NE HOT SEAT: BIGFATBIG
This week we’re continuing our brand new feature on Tipping Point – ‘NE Hot Seat’ – where we sit down with some of the region’s brightest talent on a monthly basis, shine a spotlight on their latest work and find out what they have planned next.
Second up we have Sunderland indie rock trio bigfatbig who’re already developing quite the reputation throughout the North East and beyond, with BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music airplay and a glut of praise across the online community greeting their early releases including 2020 singles ‘So Bored’ and ‘Milk and Vinegar’.
Get to know bigfatbig below and spin their brand new single ‘Don’t Wanna Be Sad’ here.
Tell us a little about yourself and your career in music so far?
Hi! We’re bigfatbig, a slacker-pop trio from the North East of England. Robyn (vocals) and I (Katie, guitar) have been friends since 2009 and music has always been a big part of our friendship, but the more we started going to gigs together, the more we realised two things – we wanted to see more female artists on stage, and we wanted in on that for ourselves. Chaz was the first person we met when looking for bassists, and we knew pretty much straight away that we were a good fit for each other. We launched in late 2019, so our first full year as a band was really different from what we expected, but we’ve tried our best to make the most of it. We’ve squeezed in a few socially distanced gigs, released some singles and videos, and were offered class opportunities that we wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the pandemic, like playing BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.
What can you tell us about your latest release?
We’ve never felt as confident about a release as we do with ‘Don’t Wanna Be Sad’, which says a lot in itself. We love all of our releases and are really proud of them, but this time round we were fortunate enough to have some money to put into the production, so the audio quality is just stronger, and we’ve had more time to put a huge amount of work not just into the track itself, but the campaign around it, too. We’ve created a whole world around ‘Don’t Wanna Be Sad’, and it’s really exciting to invite other people into it, especially considering it’s the most personal track of ours so far. Voicing and sharing your experiences can be as cathartic as listening to others’, and that’s definitely a huge part of what this release means to us, and hopefully other people.
What inspires you most when it comes to creating music?
Our inspiration to create music changes quite regularly depending on what’s going on in the world and in our lives. Obviously we’re inspired by other artists, particularly those who carve out their own paths in the industry, and create music simply because they want to. But to be honest, our main inspiration recently has been our love for what we do.
We’re a little bit obsessed with being in this band. It’s the best feeling in the whole world to stand on a stage as best friends and play music that we genuinely love and believe in, and that other people seem to enjoy too. We’re constantly chasing that feeling, and we know that in order to play more gigs, to release more music, and to be given more opportunities as a band, we need to create music that we’re passionate about. We need to write songs that we can’t wait to release and play live. We need to write music that we care about, or that is fun for us, or that makes us feel something.
Especially because of the pandemic and missing each other and live music as much as we do, that feeling of hearing ourselves play together, live or on record, is what inspires us. It sounds narcissistic, but it’s the truth – we love what we do, and we want to do this for as long as we can, so that’s what inspires us to keep going.
How did you find the recording process and how did it shape your sound?
Up until recently, we’ve never been able to afford studio time, so all of our previous singles were recorded in our practice space as opposed to a studio, and they definitely have more of a DIY vibe to them because of that. As you can imagine, trying to do everything ourselves could be quite stressful, and having time in the studio took that stress away which gave us the space to analyse the song more deeply, definitely leading to a fuller, warmer sound. Having access to equipment that we’d never been able to afford, and having the expertise of our producer, Chris (Blank Studios), made the vision that we had for our sound a reality, which we’d never quite been able to reach before.
What else can we expect from you this year?
This is a hard one to answer because so much feels out of our control at the moment, especially regarding gigs, but we do have some exciting festivals preliminarily booked in. We did write and record ‘Don’t Wanna Be Sad’ alongside another single, so we’ve got big plans for that – whether we’ll be allowed to execute them is a different matter! We’re really focusing on growing and engaging with our social media following more because the internet is a great place to let out our creative energy that we would usually be expending at gigs, it means we get to make more meaningful (and hopefully long-term) connections with our followers, and we can carry on making content no matter what happens with the covid restrictions. We’re having so much fun with it and I don’t see us slowing down with it too much even after we start playing gigs again.
Where can we find you on socials and keep up to date on developments?
bigfatbig’s ‘Don’t Wanna Be Sad’ is out now and available on all platforms (listen here).
Check out bigfatbig’s favourite acts from the region in their personally curated playlist below.
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