Q&A with BIG Something

BIG Something will bring its music to the Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Fourth St., at 8 p.m. Feb. 24.

The band, which was named 2010’s “New Band of the Year” by Home Grown Music Network, will bring its eclectic mix of genres all the way from North Carolina.

Currently on an East Coast tour that will take the group through July, BIG Something will make its first appearance at the Bullfrog Brewery.

The Sun-Gazette recently caught up with BIG Something’s lead vocalist, Nick MacDaniels, to talk music, what’s in a name and crazy stories from the road.

BETHANY WIEGAND: So, who is BIG Something and where are you from? How did the band get together?

NICK MACDANIELS: BIG Something is a six-piece, alternative rock funk band based out of Burlington, N.C. The instrumentation includes vocals, drums, bass, two guitars, saxophone, trumpet, keys, synthesizers and an electronic wind instrument. I met each member separately over the span of a 4-to-5-year period around the time that I was a student at Elon University in North Carolina. We are a diverse group of people from very different backgrounds with ages ranging from 23 to 40. We’ve been touring with our current line up for about three years now.

BW: Why is BIG Something not HUGE Something, or AWESOME Something? What’s the explanation behind your name?

NM: Is that a trick question? (Laughter) … Really we were just making fun of ourselves. It started as a joke in the recording studio as we were trying to think of band names while recording our debut album ‘Stories from the Middle of Nowhere’ a few years ago.

BW: Has anything off the wall happened to you on tour?

NM: We have so many crazy stories from the road. Here’s one off the top of my head: This one time, our video guy, who eats everything he sees, was riding home with us after a show in Asheville. We pulled into a rest stop around 4 a.m. to take a bathroom break and he happened to find these random Tupperware containers that had been left in the parking lot. Who knows how long they had been sitting there, but he picked them up and brought them in the van. When he opened them, a pungent aroma filled the van and he discovered one container was filled with about two dozen chicken wings and the other was filled with a huge portion of macaroni and cheese. He started inspecting them closely and came to the conclusion that since the food was stored in “Nice Tupperware!” that it was OK to eat. So he started chowing down on these chicken wings and mac ‘n’ cheese in the back of the van and everyone was laughing at how gross it was. He ended up eating on this stuff for the rest of the weekend too! Taking the Tupperware with him everywhere he went, eating someone’s abandoned rest stop chicken wings and macaroni for breakfast lunch and dinner for at least two days straight.

BW: Pretend an alien came to Earth and demanded that you explain your music to them. In three words, what would you say to them?

NM: Sounds from Uranus.

BW: You’ve been petitioning your fans to help you open for Eric Clapton. What’s the first thing you’d say to him if you met him?

NM: Assuming we won this contest I’d probably just say “THANK YOU, Eric Clapton!” and then we might try to ask him to sit in with us on a song or two. That would be really cool.

BW: Is your song “Pinky Goes To Jail” on “Middle of Nowhere” a true to life experience?

NM: The Pinky songs (and several other songs from that album) all take place in a fictional world we dubbed “the middle of nowhere.” Pinky is a fictional pimp-like Robin Hood-esque character. There were definitely some real-life experiences that influenced certain lyrics, but the songs and stories themselves are, for the most, part fictional.

BW: What artists do you, as a band, draw the most inspiration from?

NM: This is always hard to answer. Some of my favorites include The Talking Heads, The Flaming Lips, Gorillaz, The Grateful Dead. But I also really like old-school funk and R&B. I also like hip-hop too. Doug, our bass player, really likes Rush and Justin Bieber. Josh, our keyboard-trumpet player, is a huge Zappa fan. Casey, the sax-ewi player, loves jazz. Jesse, our guitar player, really likes Jimmy Herring. And Ben, our drummer, is obsessed with Enya.

BW: What can Williamsport expect from your performance at the Bullfrog Brewery? Why should they come to your show?

NM: Williamsport can expect groovy music to dance to. They should come dressed as ninjas and ready to dance.