Big Troubles are a group from Ridgewood, New Jersey who specialize in a kind of music that floats somehwere between Loveless and Music From the Adventures of Pete and Pete. Their songs are full of hazy guitars and fuzzy keyboards... and on their debut album, Worry, a drum machine stabs itself into the mix, adding an even greater intensity to the music.
The band appeared on Talk's Cheap with Jason Sigal around this time last year, and guest DJ'ed a block of music that included Lilys, Sugar, and Cleaners From Venus. Check that out here. The group isn't touring, but they will have several shows come up in May, including May 20th at The Bell House with Real Estate, May 6th at Webster Hall with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and with Real Estate again at Maxwell's on May 21st.
Check out our interview after the jump!
We definitely do have a love of old sci-fi kitsch, but for the most part those things don't tend to turn up in our lyrics! But when we do incorporate something like that, it's probably less of an interest in actual astronomy, but more of a cultural fascination.
When you performed on WFMU in the past on Jason Sigal's show, you picked a few tracks for a short DJ set after, which included a track from Lilys' Esscame The Photon Band. What does this record mean to you? Are you guys big Lilys fans?
We're huge fans of the way Kurt Heasley re-invented the Lilys project on each of his records. "Eccsame" is a beautiful album and was a huge growth from the heavy MBV-influence of his first record. It's also then cool that he wasn't content to stick with the Ecssame sound, and went on to delve into 1960's mod-pop sounds, to similary great results.
In that same WFMU show, you spoke about how the music from Pete and Pete, performed by Polaris, had an impact on Big Troubles. What do you think of all this "Nickelodeon Nostalgia" that has become so popular amongst the youth of today?
The Nickelodeon nostalgia wave, if nothing else, will serve to enable the success of the live-action "Doug" movie that we are currently planning ("Doug: The Movie"). In the film, Doug is played by a bald Michael Cera (featuring a few CGI wavy hairs), Skeeter is played by Kal Penn ("Harold and Kumar Go To While Castle", "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj"), Assistant Principal Bone is played by Chris Elliott, Pork Chop is played by Vern Troyer (on all fours, w/ unrendered CGI), Mr. Dink is played by Zach Galifinakis, Judy is played by Janeane Garofalo, Roger is played by James Franco, and Patti's wheelchair-bound father is played by the animated graphic of the wheelchair-bound character from "Family Guy".
The film is loosely based around Doug attempting to lose weight for Patti's pool party, but ends in Pork Chop's public execution and Doug and Patti's coitus. If anyone can help us get this into Hollywood production, please be in touch.
Does your name have any connection to John Carpenter's great "Big Trouble In Little China"?
What is on the cover art for Worry? Did you take that picture? Where is that located?
The album art photos for "Worry" were taken by Pardis Saberi, who shot them in an abandoned hospital in Massachusets. We've never actually been there, but we thought the clutter of the photos fit well with the record.
Where do you see your music going in the future, sonically speaking? What avenues are you currently exploring in your newer material?
We just finished tracking our second record with the amazingly talented Mitch Easter who fronted Let's Active and has recorded bands from R.E.M. to Pavement.
So right off the bat there is a drastic sonic shift in that the production is much cleaner. We'd also like to think that the songwriting is stronger, and the songs are certainly more melodic and dynamic. It marks the first recordings with the full Big Troubles band, with our drummer Sam Franklin and bassist Luka Usmiani, since "Worry" was recorded by just Alex and Ian at home with a cruddy drum machine. In some ways it sounds like an entirely new band and in other ways it just sounds like a cleaner Big Troubles.