Q&A with Casey Cranford of BIG Something

First off, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! For anyone who hasn't listened to BIG Something before, how would you describe your sound?

The sound is difficult for us to describe because we are the ones making it…  sort of like trying to describe the sound of your own voice. But I think of Big Something as a song-oriented band with diverse instrumentals. We mix electronic sounds, guitars, and horns into rock and funk grooves to create structured songs, which are often platforms for solos and improvisation.


Your new album, Truth Serum just came out - can you tell us a little bit about the record?

I can tell you that it was a lot of fun to create. The full six-piece band recorded all of the songs live in studio, and then went back later for overdubs. The live aspect gives a tighter feel to this album, which helped the songs to come out strong. I’m excited for our friends and fans to hear it!


Was there anything you really wanted to try musically with this album that you haven't gotten the chance to do in the past?

We had a bunch of new material that we were really excited about and wanted to record it while it was still “fresh.” I personally got to play a lot more of my Electric Wind Instrument on this album, and was able to experiment a little more with my effects pedals and improvisation. We were able to capture the live band energy on this album but with the benefits of a recording studio. 


What was the coolest moment or the best part about the recording process?

It is always an enlightening experience to work with John Custer, who produced the album. He has a knack for helping musicians reach a creative state. It was really cool for me to look around the room as we were playing, and see all my band members, John Custer at the controls, and feel that experience of creating a record together.


What do you think will set Truth Serum apart from your last record?

It is a bit different in style but maintains the classic Big Something sound. We have explored a bit more electronic, psychedelic and funky music on this album… there’s also a sort of eastern-sounding song on this one. The last record had a big rock style to it. We always have themes in our songs and albums, and this album has a lot of that, but I think we have experimented a little more on this one.


When you're working on new material, what are your influences (musical or otherwise)?

Nick and Paul, our lyricists, are very conceptual in their writing style. We draw oftentimes from the content of the lyrics and attempt to create a sound structure that fits the theme of the words. As far as influences, we all like different things, and when we’re writing music I think we all have the intention of not copying anyone… we just want to stay true to what we sound like as individuals and as a unit, but at the same time push ourselves to do things we haven’t done before. 


What, if anything, would you like your listeners to be able to take away from your music?

Happiness. Or maybe just emotion in general. I know what it feels like when I listen to the music I love. I cherish that and the artists who created it, for sharing it and working so hard to bring it to me. So if we can have any fraction of that effect on people, I am overjoyed.


What's your favorite thing to see in the crowd when you're playing?

People jumping is always entertaining. We love to see people having a good time. What is more rewarding than looking out into a crowd of people and seeing the joy that music can create? 


With Truth Serum out now, do you have any big plans lined up?

We are currently on tour in the Northeast supporting the release of our album. Big shows are coming up - Ziggy’s in Winston Salem the night before Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve in Raleigh at The Lincoln Theater.


Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you and anyone reading this for your interest in our music! It keeps us going.

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