Last time members of Big & The Fat told us about their favourite places in London in February 2013. Many things have changed since then: the band has got a new name, 12 Bar Club is gone as well as some other independent venues, Denmark St will never be the same. London seems to be all constructions and reconstructions. That’s why we talked to Big & The Fat about changes which have happened to the band and the city.
Hi guys! Thank you for finding time to talk to Gig Islands again. Last time we talked, you were called Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux. Now you are Big & The Fat. You say you changed the band name aiming for a fresh start. Is it right? What’s the inspiration behind the new name?
Yes that’s right. We changed our sound and took a break from playing for a little bit. Seeing as it was all fresh and different, the name of the project needed to change as well, and this was one of the first names we came up with. The inspiration behind the name is the obnoxious and juvenile monotony we aimed to get from the music. Krautrock influences but with that dirtier & heavier simplicity. Big fat sounds and big fat gigs. After about a year we had hundreds of ideas we toyed with but thought this name was the most representative of our sound.
As ENATL you evolved in terms of sound with each EP. ‘On My Thang’, ‘Crack Crack’ and ‘Fruit’ sound fresh again. Do you have an intentionally different approach to your sound now?
Absolutely. We now have a more technical approach to our setup which of course gives a whole new dimension. Using trigger modules, drum machines and synthesisers have made everything a lot more noisy… but groovy.
You used to release not singles or albums but EPs. As Big & The Fat you started with 2 singles. Do you plan an album release in near future?
Watch this space…
Do you play some ENATL repertoire live or did you give the old songs up completely?
We play a couple tracks we were working on toward the end of ENATL but none of the tracks we released to world as our sound has moved on quite a bit since then.
Where in London are you based as a band?
We all live in North/East London.
What do you think about changes, which happen to London? It seems that the city hasn’t been stopping to evolve since its preparation for the Olympic Games in 2012.
Yes particularly around East London – lots of expensive new-build flats! Having said that I’m sure some useful community projects have also been ignited for the existing residents in the area… or at least we hope!
Are there places and venues, which mattered to you personally and are gone now? For instance, we met at 12 Bar in Denmark St for the first time and it was an incredible place which is shut now.
Naturally as music nerds the places that mattered most to us were the small clubs and venues that got us into music. It isn’t so much that we miss individual places, but more that the demise of so many small venues has dried up the once buzzing culture of gigs and clubs nights. Growing up in London would have looked very different had we been born 10 years later. 12 Bar Club was probably the best example of this as we spent a lot time there as punters, playing shows, and rehearsing in the studio next door.
What about people? Do they stay the same or Londoners are changing as well?
Aspiring artists and musicians are finding fewer reasons to stay in the city – mainly because of increasing working and living costs especially to have a regular studio space. Over time that will definitely have an affect on the types of people choose to/can afford to live here.
Is there anything in London that you find changing for the best?
Sadly, with a lot of the best venues closing or now closed, there is sure to be a new generation of music and art coming together in areas of the city. To which helps the grassroots level of music venues in London create the scenes or establishments for the everyone involved in art or music. Times of turmoil and financial hardship often open up a big wave of creativity and alternative culture. London’s music scene has been squeezed out by redevelopers and dickhead neighbours, so the people are forced to find other ways to keep the music scene going. Gigs in private properties or industrial spaces are happening more and more these days.
What are the most exciting surviving rock’n’roll spots in the city at the moment?
Not many unfortunately but a lot of the bigger classic venues still are standing like Brixton Academy, Koko, The Forum. Which are all great venues. As for the smaller venues, New River Studios, our proverbial musical home is one of the last small venues in North East London that manages to keep integrity and great musical nights, as well as the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. There’s a few still dotted around but pretty much all the historical sites are gone, I don’t think anywhere we spent most our nights growing up and gigging are there anymore. Maybe come back to us in a couple of years and see what comes up!
You have a new video coming out soon. Tell us about the video and the song.
The track is called ‘My Thang’ which is redux of ‘On My Thang’ that we put up as our first teaser track in 2017. It’s a gritty dance tune about obsession, due for release on March 1st. We wanted to make a video with the same texture as the track… which you’ll have to wait and see!
Where was the video shot? Is that place somehow remarkable or recognizable?
The video was shot in an 1960’s brutalist beer factory in East London that has temporarily been taken over by an art community before it gets converted into flats.
And a final set of questions! Would you like to visit Russia some day? As a tourist or on tour? What would be your expectations?
We’d love to visit Russia! Tour or tourist! Expectations would be very cold in winter and gloriously hot in summer!
Thank you very much for your answers!
Big & The Fat’s next single ‘My Thang’ will be out March 1st on We Can Do It Records. Lauch party will be at The Social on March 8th.
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