Big Something is bringing their high-octane funk rock to Taft Theater this weekend in support of Umphrey’s McGee. The 6-piece has been a staple of recent summer music festival lineup announcements, and it’s no surprise – their ability to blend catchy pop melodies with driving funk rhythms and soaring guitar lines has a wide appeal. This is no more evident than when listening to their latest album “Tumbleweed,” which covers a lot of ground while keeping their recognizable groove in-tact.
CincyMusic caught up with the group before their two-night stand in Cincinnati:
You've said before that the band name was originally "Anonymous" prior to "Big Something." Both of those names refer to anonymity of sorts. Album titles "Stories from the Middle of Nowhere" and even "Tumbleweed" go along those same lines in a way- is there anything to that theme?
Nick MacDaniels (Vocals, Guitar): The name Big Something is sort of a play on the universe and also the idea that it's kind of hard to describe our sound as a band. We like to write songs with characters and settings that sort of create a universe of their own. And there are some subtle ties to theme of anonymity too. Like we're all one big organism working together musically and artistically.
In listening to your albums, specifically Tumbleweed- there is a clear track-to-track transition from pop/funk, to reggae, to indie rock, to spacey electronica, etc. What's the process there? Is there a dedicated effort to write songs for an album that cover an array of genres or does it come naturally from the group?
Ben Vinograd (drums): It's not a concentrated effort really, more just an open attitude to letting anything that comes out musically to be fully realized. We all come from really different backgrounds musically and age groups as well, so it's always kind of been of collage of ideas and styles that we just do our best to be diplomatic with. Every band member gets a chance to speak and every musical idea gets a chance to speak too!
You all haven't played in the Cincinnati area in quite some time. Do you have any specific memories from Cincinnati? How has the band's sound progressed since then?
Casey Cranford (Sax, EWI): Our only experience in Cincinnati was so long ago I can barely remember. We played with a band called Laser Pony and met some cool people who bought us a fifty pack of White Castle hamburgers. It was awesome. Ohio in general is always a heap of fun, so we're excited to return opening for Umphreys McGee.
This isn't the first time you've supported Umphrey's McGee and I feel that Big Something compliments their sound well. Do you feel any certain connection to UM compared to other bands?
Casey Cranford (Sax, EWI): I feel that we are at the core a sort of alternative rock band and we share that with UM. Outside of the few times we've opened for them we don't have a huge personal connection but we all like them a lot so every time we get to play with them we're honored. It is always fascinating to observe a fan base that is as loyal as theirs and see if they can appreciate what we do.
For people who may be seeing and hearing Big Something for the first time this weekend- what can they expect?
Ben Vinograd (Drums): Anything can really come out stylistically but there's a common thread of big loud and funky. The main goal is to be expressive and for anyone and everyone on stage or off to have fun.