"The Big F" Interview
We know that John Shreve is in a band. And, we know the band is associated
with Elektra Records. Outside of that, not much else is known about "THE
BIG F". We set out to get the record straight.
Q: Your record company biography doesn't tell a
whole lot about "THE
BIG F". Is this a deliberate attempt on your part or is the record
company surrounding the band in mystery?
A: Not really a deliberate attempt. Our main idea was to try and get everybody
to focus on the music and not really concern themselves with the periphery
sort of stuff that can become more important than the music. That's how
we're trying to differentiate ourselves from most of the other stuff going
on these days. We want people to realize we put our heart and souls into
the music. That's the thing we want everyone to pay attention to. I think
our miscalculation was that when you don't provide more information like
that, you tend to get ignored. That was probably a mistake we made. We're
not trying to hide anything.
Q: As a name, THE BIG F is certainly a stand-out among band names. Why
did you choose THE BIG F?
A: It's just something we like, 'cause it's aggressive. Obviously, it
connotates something right off the bat for most people. And that's fine.
It's not meant to be anything specific. We consider ourselves a really aggressive,
sort of on the edge band, and we think that name is cohesive with that.
It fits with our sound. There's a marriage with that name and the sort of
music we make. So, we're real comfortable with that.
Q: Were you influenced by the hard rock music of the early 70's?
A: I think what we've tried to get across, is to bring about all the various
influences that we each have as we've gone through music in our lives. The
era you talk about is important to me. For me it's sort of the punk rock
era of the late 60's. It's a real important time, even back to the stuff
that we were to young to have paid much attention to. But, still, because
it's so timeless, we listen to a lot. Cream, Hendrix, stuff like that. Really
good, edgy, energetic music. Anything that struck us as being passionate
and forward on the music scene. We try very hard not to specifically take
from other bands. We're very proud of the fact that we think we've achieved
our own unique sound.
Q: Is it true that you guys don't get along that well? What's to say that
tomorrow you or one of the other guys won't leave?
A: Well, that's possible. We agree a lot about the music. Our fights exist
around music. We fight about what each of us believes is right for the band.
There isn't a hierarchy here with one person leading and the other two following.
All three of us are equal with our power in the band and our love for it.
In the end we fight until every body is happy with what's going on. It does
take a little longer, but, there's no compromise in what we do, therefore
we feel it comes out a little bit stronger. We respect each other a lot
musically and as people. We're not best friends but we get along fine.
Q: You produced your debut album. That's kind of unusual. Why did a major
label like Elektra allow you this kind of freedom?
A: Well, we weren't really allowed, we sort of demanded it. We wouldn't
have signed to any label that wasn't trusting enough to think we could do
it. Elektra was very open to the idea because they had heard our demo tape
and realized we could do it. Whether or not we'll do it for the next one,
is still up for discussion. It's hard to be objective about what you're
doing, as you're doing it. It's kind of weird. That's the only difficult
thing about producing ourselves. We wanted the record company to understand
what kind of band we were. We're not gonna hire a Mutt Lange and have him
turn us into what he sees as huge radio stars. That's not our style. That's
fine for Def Leppard or other bands he works with, or other producers who
do that sort of thing. But, we want to maintain our sound. We worked very
hard to achieve it. We signed a contract with Elektra that our lawyer told
us had the most creative control for a band that she had ever seen, big
bands or small bands. We told everybody what we wanted and we weren't going
to compromise on it.
Q: Did "THE BIG F" compete on the local
A: We spent a long time rehearsing in our little studio, trying to work
out the sound that we thought was truly us and truly original. I think a
lot of bands get involved in wanting to go out and get their ego satisfied,
so, they put together kind of a mediocre sound and then want to go out and
hang out with the girls and play the clubs. We weren't into that. We were
into honing in on a sound before we presented it to anyone. So, I think
we rehearsed a little longer than most bands. We got signed pretty rapidly.
I have to give credit to our manager. We were fortunate enough to hook up
with a manager who believes in us and is somewhat influential. So, I'm sure
that helps a lot.
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