Angele Lalonde writes
So here it is - the Bigwig interview. First of all, they do deserve some level of vindication and were very candid about doing this interview for all you guys. For being directly involved in this, I can say after talking this out with Bigwig this incident that before affected my opinion of them, no longer does. They're still the same debonair hard-working guys I've always known them to be. As soon as I saw Tom, the discussion to clear the air began before I could start recording, here's when it started…"
TOM: No one told us about it and someone fucked up, and if thatâs our tour managers fault and she didnât even tell us about it then thatâs fucking bullshit. We found out about it from Duncan (booking agent at Union Label) in Montreal. He was like âdude, everyoneâs pissedâ and we were like âwhat?â and he was like âyou denied an interviewâ, we were like âwe didnât deny an interviewâ
ANGIE: So, no one, your tour manager, told you about this?
T: We just found out about this at Club Soda, we didnât even know there was an interview offered to us from punknews.org. No clueâ¦
A: Cause we were sent an e-mail quoting your manager to say that Bigwig doesnât want to do interviews, that you were taking a break from interviews. I was also told that previously a writer was rejected at a show from similar reasons, cause of thisâ¦
T: Busting out on interviews is semi-true, but it wasnât this interview. Weâre picking and choosing interviewsâ¦
A: I could see that, I interviewed TFP and there was like 5 kids after me who wanted to do interviews, I was like holy shit whatâs going, thatâs a little too muchâ¦
BRENT: Thereâs like honestly just a lot of people who come in and waste our time, they come in with nothing prepared.
JOSH: A piece of paper and a pencilâ¦
B: Yeah, and theyâll come up with the stupidest questionsâ¦
T: Just scratch all that, we just never even heard of this interview to deny it, soâ¦
A: So youâre saying that you wouldâve, in a heart beat accepted this interview?
T: Yes. We donât give a fuck what people say, that weâre doing this cause itâs in our best interest, we are doing this cause we want to do this. This is a cool site; I mean everyone bases their fucking shit off this internet site. This is an interview that we want to do, you know something that a bunch of people are going to read, something that punk rock kids all go on. Not like, some kids fucking 3 page stapled zine thatâs about veganism and being straight edge which weâre not, you know what I mean. Remember that emo zine the other day at the rave?
J: At the rave?
T: Like this total emo zine tries interviewing us and heâs just asking all these dumb questions, trying to be all fuckingâ¦
J: Instigating usâ¦
T: Yeah, instigate us into saying some bullshit storyâ¦
A: Yeah, that does suck. But I was so upset when I first heard you guys said no, itâs like hundred bucks out of my pocket booking a day off work to do this, itâs for the kids on the site, why would you not want to do it? I mean, I am happy though Iâm getting to clear this upâ¦
T: You know us anywaysâ¦
A: Thatâs the thing! When I first heard, I was like fuck this thereâs no way theyâd do that?
T: Let me tell you this, Fearless ended up turning down a âMusique Plusâ live interview. Like we would have never said no to that! You know what I meanâ¦
A: Damn, âMusique Plusââ¦ Okay now, um well, Matt is gone?
A: Howâs that?
T: We miss him, but we are very, very happy and were all on the same page and weâre ready to destroy the world now.
A: Was it hard to find a new drummer?
T: Weâve known Keith for years, he knew all the stuff we all kind of grew up in the same music scene together and all four of us have been broâs for years all of our old bands used to play with each other. It just kind of workedâ¦
J: It was pure Darwinism!
T: Yeah, it was natural selection band wise (laughing).
A: Because you guys all played in bands before, Josh was in The Overdrives, what weâre you in (Tom)?
A: Do you think that helped with getting Bigwig so far, gaining experience before and being able to make this last.
T: Yeah, I think everybody in this band has a good knowledge of what we want to do as far as music. A: Your song âFreeganâ are you not vegan?
T: No, Iâm pretty vegetarianâ¦
A: Whatâs the meaning behind that song?
T: Itâs just about getting free leather products. I mean why waste it itâs free, I donât think I buy that many leather products.
B: I do, I like belts.
A: And I just found out, I had no idea, that Jim Cherry helped you guys get recognized by Fearless?
T: Yeah, we played a show with Strung Out and he called Bob that night and sent our demo to him and our demo became our record.
J: Didnât he call like while you guys were playing, like straight out Back to The Future?
T: Like literally as soon as we were done playing Jim dragged me to the phone and put me on the phone with Bobâ¦
A: And Warped tour this year, why the fuck did they have you on the Build It stage I donât think you guys have any say in that anywaysâ¦
B: Actually we were only on it for one day?
A: Okay because I never thought the Build It stage could handle your size of crowd (Mustard Plug incident).
T: Warped Tourâs not where or what time youâre playing, everybody gets the same rotation. They pick where youâre going to be playing at the beginning of the day. Itâs kind of the luck of the draw for a band our size, which is small.
J: We got booked on the tour last minute too though.
B: And that stage actually really rocked!
J: Yeah, we almost started a riot (laughing)
A: So any new LPâs, when will that be happening?
T: Probably, by this summerâ¦
A: Are you doing any EPâs, EP covers?
T: Yeah, weâre hoping too, weâre hoping to get an EP and a live record.
A: And when do you think that will be?
T: Weâll try to get on it in a couple of months.
A: And what direction do you think your sounds going to go?
B: I think Iâm going to go Westâ¦
T: It will be a lot like the last record, but now we have more writing from everybody. Keith adds a new element to the speed.
A: Cause Iâm wondering too now you have Brent and Josh the sound will most likely change in a way from what you guys contribute?
B: Weâre speed freaks, music wiseâ¦ speed freaks.
T: I donât think the sound will change too much except with the addition of everybodyâs new vocals, we all have the same style still. I think it will get better.
A: Do you think youâll go with Fearless?
T: (long period of silence), the music is going to get betterâ¦ (laughing)
A: So thatâs as far as we get on that. Do you think Ryan Greene will produce it?
T: I donât know, he said he was going to, I donât know if he still is? I hope so Iâd love him to though.
A: Did he produce your last record?
T: Well he didnât produce it, he mixed it. Weâll probably end up producing this ourselves.
J: And then hopefully heâll mix it again.
A: I heard you write lots of your songs when youâre pissed off. Did anything ever drive you to write âSelloutâ?
T: Well, I just the fact thatâ¦ I donât like stadium shows, theyâre kind of corny, thereâs way too many people itâs too expensive. You know, I kind of like being able to see a band in a small atmosphere.
J: Weezer, case in point, one of our favorite bands, we went to the same show and me and Tom didnât even see each other the whole night, we couldnât even find each other. We had the worst seats it was probably the worst show of my life just because of the crowd.
T: I had to sit down.
J: You couldnât even hear cause it wasnât even loud and the kids around me were screaming and I saw Weezer four or five years prior to that with the Blue Album in a club and there was like three-hundred and fifty kids there it was great.
T: Yeah, I saw them in Jersey, there was like 700 kids and I was right in front of Weezer, it was great.
J: You canât take the two and even try and compare themâ¦
T: The whole song âSelloutâ though itâs like kids donât realize that sometimes a band is on the road for a real long time and they may be worn down and miss home blah, blah, blah whatever sob story, but the point is the band is still doing it, you know a lot of bands still do it just for fun and itâs not all about money and itâs shouldnât be all about money. And then the âfood on the tableâ part is, if you can be in a band and do something you love for the rest of your life and no longer work and it still pays the bills then I think thatâs fine I think thatâs okay for a band to make it into their life long, I donât want to call it work but, I guess itâs like a hobby, it feels like a hobbyâ¦
J: Itâs your passion, nobody calls artists who paint or photographers sell-outâs because they become famous.
T: The music industry seems like an industry where people just want you to stay down, want you to be poor and eat shit during the duration of your existence, thatâs kind of lame. You donât necessarily need money to be happy but you know where we grew up just paying the bills is a rough thing as it is. Being in a band and leaving your home and your apartment, your dog, everybodyâs got responsibilities so you knowâ¦
A: Any European tours in the planning?
T: No not yet, we havenât been to Europe yet.
A: Is any of your stuff being distributed out there?
A: How far out is your shit distributed?
T: Everywhere worldwide, we get mail from Japan and Australia, Spain, Italy.
J: Itâs kind of really our fault in a way cause we donât pursue it cause none of us really like to flyâ¦
T: Well, the real reason is weâre just saving up the suspense.
J: You know but I think at this point I will though. Iâm ready to do it. I think we all are. So anybody who reads this online and wants to bring us to Europe let us know.
A: Is there anything else you want to let the kids know before we sign off?
J: This is the best interview in a long time.
T: Letâs clear up the rest of this scenario. Weâve been on tour with the Bosstonesâs for two months none of us have really gotten the chance to go on-line. I put my personal email on our webpage (www.njbigwig.com) in case anyone needs to get in touch with us for a show or because theyâre pissed off about something or they have questions, if they want to just bullshit ask the band a question, I return all of our e-mails as soon as I can but sometimes, weâre out on tour but it takes a long time sometimes I get like three hundred a week. So if people could just be patient with us and realize that you know, weâre touring sometimes with sleep in the RV or the van, we donât get the chance to actually just sit down on a computer all the time, which would be nice and we donât always get hotels so we donât have access. So if people could just be patient and wait till we get home sometimes or write letters. Um, we never denied the interview! We love punknews.orgâ¦
A: So, finally you guys didnât know about the interview, did your tour manager tell you, like now did you know coming here today Iâd be here?
T: Oh yeah, we just found out someone was pissed when we went to Montreal. So then I wrote a letter to Scott when I was at Club Soda we set up a computer and I just let him know that we wanted to do the interview and then someone called and said youâd be here today. We were psyched. So I understand why everybodyâs pissed, I would think the same thing about a band but donât believe everything you read and you know we try to do all this shit ourselves we try to stay independent as possible if anybody understands how our band is run and the way we do things it might be a little bit ass backwards but we benefit so we can have control over our band and stay independentâ¦
A: Well thanks guysâ¦
T: Thank you and please donât be pissed at us, guys!