Friday, 8 July 2016

Big Business Interview by Christine Leonard-Cripps

Big Business as Usual

Seattle's finest sludge~core flows into Calgary

While certain musicians adhere to the belief that less is more, others take a more aggregative approach when it comes to the fine art of songwriting. The latter is certainly the case for the rock and roll disciples behind Big Business. Despite forming as a stripped-down duo consisting of bassist-vocalist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis, the band, now a trio, generates bellicose ballads and soul-churning shakedowns that belie its diminutive proportions. Melding the best of heavy blues and moody metal, Warren and Willis bring forth all the clout and clamour they’ve accumulated as members of The Melvins, along with the addition of guitarist Scott Martin in 2010. 

Thus far, the sloth-core outfit has manoeuvred under the lame-stream radar, striking a sympathetic chord with stoner metal fans and captivating audiences at festivals including Calgary’s Sled Island. Not so quietly amassing a back-catalogue of a dozen releases since their 2005 inception, such as 2009’s Mind the Drift and the recent 2012 MP3 release Always Never Know When to Quit, Big Business has found a rock-solid niche and a rhythm to their method.

“We had a really great tour this summer,” says Willis. “We planned to do a lot of writing while we were on the road, and over the last couple of months we’ve been putting together material specifically for our new album. There’s no working title yet, but I can tell you that the songs will be loud and there will be some distortion involved. No spoilers there.”

What is known is that Big Business will continue to operate as a thunderous trio. For a little while, the duo expanded to a power-quartet, with guitarist Toshi Kasai also in the lineup, but it wasn’t to last due to Kasai’s conflicting demands.

“Being a three-piece again feels really comfortable,” says Willis. “We kind of miss having Toshi in the band, but he had to step down because of his crazy recording schedule as producer and engineer. We’ve had to make a lot of concessions, but now there’s a sense of synergy and enthusiasm and fun as we move forward with Scott as our guitar player. We’re having a lot of fun and things are definitely starting to come together for us on all fronts — musically and personally.”

A fresh-faced newlywed with a head full of dreams and hands of fire, Willis has performed all over the world thanks to his passion for percussion. The seasoned veteran of innumerable tours as a key member of bands like Murder City Devils, White Shit, Low Dead Tide and Broadcast Oblivion, Willis still craves a good challenge.

“As a personal goal, I would like to have control of what I do in a real way,” he says. “I’m constantly writing and trying new things, and I always try to play on the edge of my ability. I like to step out of my comfort zone to the point where I know that I’m never going to tire of a song. I know some super-technical guys who drum in their own kind of genres. It’s really humbling to spend 10 seconds in the showroom with them and realize that there’s a whole world I don’t understand yet. I’m glad I get to play with Jared, or The Melvins, or Murder City Devils, and get to jump around style-wise. It keeps me sharp, and it makes me grateful that I don’t have to play ‘Smoke on the Water’ for a living.”

Big Business with Grandfather Fire, Poison Pens & Shematomas
Palomino Saturday, January 5

by Christine Leonard

Originally published January 3, 2013 in FastForward Magazine

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