I am such a mark for ’90s and early aughts alternative rock. Like, seriously. Stone Temple Pilots, Hum, Failure, Third Eye Blind, Local H… the list goes on, and it’s in near constant rotation ’round these parts (when I’m not listening to black metal). Gilead Media signees Big Garden are part of a great new movement of this type of music’s revival, playing a shoegazing type of grungy alt-rock that sounds as much like a time capsule as it does a tribute to what I consider to be a glorious time in music. To the Rind, Big Garden’s newest album (which is streaming in full below), answers the question I often ask myself: “what if the ’90s’, but now?” With more modern production qualities and a thicker presence than an era which was defined by “still trying to understand digital audio,” Big Garden enters the ’90s throwback arena armed with knowledge and practice. What if the ’90s, but now, indeed. Listen to To the Rind in full and read an interview with Big Garden songwriter Mitch Wells (also of, you know, Thou) below.
There has been a select and small resurgence of ’90s style alternative rock music (I’m thinking artists like Nothing, Cloakroom, et cetera) over the past decade. What is it like being a part of a greater rebirth of this style?
Well I’m not sure we’re part of a greater rebirth (yet!) I think bands like Fleshwater and Ovlov and Toner and Hotline TNT and Just Mustard, along with the ones you mentioned, have been out there doing it for a bit, and hopefully we’ll have something to add to the sound that they’ve kept going in recent years. But I guess the fact that this interview is happening means something, so… cool! Yeah, we rule!
Since this approach is experiencing a bit of a redo and new Renaissance, do you feel this era of music is timeless?
I do, yeah. No joke, I was in Baskin Robbins like two weeks ago and Stone Temple Pilots was on and the two 19-year-old kids were singing every word. It was very sick. I asked them how they knew this song and both of them said they grew up listening to it and just love it. I guess their parents, who would be just a little older than me, were potheads or something? The girl behind the counter said she grew up with Pearl Jam and STP and stuff like that and it was the coolest thing! So yeah, I do think grunge and ’90s alt music will be around forever. My mom is still a huge Pearl Jam head. Hey mom!!
What was it about this style of shoegazing, grungy rock that first appealed to you?
It was never really the intention of making that exact kind of music honestly. It’s just sorta what came out. I’ve never been in a band, at least one I was writing for, that sounded like what I wanted it to sound like.
When I was in a band called Baby Boy I really wanted us to sound like that screamo band Ten Grand, but I don’t know how to write stuff like that, so it was just a punkier version that ended up being okay.
I really wanted this band to sound like Stone Temple Pilots, but damn who can write like the DeLeo bros? No one! So this is just sorta what our version of that. If I knew how to write hookier hooks that would definitely be a thing, but I don’t hate what we ended up with. I think we’re great, and I think you’re great.
While the originators of this style pop up on “throwback” stations (read as: oldies, oof), how do you feel as a modern representation of this era of alternative rock?
I feel good about it. I think everyone in the band, to some extent, grew up with punk and metal and grunge and 90s alt stuff, so it’s built into us. If what we’re doing now appeals to my parents (hey mom!) and people a liiiittle younger than us, then I think we’re doing a good job of representing that era. There’s one kid who’s like 22 or something, in a VERY sick band called Flip Fitch, and he digs our band so that’s a good sign. I think something that sticks out when looking back then was how huge these bands were. You’ve got like Primus and STP playing MTV summer bash whatever, and people are going nuts! Like everyone at Daytona Spring Break is losing it to Tommy The Cat. Alt rock/grunge or whatever was everywhere. I don’t know if it’s ever going to have that kind of reach again, but it definitely seems to be growing. And just in time too, we wanna play MTV Spring Break!
As you are on what has historically been mostly a metal label (Gilead Media), why do you feel this fusion of grunge and shoegaze, among other styles, appeals so much to metal fans?
Does it? So far it’s mostly our friends who have said nice things, but I’m not sure how receptive true metal-heads will be. I think the fact that Matthew (singer guy) and I are in a popular-ish metal band definitely helps and gives us a leg up with that community, but who knows if they’ll really let us in. If anything, I think what helps is that we’re juuuuuust heavy enough (sometimes) to get away with also being soft and quiet and spacey. There’s a wide enough door to walk through that gets you into the room. Also, can you listen to metal ALL THE TIME? Take a break, listen to us!
To the Rind releases Friday via Gilead Media.
The post Full Album Premiere: Big Garden – ‘To the Rind’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.