newer stuff, there’s some cool local bands–the three that come to mind are Spaceships, Gothic Tropic and Liphemra–they all seem invested in what they are doing, their stuff feels good to me and I wanna see where they go and how their work progresses. I’m not really on point with new bands and all of that, even old bands, I always just let things come in and if I like them I keep listening to them.
Nick: The theme music to Serial. 30% of a 100 different songs from every genre-my mind is jumpy, I reference a lot. 100% of Gothic Tropic and Liphemra’s recordings, I really like what they’re doing. The most important records for me this past year have been Sly Stone’s ‘Fresh’ and ‘There’s a Riot Goin On’
Claire: Oh man, yes, the Sly stuff has been really present and awesome in our house this year.
MIMR: Whats your favourite thing about playing live?
Claire: For me its easily that I feel the most present. I love performing and have so much fun doing it, but a weird and cool thing happens for me where I am not even thinking about what I’m doing and I’m just in it–I think thats called living, right?
Nick: The feeling I get 2 songs in when I’m letting the experience happen and I’ve taken my claws out of controlling how its gonna go. Being there, in the room, in the happening.
MIMR: Can you tell MIMR about any funny stories from any previous live shows?
Nick: Beware of combining cheap midi controllers with hard drive full laptops. Twice we had our keyboard cut out all together with no shot of revival. One of those times I sat fussing with it for about 5 minutes while Claire rapped to the audience over our drummer’s beat. I eventually gave up and jumped on a half broken upright piano in the corner of the room without a bench and sang kneeled down feeling hysterical, embarrassed and ecstatic.
Claire: I loved that. I did some interpretive dance, too. Every live show has something funny–usually its in retrospect because myself or others are taking things really seriously, especially with setting up–why is this always so stressful? We played a show in San Diego where Nick and I were the only ones who could make it and so we brought the beat machine and our instruments and it kind of felt like a karaoke party.
MIMR: Thanks guys for talking to us at MIMR. Remember Manchester when you get to tour the UK in the future. Are they’re any other parts of the world that be on your wishlist to tour?
Claire: Thats an intense question. I want to go everywhere in the world. We haven’t toured yet so I guess making it across the US would be the first thing but I look forward to touring everywhere–Berlin will be cool, the UK definitely, I don’t know but maybe they will like us in Antwerp.
Nick: Lets make it to Manchester first
Thanks again to The Big Gone for being on MIMR, we hope they come over to our parts sooner rather than later and yeah Manchester is a must!
Check out their latest EP here: