Interview: Big Smile
Written by Linette Ray
Five piece, pop-punk band Big Smile is certainly living up to their name by bringing big smiles from fans with their catchy lyrics and melodies! Fresh off the release of their latest EP "Dependent" and shows with State Champs, The Dangerous Summer, Grayscale and Calling All Captains, Big Smile recently released their latest single "Oscillate" and we can't wait to see what 2020 has in store for them!
How did the band come together and how did you get your name?
Scooter: Big Smile came together starting with Cameron, Ethan, and myself who are old friends. We eventually recruited John and Noah who were lingering around the local scene. The name was inspired ironically through our sad lyrics and inspired by my girlfriend.
Beartooth, The Plot In You and Close to Home all also originated in Ohio. Did you ever look to them as inspiration, seeing where they started and how close to home it is, and where they are now?
Scooter: Yes absolutely. Any band that shared an environment with us is worth taking a lesson from. Especially bands as successful as those ones.
Your sound is similar to that of Stand Atlantic, Knuckle Puck and The Wonder Years, but did you ever have a time where you weren’t sure of your sound and where you wanted to go?
Scooter: No, we've always known exactly how we've wanted to sound and what our goals were.
John: Yeah, we've always been into similar kinds of music, specifically pop punk, and when we got together we were pretty certain what direction we wanted to go in.
How did it feel to release your first EP and have you done anything differently going into writing your second EP and now going on to write and release music in 2020?
Scooter: Our last EP exceeded our expectations big time! With our next release we are sticking to our guns and staying true to ourselves. We have new music written and it's gonna be wild.
John: I'm super proud of how Dependent turned out. We really poured a lot into those songs and I'm glad to see people connecting with them. We're continuing to expand our sound with the music we're writing now and I can't wait to see how they play out!
What was it like touring with State Champs, The Dangerous Summer, Grayscale and Calling All Captains?
Scooter: Whenever we can play shows with bands of that caliber is always an amazing opportunity. We've learned so much from playing with State Champs, The Dangerous Summer, and Grayscale. And we've grown a lot through our relationship with Calling All Captains as well. So grateful for those guys!
When writing, do you start with the lyrics and then move onto the sound or do you start with the sound and write the lyrics based on the melody?
Scooter: I always have lyrical notes laying around but the lyrics of a particular song don't usually take place until the instrumentals are finished and the melody comes together.
John: The lyrics and sound can go back and forth in inspiring each other too. I remember Scooter having the first half of Pillbox Hill written out with a melody set and I was able to write an instrumental around that. Then with Oscillate it started out with Noah’s riff and we built everything off of that. We just follow whatever type of inspiration hits first. It's worked out pretty well so far for us.
You recently released your single “Oscillate,” what was the writing process like for this song? What’s the meaning behind the song?
Scooter: Oscillate started with a chorus and a guitar riff and we just formed some parts around that. The meaning behind the song is dealing with the anxiety and the ruts that life gets us into, and how we sometimes cope with hardships by pretending they don't bother us so we don't care if we fail.
Since New Years’ is right around the corner, what are your goals for 2020?
Scooter: 2020 will bring new music, new shows, new t tours, and new friends!
John: We’re constantly learning from how 2019 has gone for us and people around us in the scene. We plan on continuing to grow our sound and our reach to new fans. I'm very excited to see what lies ahead in 2020!
If you had any advice to give to someone wanting to start a band, what advice would it be?
Scooter: Don't be too critical of yourself, stick to who you are, and always make it work even when it feels like a chore. It will be worth it.
John: I would say first and foremost have fun. That's very important in music or any kind of creative field. Let the inspiration come naturally and don't overthink things when you're starting out.
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