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In Words: Bigelf

- Damon - Sept. 2009 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Bigelf

Damon - September, 9th 2009 (by email)

Bigelf are currently touring with Dream Theater and so they will come to Europe. For many rock fans Bigelf are nobodies, but that will change soon! Damon was so kind to answer a few questions while touring the US.

You are currently on the American leg of the Progressive Nation tour and the Europe leg... How is the tour going? And what do you expect from the European leg?

The tour is fantastic! Great venues, excellent musicianship every night, lots of good times. No room to complain. Europe? Well, with Opeth on the bill I'm sure we'll all get a chance to make the set lists a little more metal. I think the European audiences like their prog a little bit heavier and that's a good thing for us, we're a heavy prog outfit.

Are you satisfied with the reactions from European fans and media?

Absolutely, I'm especially thrilled about the UK reviews, they seem to be getting it. The European fans and critics have always been good to the Elf in the past. Of course, there's always a diamond in the rough who will make a comment about how much he despises my top hat or that we're Sabbath rip-offs! HAHA!

What can the European fans expect from Bigelf?

As Superman always says... Truth, justice and the American way.... Yikes, I'm kidding. They can expect a good face-melting, ear-pulverizing, turn ur hair orange theatrical rock & roll show! How's that? I think most people these days check YouTube to find out what they're in store for... The only thing they won't be able to decipher is what jacket Duffy will where?

Don't get me wrong, I know that every musician will play as good as possible live, but after hearing the album I would say Bigelf live is more about the atmosphere, the feeling and the energy... then about playing absolutely perfect, right?

Well said. We always shoot for perfection as far as mistakes are concerned, but when you put on a high velocity stage performance and your hair is in your face the whole show... Who knows, anything can happen? I think it's kinda like The Doors, it's a unique experience each time, we try not to plan things. Except to bring the vibe, get ready!

How important are vintage instruments for your sound?

They are pretty integral overall to the sound and feel of the band, but that doesn't mean we couldn't capture the vibe with some new gear. Though if you want to sound like Jon Lord you're not gonna get there with some modern piece of shit! When I started Bigelf, used gear such as vintage guitars, Mellotrons, Hammond organs, analog synths and Ludwig Vistalites were simply passe back then. People would say we were obsessed with the 60's, "Why would want that old stuff?" I remember many people just giving me Fender Rhodes pianos, musicians weren't interested in them. I mean, Grunge was in complete world domination at the time, so why would they. I've always gone vintage and always will...

Do you think with all the new technology today that the atmosphere and the mood of songs get lost? And that nowadays productions often sound cold?

It depends, I think that has a lot to do with the band itself. It doesn't help that there using shitty gear, but their mentality is whack, that's why it comes out cold and bland. Also, it's all about perception... What's cold to one person is warm to another. I don't care as long as people aren't telling ME what sound like!

The album was released in 2008 in the US, so have you already written new songs? Can you tell us a bit about them?

I have few albums in my pocket already, just skeletons waiting to be unleashed. I think the next album will be darker, we've definitely got our work cut out for us in order to top Gallows & Hex. Maybe we'll go Doom-techno? I'm looking to create some new sub genres, how about McCartney metal?

Or are you thinking about doing a conceptual album now?

All of our albums are semi-conceptual... Not in a story telling way, but more in a mental way. Concept albums can be a little dangerous when you are the main writer, you're not really certain of your surroundings while you're deep in the rabbit hole. You may have just conceptualized the next SF Sorrow or you may have just spawned another Kilroy Was Here??? It's a gamble...

What's on your schedule after the Progressive Nation European tour?

More touring in the US in December and hopefully more shows with DT, great guys and they're fans are amazing! Critical... but amazing nonetheless. And I'd like to thank Mike Portnoy again for having us on both legs of Progressive Nation. THANKS BROTHER!

It really sounds like Bigelf live is a real experience - and that they really go wild on stage. And a package wit Opeth and Dream Theater... well, time to get your ticket!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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