North East’s Bigfatbig are making some big waves with their powerful punk pop tracks and energetic live shows. Their debut EP has finally been released to the world (read our review here). Backseat Mafia has the pleasure of having the band give us a run through of the tracks on their raw, honest and utterly brilliant EP.
Rockin’ and Rollin’ and Whatnot is our first EP, and although we didn’t consciously register this at the time of writing the tracks, it’s a clear snapshot of what’s helping and hindering us at this specific time in our lives.
The opening track, Brink of my Sanity, was written in the middle of the night, which says a lot. It’s a reminder to ourselves to take things one day at a time, through the repeating lyric “one foot in front of the next,” and to trust the process. We’re both in our mid 20s, we both don’t have a clue what we’re doing any of the time, and sometimes we feel the pressure to have things figured out. The instrumentation in the song mirrors this feeling of chaos and paddling against the current of the pressure, whilst the lyrics contrast this, acting as an anchor amidst it all. We know we’ll likely never figure things out, so we may as well slow down and enjoy what we’ve got while we’ve got it.
This is followed by Wrong Place, Wrong Time which is actually the first track we wrote for the EP. Being working class is something that has shaped our lives and who we are as people, especially in regards to our careers in the arts, and Wrong Place, Wrong Time explores this, and how it feels to see middle/upper class people use working class customs to their advantage. When we were writing this one, we were in two minds about the double chorus at the end and whether or not we should have half time followed by double time, and if you listen to the track you’ll hear we did settle on that. It’s obviously a really cheesy, pop-punk trope to fall into, but we decided that that’s the point! Pop-punk, especially our DIY version of it, isn’t intended to be overly serious, it’s supposed to be cheesy and silly and also have the capacity to brace these subjects that we really care about, and hopefully that’s what we’ve managed to do here.
Our first single from the EP, Shut Up!, follows next. We’re really inspired by people who write simple and witty lyrics, and for this song particularly we looked to artists like Lauran Hibberd and The Front Bottoms who never dress up what they’re trying to say, they just say it how it is. Shut Up! is about people who refuse to acknowledge their privilege, and how rigged the music industry is. Success for anyone other than a straight, cis, white man is much harder to come by, which is wrong for obvious reasons, and it’s boring to see the same types of people climb to the top over and over again. Shut Up! is definitely the most fun to play live, and with such a simple chorus it’s easy for people to sing along to, which is always fun to see.
Easy For You To Say closes the EP, which we always knew would be the case because it’s so different from anything we’ve released before, so we wanted it to kind of sit slightly separately from the other tracks. It’s a much more vulnerable take from us, discussing how overwhelming just getting by can be. Doing the same mundane but necessary tasks on repeat, trying to get time to slow down and speed up simultaneously, not knowing who you’re supposed to be – right of passage feelings for 20 somethings is the overall theme. It was the track that took the longest to get right in the studio mainly because it doesn’t follow the same trajectory as anything we’ve done before. We recorded at Blank Studios in Newcastle with Chris Mcmanus, who is a complete genius, and definitely influenced the feeling of this track. The end of the chorus, “it doesn’t have to be this way, easy for you to say” had to be a focal point of the song, and Chris really made sure everything else around it was preparing for the vocal to go up an octave on that lyric. I think it ends Rockin’ and Rollin’ and Whatnot well, after all the chaos and brashness, some self reflection feels welcome.