Thursday, January 31, 2013
Product Of The System Zine - Bigwig Interview
From 1999-2002 my friends Justin, Ben, and I did an e-zine called Product Of The System. The internet was still kind of fresh and exciting and we wanted it to be a one stop source for everything Pennsylvania punk. The site had interviews, reviews, articles, show listings, and a pretty terrible message board. We even helped put on a bunch of shows. Here is an interview Ben did with Tom from Bigwig. If you were around then you know they played here like once a month.
Ben: so... the first question is, how do like playing Pennsylvania?
Tom: I love playing Pennsylvania
Ben: I didn't think that it was as good tonight as it was on Wednesday though
Tom: yeah, a bit different
Ben: there were a lot more people here, I was a bit dissapointed
Tom: I had a good time though
Ben: what would you say your favorite place to play is?
Tom: in Pennsylvania or in general?
Ben: just in general, or in Pennsylvania
Tom: uh... New Jersey is my favorite out of all
Roadie: Mullet Gulch, Pennsylvania
Tom: and I guess Florida and California, definately like Quebec and Canada... it's really nice up there
Ben: what are some of your musical influences?
Tom: well, personal ones are like... I grew up listening to a lot of metal and shit like that so I like Slayer, Metallica, like all that old stuff. But I listen to a lot of punk rock... I guess my favorite band is probably Jawbreaker
Ben: hell yeah
Tom: yeah, Jawbreaker's definately one of my favs
Ben: so how did the band get started?
Tom: um, well I got out of another band and my best friend who was our first drummer picked me up from the train station after a tour. So we just got a band in our basement pretty much. And uh, that's pretty much how we get started, we just did a basement thing and it started to come together. We got a different bass player, then we got John and Josh. We got signed to Fearless real quick after we recorded a demo so that was kinda cool. I guess we got kind of an easy start, you know what I mean?
Tom: We're kinda lucky, thanks to the cool people that hooked us up.
Ben: so, what's the deal with Max?
Tom: Max is roadieing for Sum 41 right now, making lots of money and having a good time.
Ben: do you have any idea what the lineup is going to be like without him?
Tom: um, well Tony is our definate bass player and we have some people in mind for guitar.
Ben: I saw that you played with Josh from the Overdrives tonight
Tom: yeah, he's right there
Ben: oh, hey
Josh: hey, what's up?
Tom: Josh was nice enough to fill in
Ben: that's cool, so what can we expect from the new album?
Tom: death and blood.
Tom: and slaying. Well, it's heavier and faster than the last one.
Ben: so why did you guys decide to go back to Fearless instead of staying with Kung Fu?
Tom: I guess we felt more comfortable with Fearless, we have no problems with Kung Fu though... they're really cool people. We just wanted to go back to the Fearless thing.
Ben: so what is it like working with Fearless, as opposed to Kung Fu?
Tom: I dunno, Fearless treats us a little differently. I guess that since we did our first record there that we kinda feel a little bit more at home.
Ben: so what happened with Warner Brothers that you had to change the cover of Unmerry Melodies?
Tom: oh.. haha, they were being kinda dicks. Warner Brothers didn't actually sue us or anything. They, uh, got mad... so we had to change the artwork and take out all the stuff. They said they own the rights to those rings, that's why they had to be filled in with little "Bigwig"s. So, it's a big crock of shit.
Ben: so how did you guys end up playing warped tour?
Tom: uh, they finally sorta asked us. We actually played a couple warped shows before, but nothing too great. I mean, it was great.. but I'm saying like, no long extended time.
Ben: are you playing the main stage this year?
Tom: um... they told us the Second Stage, so I don't know what stage that really is.
Ben: how long have you been, and why did you decide to become a vegetarian?
Tom: I think I'm going on 5 years, 6 years maybe. I dunno, I just never really liked meat as it was. I'm kinda into the animal rights, sometimes I wear leather shoes.
Ben: haha, like Freegan
Tom: yeah. I try to do as much as I can to not buy leather products and to not buy animal products. I try to eat vegan as much as possible, but it's expensive, and it's hard to do on tour... especially in the midwest.
Ben: yeah, I can imagine that that would be pretty hard.
Ben: do you have anything else that you'd like to say to anyone that reads this?
Tom: The new record's coming out in August. Like I said, it's gonna be.. like, beacuse of the whole emo thing...
Tom: well like, you know the big emo trend that's coming over the earth. I guess we tried to do the opposite and get a little heavier, a little more pissed off. You know, we've gone through a lot of shit in the years, so I guess this record is like.. telling it all. It's when we finally let it out, and we're really happy with the way it came out. Ryan Green mixed it, he does all the Fat Wreck stuff. It fuckin' came out awesome... this guy Mike Wooding recorded it. It's the happiest we've been, so it's been pretty cool.
Ben: how'd you like the bands you played with tonight?
Tom: well, New Found Glory's been one of my favorite bands for a while.. so it's always cool playing with them.
Ben: yeah, but I didn't like the fact that the crowd here was like... mostly kids who I never see at shows.
Tom: yeah, but you know what? I think the thing about New Found Glory is that it's true punk rock still, and they're spreading it to more of a... hey what's up Steve, I didn't even see you over there.
Steve: I just heard New Found Glory and I was like "what, are you talkin' shit?"
Tom: actually bailing your ass out
Steve: we actually played our first New Jersey show with Bigwig
Tom: that was great
Steve: we had a show in Long Island and it sucked really bad, and we're like "hey, there's a show... Bigwig's playing, let's go over there and play". And they let us play and it was awesome. That was the first time we actually heard Midtown. That was the first time Midtown got our CD and played it for Drive Thru records, and that's how we got signed.
Ben: really? That's interesting.
Tom: so kinda sorta Bigwig is semi-responsible for the popularity of New Found Glory? Naa, I'm kidding. I didn't know that man, that's cool... that's a weird twist.
Steve: yeah, it's weird
Tom: and that's the thing I was saying... these guys toured their ass off for fuckin years, and deserve to have packed clubs. And kids respect that band, you know what I mean? I've always respected those guys. I think they're great the way they do their shit, and they're really nice. It's a rare thing to find people who stay true and stay cool and I respect them. So I'm happy to play here, it was a good show.
Bigwig at Red Lion Skatepark, Red Lion, PA