With a dream pop sound to die for and a brand new album to tour, Big White are experiencing big things. We were lucky enough to chat to the band during their massive Teenage Dream tour.
From being booted off stage by Green Day to dropping an incredible debut LP, it’s fair to say Big White have a lot to talk about.
HAPPY: Hey Big White, thanks for taking time out! How’s the tour going?
BW: Yeah it’s on the way. About two hours out of Melbourne. It’s Elmo’s birthday so we’re celebrating by doing something different… driving! The Spunk show at the CWA hall in Stanny was cosy and there was a fire out the back, was good to see some friends. Yeah, it was great.
HAPPY: Teenage Dreams is a fantastic album, how does it feel to be touring in support of something so strong?
BW: Thank you! Yeah there is something about believing in what you’re putting out. We know these songs backwards by now and having all of it on record is cool because they go part and parcel. There’s the show and the record, does it get any more obvious?
HAPPY: What was the inspiration behind the album and its songs?
BW: Lust, hungriness, death, love, fidelity, the weather, Matsumoto, Orange Juice.
HAPPY: How do you feel you’ve evolved as a band in Teenage Dream and how has that affected your creative output?
BW: It was a good time for us, writing our first album. A lot of gelling and late Mondays. Everything we have written since and as time goes forward is just more talking to whatever we’re in love with.
HAPPY: There’s an inherently 80s sound (The Cure, Smiths etc) to your music, what has that music contributed to your influence and how do you feel you’ve modernised it?
BW: I agree, I think a dialogue with aspects of that era is taking place between them and our sound and writing. But I don’t think we have modernised anything. We listen to music from all periods and trajectories and some how when we get together it ends up sounding like the Triffids or the Goeys or whatever. When they were around, they were obsessed with Dylan, which is something we definitely share in common, but they were just writing songs.
They didn’t modernise anything they just wrote great songs and now after all these years that period has a sound attached to it. We weren’t born until the 90’s so We only know this music from what we’ve found and what has struck a chord in us. I’m flattered to be compared to these guys but as distinct as ideas and sounds were in that period, the 80’s is a blanket term and there really is no point in trying to modernise artists so modern in their own right.
HAPPY: We know you’ve been touring a lot lately, do you still get moments here and there to write?
BW: Yes, always. We had our beds in the RV where we could go to write while driving from town to town. We were holed up at a friends place in Haarlam in the Netherlands where we wrote a few songs. There was this berjy apartment in Nation, Paris also. We have been down at Sydenham lately demoing and such. There’s always time, especially on the road.
HAPPY: Does touring breed inspiration for new songs?
BW: Of course. A change of scenery does wonders. New place, new song.
HAPPY: What’re some of your best stories from the road?
BW: After a show, we almost burned Albuquerque down with rogue California candle-fireworks, purchased in New Mexico but saved it just in time by running wet towels back and forth with fellow German touring pals.
After swimming at Laguna beach all day, seeing Springsteen in LA, Dining at Pat Hawk, Tony Hawk’s sister and manager’s house and seeing her 23 platinum records for her work on Dirty Dancing and photos of her holding Clinton’s cat.
Watching Bernie Sanders speak at his largest rally in prospect park, Brooklyn. He said everything. Him and Danny Devotion hugged for about a minute.
Green Day kicking us off stage because they called a secret show where we were playing in Manhattan, us only getting a half set because of Billie Joe and the fellas. Also, Susan Sarandon’s son’s band playing too long. I made eyes with her during down at the beach but she turned away. Billie Joe did apologise to Bow in the end.
HAPPY: What can fans expect from your east coast shows?
BW: I’m not entirely sure. It’s up to the winds. With any luck a party. We’ll be playing the album and we’ve got plenty of vinyl on us. There could be some new stuff we’ve been working on too which we might play.
HAPPY: What’s next for Big White? Any long term goals?
BW: Another album and more touring overseas. We’ll keep playing around here but yeah, getting over to Europe and the US is on the cards. Japan is something were are looking at too.