Monday, December 5, 2011

Interview With My Big Beautiful

                                                        L-R Steev Custer, Dan Bolton and Stev Walker

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Chicago's own My Big Beautiful backstage before the bands opening set for Naked Raygun's Pre-Thanksgiving bash at The Metro. The band was in rare form excited to hit the stage and share the infectious mix of power pop and punk rock the band is known for. In this interview the band, bassist/vocalist Stev Walker, guitarist Steev Custer and drummer Dan Bolton talk about a possible new album, being a part of the Chicago scene for close to 20 years and opening for Naked Raygun.

Critical Mass: Thank you guys for talking with Critical Mass. I appreciate it. It's been a few years since your last album (The Way Things Are: The Story Of My Life Vol. 1) came out. When can we expect a new record?

Steev Custer: Next year.

CM: (To Stev Walker) I hear you'll be writing this one.

Stev Walker: Well, most of it is written already.

CM: So 2012 for sure?

SW: Yeah, the later side of 2012. But 2012 for sure.

CM: You guys have been playing on and off for 18 years?

SC: Yeah, 18 years and some change.

CM: How have you guys put up with him (Steev Custer) for 18 years?

SC: That's a good question. I wanna hear the answer to that!

SW: Um...he's a good guy. He's a really good guy.

CM: Has the band really been around for 18 years?

SC: Well, there was a 5 year hiatus in between.

CM: So, about 13 years?

SC: Yeah, roughly 13 years active.

SW: But we were doing things those 5 years.

SC: The 5 years we took off there where definitely things going on between Stev and I musically. So, there was a lot of beautiful music going on during that hiatus.

CM: Dan, you've been in the band for a while now right?

Dan Bolton: I have been in the band, what like,18 months now?

CM: How did you get hooked up with the band?

DB: I moved back to the Chicago area about 5 years ago. And I started working at a music store that Mr Walker over here already worked at. And I've known him ever since. And I've been a fan of the band for a while. So when they asked me to come out and play with them I already knew the material. So, I was good to go at that point. So yeah, I was a fan of the band already. So it was like a perfect fit for me to kinda come in and learn the songs. And these guy's are great. They don't treat me like a replacement or anything like that.

CM: Recently the band lost it's second guitar player. Is there going to be a replacement or will the band continue as a three piece?

SW: I think we'll continue as a three piece for now.

SC: I don't think that doors ever really closed. We've kinda always been a three piece So, when it happened we were just like "Okay, well we're back to where we started as a three piece." So, as of right now we'll continue as a three piece. But if the time ever comes where we'll need a second guitar player, that door will always be open.

CM: What can we expect from My Big Beautiful in 2012 besides a new record later in the year? Possibly a tour?

DB: Hopefully more shows like this.

SC: We're gonna be headlining Riot Fest next year. (Laughter) Riot Mike doesn't know it yet but we're gonna start a petition tomorrow.

Riot Mike: Fuck you! (Laughter)

DB: We just gotta piss and moan until we get our way.

SC: That's how I roll.

CM: Growing up in the 80s we've all been Naked Raygun fans. Some of you may have even seen them here on this stage (at Metro). What's it like for you to be playing on that stage opening for Raygun tonight?

SC: It's good. Like you said, I grew up listening to Naked Raygun and seeing them here and at the Riv....everywhere I possibly could. And they have always been a mainstay in my life. So it's an honor. And a pain in the ass at the same time. (Laughter)

DB: You know, for me, I didn't grow up in Chicago. And I'm a lot newer to the scene compared to these guys. So it's cool to get into this band, and get to retrace this bands steps and discovering the bands that influenced them like Naked Raygun and The Smoking Popes and all those cool bands.

CM: I wanna thank you guys again for talking with Critical Mass. It's been a pleasure to talk with you and get the scoop on what's in store for 2012. Thanks again guys.

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