As 2011 is well under way music fans are looking for what is hotly tipped for the rest of the year. One to put on the playlist is Big Deal. Releasing their debut album ‘Lights Out’ earlier this month the hypnotic two piece Big Deal, who have already caused some sizeable waves, took a break from their hectic schedule to talk to Gigwise.
Gigwise: So, you guys are from quite different backgrounds. How did you find each other?
Alice: We we’re both in different bands that sort of imploded at the same time. We were already friends and neither of us had projects going on, so we started playing and writing together.
We found working like that so easy that we turned it into Big Deal. It’s all based on the way we write together.
Gigwise: You have fairly varied influences. Who’s introduced who to more bands?
Alice: Casey has introduced me to tons of bands. We had some common starting ground. For instance, we both like Sonic Youth. He got me into more bands like Dinosaur JR…There’s a lot of things we both share though, Arcade Fire’s last album particularly was important for both of us.
Gigwise: Is Casey a bit of a feedback addict then?
Alice: At one point he was recording a very long song of pure feedback to go on the album. That got deleted though!
Gigwise: That’s a shame. We love a bit of feedback…
Alice: If you just stop the album and hum for five minutes you’ll get the generally idea of what it was going to be like…
Gigwise: Despite those influences, all of whom have a big all consuming sound, Big Deal consists of two voices and two guitars one electric, one acoustic. How come you never felt the need to turn it into a full band?
Alice: It was just how we we’re writing. It seemed like it would be quite weird to get other people involved. It just didn’t seem necessary. We wrote the songs just the two of us and liked the way they sounded, so we based the band around the songs, rather than the other way around.
Casey: It’s good because so many bands these days are purely focused on sonics, on fixing a sound and blasting you and bombarding you with it, that they don’t pay too much attention to their songs, to the key ingredients of a song.
Obviously, we put a lot of effort into making our songs sound right as well, but when we write, we’re only working with the basic elements of a song, and we have to get those perfect, we have to make them involving.
We can’t get away with writing something average and covering it up by chucking in a guitar solo or loads of weird effects.
Gigwise: There’s this restaurant in Denmark called Noma that has won the ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ award a few times. They don’t believe in flair moves either, they must get really good ingredients and show them off…
Casey: Yeah! We’re a little bit like Nordic cuisine…Actually, people say Alice looks a bit Scandinavian, but she’s not…
Gigwise: You’ve been playing some big festivals recently. You’re sound is quite intimate and the settings of the lyics are often closed, private spaces, such as bedrooms. Is it strange for you playing to a cavernous tent?
Casey: All our gigs vary. It really depends why people have come, rather than where they are. We’ve had big crowds who were really into it and created the feeling of an intimate setting just by listening. On the other hand, we’ve played small clubs where people are just there for a night out and the music manages to get lost, even in a small place.
But that’s fine, like I said, we don’t want to just bombard people, we want to interest them.
Gigwise: Given the intimate nature of the sound and the songs, on top of your close friendship, a lot of people who see you mistake you for a couple. Is that strange for you?
Alice: Yeah, I mean, you’d rather that they were thinking about the songs than that really, but we don’t really think about it when we’re on stage…
Gigwise: There is a chance that it’s down to the lyrics. The first song you wrote together ‘Homework’, for example, is about getting distracted by a crush. Speaking of homework, you’ve just finished you’re A levels, whilst touring. That must have been mad…
Alice: Yeah, some people were finding it hilarious that I was backstage with all my books out trying to revise at gigs. I’m glad it’s over and I can focus on what I want to do more.
Gigwise: You’ve been filming the video for your new single ‘Chair’ today. What informed that choice of single?
Alice: It represents the album as a whole really well, it covers a few different sides of our sound, rather than some of the tracks which verge more to one extreme or the other.
Gigwise: We talked earlier about Big Deal not seeing the need to include more people. Is there anyone you would work with?
Alice: I don’t know really. We’ve been asked before and we said Weezer. Do we have to be consistent? To be honest I think we’d rather try and slip unnoticed into the ranks of Arcade Fire than have anyone join us. That would be awesome.