For Fans Of: Knuckle Puck / The Story So Far / State Champs
Following in The Wonder Years’ footsteps, Big Smile’s latest song tackles pharma companies willing to push drugs for profit without any remorse for the tragedy it leaves in its wake. The result is a heavy hitting track with a lot of pop punk soul that follows on from their more lighthearted, 2019 track on the same subject, ‘Pillbox Hill’. Big Smile have a lot to say and they’re doing so with clever lyricism and plenty of hooks. We chat to them now about touring with State Champs, ‘Killdozer’ and their first memory of music.
Words: Renette van der Merwe
Tell us a little about yourself. Where the name came from, how long you’ve been going for and anything else new fans would want to know.
We formed in summer 2017 through Scooter having worked with everyone else on different projects in the past, and I joined through a Craigslist ad. The name was actually brought up by Scooter’s girlfriend as kind of an ironic name considering how depressing our lyrics can get, but we liked it and it stuck.
Can you recall your very first memory of music?
My first memory as a kid was getting into big radio rock bands of the time like Nickelback and 3 Doors Down (You can joke about that all you want but you’d be lying if you said you never liked a song from one of those bands). Later on I started getting into performing in my elementary school’s choir and theater. It kind of went on the back burner as I got older and thought I was too cool for it, but I did pick up guitar during that time through playing along with Green Day’s American Idiot.
“Overall, ‘Killdozer’ brings thoughtful insights to how the world sees drug use today, and Big Smile deserves more recognition for their use of music to help the youth feel recognized and understood.”
Who is on your wishlist of artists that you’d love to collaborate with and/or open for on tour?
I’d definitely love to work with bands like Knuckle Puck and The Story So Far. They’ve been a huge inspiration for our band musically and I’m a big fan of both of them. State Champs was on that list considering they were a big reason I got into more modern pop punk, so getting to play with them last year was kind of a full circle moment for me personally.
Speaking of live shows, what’s your favourite story from a show so far?
Going back to the State Champs show, it’s by far the biggest show we’ve played. I remember feeling so nervous about playing for so many people who had never heard of us. I kind of blacked out during our set but after the show we had several people coming up to us to get pictures and tell us we played a good show. That was one of the most affirming moments for us as a band.
You released ‘Killdozer’ pretty recently, what were some of the most challenging and most fun aspects of recording it?
The pandemic has definitely thrown a wrench into the process for us. It delayed our recording for over a month, and even when we were able to record it we couldn’t be in the same room with our producer as we’ve always done. We were in the live room of the studio and Seth Henderson was in the control room communicating via microphones. But as always when we work with Seth the final product turned out amazing and completely worth the complications.
Settle an argument for us (and the rest of the world) pineapple on pizza?
100% approve. I get it on either a barbecue pizza or mix it with something spicy like jalapeños. Total game changer.
Rising to the challenge, Big Smile have put together an electrifying collection of songs that best encapsulates the artists and music that inspire them as a band.
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