On Saturday, May 27th, 2000 I was able to interview Tom, the singer of Bigwig. After an energy filled set I spoke with him and here is how it went.
So what is the bands line-up as of now?
Me – Tom, Matt on drums, Josh ah eeeewwww hello, Josh is not with us anymore and John is not with us anymore. Its Jeremy and Max, Jeremy is the new guitar player and Max is on bass.
What happened to Josh and John?
Josh is getting married and moving to Montreal and John is going to computer school.
Was it tough getting replacements?
Yea, well luckily I had been friends with Jeremy and Max for ages and they already knew the stuff before they joined so it was kinda like a little better and easier.
What is everyones average age?
Matt is 28, I’m going to be 24 in August [20th] Jeremy is 21 and Max is 20.
What is your favorite Bigwig record?
I like the last one better then the first one. Because it is like more diverse and we took more time on it. I wrote the first record when I was like 16 so the songs aren’t how we really wanted them to come out.
What is your favorite overall song?
I like playing “Dent”, it’s fun.
What made you choose “Cheers” to cover?
I dunno, we played it as like a party song for our friends and shit and then it just kinda stuck.
So first you guys put out a 7″ on Fueled By Ramen, then a full-length on Fearless and a full-length on Kung-Fu, why so many changes?
Uhh… ‘label whores’. I dunno, we’re going back to Fearless for our next record. And all the labels have been cool we’re just trying to find a good home for our records I guess. Fueled By Ramen and Less Than Jake helped us out a lot, I love those guys, they put us on some shows and got our name around and hooked us up with a lot of cool stuff.
What made you choose to go to Kung-Fu for the last record?
We wanted to see what our options were. Everybody a Kung-Fu is fuckin ultra-cool, the Vandals rock. You know what I mean?
Aren’t you going on tour with them after this tour?
Yea we are doing a Canadian tour with the Vandals. Yea but, there is no real reason why we are leaving Kung-Fu other than we are happy with Fearless and it is like home to us and they have always been cool to us.
What are your plans for after the Vandals tour?
We have a 7″ coming out on FAT to record. Most likely that is in the works. And we are going to do a new record in October I think, we have all of the songs written. We played one of the new ones tonight.
What do you think of old people?
I don’t like jaded old people. I respect old people that aren’t pissed off at the world just because they are old. I guess everybody has their own reasons for being pissed off… are you talking about “Old Lady”?
Yea some bitch smashed into my car and she literally just plowed into me and I totally got in trouble for it. And my insurance got cancelled because I was delivering pizzas illegally and all this shit so… fuck her. She didn’t even know she hit me! She gets out of the car and was like “who did I hit” and I was like “oh my god, the fuckin person with the paint on your car” anyways… Im still bitter.
Did your girlfriend ever forgive you about the coffee?
Uhh… I don’t want to talk about that. I didn’t actually pee in it. It was a big, long, ongoing joke.
Who is the girl in the green jacket?
This girl Andrea from upstate New York. I’ve never even talked to her. I talked to her once actually, all I said was hi, I was all shy… she’s hot.
What do you think of the vegan lifestyle?
Um, I try to eat vegan as much as possible but it is so expensive and it is really hard to find where I live because everyone seems to be like meat eaters where I live. I’ve been vegetarian for like four years and I am trying to stick with that.
Is there any reason why you like to joke about it?
Oh you mean like “Carnivore” and “Freegan” and shit? We’re not even making fun of Propagandhi at the end of that, it is like making fun of the kids that make fun of the vegetarians and vegans and say that everybody is all preaching about it. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with conveying a good message, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle and I don’t understand why people need to make fun of the vegetarians and vegans and shit. But oh well, hey everybody has got their own thing right? I don’t like to be preachy, so we just make fun of the shit instead. Hopefully people get it but some people don’t.
What’s the song writing process?
I write all of the songs and lyrics and I’ll show Matt, the drummer, the riff or whatever and then he’ll put whatever he wants to it and we’ll see if it clicks. We haven’t really written to many songs with Jeremy and Max in the band so, that was the way it used to go. I would show Josh and John and John would come up with a bass line and Josh would come up with another guitar line and it just clicked.
Who are your biggest music influences?
My old influences, when I was like 15 I would listen to Nirvana and Slayer and Pantera, The Descendents like crazy, the Misfits. Now I listen to a lot of Gorilla Biscuits and Jawbreaker. Jawbreaker is definitely one of my favorite bands and Dynamite Boy is one of my favorites, Jets To Brazil, Midtown, the new Luckie Strike record is awesome.
What inspires your lyrics the most?
Usually the shit that bothers me I guess, that just pisses me off and I can’t do anything about. I will just go write some stupid lyrics about them. I don’t think my lyrics are very good, they are kind of cheesy. I’m not a very good poet.
What is your favorite record of this year?
The live Jawbreaker record, actually the new Dynamite Boy record [Finders Keepers], aww it is sooo good. I’m all about it. The new Snapcase is badass, it is good shit man. We just did a tour with them in Canada and their live show is just soo inspirational, it just makes me want to fucking kill somebody. We were just watching Snapcase and were like “fuck, we quit” it was so good it makes you not want to play but play at the same time.
Is there any show that just totally sticks out in your mind?
There was a Pennywise show that we played in Canada in front of like 2,500 kids, they took us on tour through Canada and the east coast, and they were like so cool, the nicest guys ever. They totally took care of us, didn’t treat us like shit because we were a small ass band.
Awww fuckin Fletcher is the best man. Coolest fuckin mother fucker ever. But yea they totally took care of us and treated us like we were normal people ya know what I mean? Instead of pulling any rockstar shit. They are definitely one of my favorite bands, the band I respect the most. They are so fuckin powerful and pissed off.
Great record after great record.
Oh yea great record after great record. Im waiting for them to put out a bad record I don’t think they’ll ever do it.
I think they are putting out a live record soon.
Really? Oh! you know what? We fuckin missed it! We were supposed to go to the show out in California it was on this tour and it was 4 days after we left California and were supposed to go to the live Pennywise thing. Ugh, I was so bummed.
What song gets the biggest crowd reaction?
I think everyone dances their hardest to “Numbers” and “A Girl in The Green Jacket”.
How about “Freegan”?
Yea I guess because of the FAT comp a lot of people know it but it is only 30 seconds so as soon as somebody starts beating someone up they just stop in 30 seconds. We like blood, as long as nobody gets hurt.
(note : a guy was punching a girl in the face during the bigwig set)
Yea fuck that dude that guy should have gotten pummeled. That’s bullshit you don’t hit anybody without reason, if you gotta do it you gotta do it but especially guys and shit beating girls.
Where do you see yourself as a band in five years?
We were talking about this a while ago, we all stem back to cleaning some sort of feces. I cleaned dog kennels, Matt cleaned toilets, Jeremy cleaned warehouse bathrooms, we have all cleaned shit so we figured that we are going to not forget our roots and in like five years just start cleaning shit again.
Were you in any bands before Bigwig?
Yea I was in a band called Peepshow and I was in another band I don’t even want to plug their fuckin asses. Actually this is fuckin crazy. When we first started Bigwig, Jeremy used to play in a band called Thicker with the drummer from Beefcake, Jack. And we would all play around and shit, and that’s where I met him. I have known him forever, fuckin unfortunately. So we used to play together and then he joined Humble Beginnings.
How did Bigwig get started?
Our old drummer, he was one of my best friends, and… as soon as I got out of the other band, I quit on tour. I took the bus home and he picked me up at the train station. I was carrying my amp, 2 guitars, and a fuckin duffel bag. Walkin through fuckin Knoxville going on a Greyhound, it was like a 15 hour ride. And Danny picked me up, he was the drummer on the first record, he picked me up and we were just like “fuck it man lets start a band” so we started jamming in my basement, got a couple people, and here we are.
Right now, what has the best of you?
That motherfucker who punched that girl, that sucked. I dunno, I didn’t want to start a riot or anything but that guy had like 50 people chasing him
What do you think of MTV and commercial radio?
Well, on the punk rock level of it all I think it is shitty what the music industry does to small bands and all that stuff but at the same time I grew up listening to commercial rock like Metallica and stuff so I cant bag it but that’s not where I want to see my band. Im not saying that we wouldn’t ever like, I don’t know what everyone considers commercial or whatever, but I wouldn’t mind us being played on the radio. I don’t think the radio is a bad thing I just think that they should play more fucking good punk rock bands on the radio instead of just like shit, ya know what I mean? So there is nothing wrong with the actual radio or the airwaves, college radio is cool they have like punk shows and stuff but its just like I guess the style of music that everyone plays in punk rock and hardcore is just not really that pleasing to other peoples ears because they don’t give it a chance, they just think it sucks. They think its stupid punk rock or hardcore and screaming and shit and some of it is though ya know what I mean? You get shitty bands in any style of music, like us, and I cant see anybody really wanting to play us on the radio, we aren’t that radio friendly, but if anyone did I got no problem with it. I don’t see a problem with a band making money, I mean you gotta eat. Like if we were on tour for 3 months and ran out of money, we just couldn’t tour ya know? Its kind of like a catch 22, people don’t like you if you are making money and you cant go play in front of people if you’re not. Not that we are making loads of money or anything but, ya know.
What is your favorite boy band?
Blink 182 and Fenix TX.
What do you think of Britney Spears?
I think she is a bad white girl dancer, I don’t think she can dance very good. She doesn’t turn me on at all. Im not into the fake girls like Pamela Anderson, I mean she is hot and everything, but Im not into the fake girls I like small boobs, girl next door type thing. No makeup, normal clothes and not like skimpy shit.
Do you have any final comments?
Don’t eat a brown apple, clemydia is not a flower. And, I’m sorry I’m not very interesting at all. Buy our next record and don’t punch girls in the face at punk rock shows. Look both ways before you cross the street and knowing is half the battle.
Interview by : Josh Stern – firstname.lastname@example.org