Well, you can expect a variation of styles with the new LP. It really does span a bit of the spectrum, though most of it leans towards being off the proverbial beaten path. Guest musicians who perform on the record include Fred Schneider on vocals (B-52s), Groovie Mann on vocals (My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult), Jerry A on vocals (Poison Idea), Johnny Kelly on drums (Type O Negative), Tom Timko on sax (Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder), Dave Smoota Smith on trombone, “Moist” Paula Henderson on sax, Shawn Banks on bongos, Jim Sorensen on drums, and a few other surprise friends and artists.
Thematically Drag racing is an obsessions of yours, are you just a fan or do you race yourself?When did this obsession start? Tell us about your involvement and what attracts you to it….
We don’t race. However, we do go to the drags with regularity. We have a thing we call the Drag Racing Underground, it’s a thing we do where we shoot and sell dvds of drag strip action. (DragRacingUnderground.com) We’ve been active with it since the late 80’s. We’re attracted to the speed, noise, and the aesthetic grooviness of some of the cars. It’s usually a pretty cool scene.
What tales do you have from Big Sticks first phase of existence in the 80’s ,share with us any anecdotes surreal,funny or otherwise…
Well, doing gigs overseas with Sonic Youth and some of our other Blast First labelmates at the time was kind of fun. One time when we were leaving our hotel in London and getting into a cab, dressed in full 1980’s Big Stick costume regalia, some little kid approached us and asked us who we are and what we’re about. When we told him who we were and what we do, he responded with an overly-enthusiastic, “WOW!! YOU TWO ARE LUCKY JAMMIES!!”– we thought that was kind of cute. And of course we used to love hearing John Peel play us with frequency on his BBC radio show when we were staying in the U.K…. That was really neat.
Drag racing was one of the 142 singles John Peel once said he’d rescue in case of a fire,did John Peel play a big part in launching your career?
Oh yes, John Peel was definitely instrumental in getting Big Stick music exposed to a good number of people. And of course we’re chuffed that he included us in his “special box” of records that he’d grab from his home in case of a fire. We’re also glad that we got a little play on the BBC-TV special that was produced about John Peel and the box. We’re also grateful to lots of DJs both overseas and on our shores for playing our music. Lots of radio people have been generous with playing Big Stick on their respective broadcast programs.
My Life with the thrill kill kult are friends of yours , what other bands and people did you end up getting to know through your music?And was your music best received by the industrial/EBM crowd?
Well, all the people we mentioned as guest artists on the upcoming LP (including Groovie Mann from My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult), all sort of fit in as that sort of thing. We’ve been fortunate to meet and get to spend some quality time with lots of musicians that we genuinely admire. And yes, the “industrial” crowd seem to like our stuff. Usually they’re a relatively open minded bunch.
Do you think modern music has become too safe and complacent?
Yeah. Modern music does have a tendency to be rather “safe” and “complacent”, at least the stuff that receives the most of the so-called mainstream media’s attention. But that’s been the case for ages, hasn’t it? Unfortunately just about all forms of music that gets shoved down the public’s throats leans more towards the predictable and unimaginative side. It ain’t always easy to be a pioneer or an artist that dares to be somewhat different than the norm.
Are there any artists active at the moment you would like to recommend?
Yeah, the newest My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult stuff is good. And we know that Poison Idea are readying for a new release that should shake things up.
Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
We certainly welcome one and all to download our back catalog which is now all available on iTunes, Spotify, and most of the usual cyber outlets. And you can also hear our stuff for free on the new “streaming music” thing on YouTube, all the stuff is on there as of just recently (just yesterday as a matter of fact!). AND of course we ask that people get their mitts on the new LP once it’s released. AND of course we thank all the people who’ve supported what we do over the years and have an appreciation for our music. We realize that it sounds like a cliche, but we REALLY DO appreciate those of you people reading this who appreciate us.