From the mutual cliques and esteemed friend leagues of Chastity Belt, Dude York, etc; meet Big Eater, the new project of Seattle-by-way-of Brooklyn's own, Matt Bachmann. Formerly known for his bass work with Mega Bog, and iji, Big Eater gobbles up the spaces in between the folded corners of the Northwest and the Northeast. Self-releasing his first EP, we have your exclusive first listen to the three song cycle of, “Gone”, “Jackpot”, and “Little Things”.
Before we even heard a lick from the following audio triptych, the excited and hushed murmurs from Seattle artists in the know and ex-pats tipped us off that we were about to embark on something special. And sure enough, Big Eater brings a large audio buffet for our big appetites for everything we all have been longing to hear in these recent, semi-sunny days of spring. Opener “Gone” makes the heart grow fonder through expressing the in absentia emotions that evokes the empty domicile spaces. Matt counts the aches and pangs that pine for something of sentimentality and substance between the blank spaces that dot the too-familiar distances between the kitchen sink and the living room. Turning portraits of fresh-broken loneliness into a work of beauty, “Jackpot” jacks up the mood for an indie power-pop-pow-wow that jumps with an energy, further powered by a horn synth. The jubilation moves with a joy that feels at home with the most revered holy grails of cassette classics and the still-shrink-wrapped desert-islands CDs saved in near mint condition from the sympathies of the 90s.
Closing on the somber note of, “Little Things”; everything is expressed is attitudes of earnest, by the cluster of guitar pickings and calming presence of keys. Matt brings everything back home and straight to the heart of the listener with the lyric of, “and the way I feel is much too real.” The close examination of internal responses to the exterior are added up as clusters of tally marks, while the externalities of the outside world can be heard beyond the delivery of whispers for the various background noises of clinking dishes, to the overwhelming slow rise of the claustrophobic finish. Enjoy one of the season's finest releases, and stick around after for our discussion with frontman, Matt.
Without further ado, we give you words from the man himself, Big Eater's Matt Bachmann.
Eaters are very in fashion with names right now, Useless Eaters, Eaters, and now Big Eater. Tell us why you took on the name that refers to food consumption in sumptuous excess.
Whoa! In fashion! I had no idea. I named the band after a song by The Bad Plus, one of favorite bands. But besides that, I feel like I do fit the bill of a 'big eater.' My proudest/saddest life accomplishment was eating three feet of subway subs in a sitting, back when I played more sports. I'll have to check out the other eater bands.
You run an impressive span in this three song cycle, Matt, would you like to give us a glimpse at the gory and glorious details on writing and recording these numbers?
Ha ha, I'm not sure my recording process is too glorious, but here are probably my highlights form each:
My favorite part of this one was recording the solo at the end. I got a real Rust Never Sleeps tone and really channeled my inner Neil for the take. I remember purposefully hitting a random first note and it sounded great and the take went well from there.
My favorite part of this one was having my friend Zane play drums and my friend Erin sing. My bud Keith engineered the session with Zane so I got to have fun and 'direct' him, which mostly consisted on jumping up and down while he slammed away. Erin is always so fun to record with; I just told her to get 'weird' on the bridge and that's what she did.
I grew up playing music/making records with my best friends in a band called The Dogs (we are about to change our name! watch out!). James was the mastermind behind most of the recordings and he loved layering ambient tracks of us walking around a wood room and what not. I stole that idea for this one and did a track of me putting the dishes away. I initially tried recording me doing the dishes, but the faucet was a little too ambient.
Your friends over in Chastity Belt and Dude York are all really super awesome folks who make some fine tunes. Would you care to share what your current take is on Seattle's new, 'moment?' (to borrow a term from something I've talked about with Andrew from Dude York)
I love both of those bands; Dude York really speaks to my anthemic rock soul. I'm a bit of a poser because I just moved, but my favorite band in Seattle is Mega Bog. I played in it so I'm a little biased, but I think the experience gave me a chance to appreciate the music even more — super dense and interesting songs with a deep emotional pull. I still play the bass lines on my own haha. My co-favorite band is Punishment. I'm lucky to have toured with this bro and see him try new things/crack me up every night. I love iji and Love in Mind, both of which I was also lucky enough to play with. Heatwarmer is my jam — their music just makes me smile. Sick Sad World are some bad ass slackers. Finally, Tables and Chairs are an awesome experimental record label.
What else are you working on for Big Eater?
I just moved to New York to play music with The Dogs. I've been writing a ton since I got here and was thinking of starting a full length very soon! I have dreams to some day assemble a big 'Big Eater band' where I just sing, karaoke style; I really love karaoke and I think it could be fun to karaoke your own music to a great backing track. But at the moment, I'd rather play bass in other people's bands.
Big Eater's EP is available now.