A light glares onto the top of a table in the upper lounge of Skully’s Music Diner. It’s a Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio and the sounds of Four Year Strong rocking the house are still echoing throughout the venue after the band made it’s stop only a week before. But tonight is different. Tonight there are people painting portraits in the corners of the dance floor. There are glowing hula-hoops spinning rapidly around dancing bodies and the smell of “funk” is in the air.
At the table sits rock/funk band Big Something’s guitarist/vocalist Nick MacDaniels and drummer Ben Vinograd while the other four members are still downstairs setting up for the set. The members had just driven seven hours from Washington, D.C. and were still trying to shake off the open road.
“We’ve played in Columbus before but this is our first time at this venue,” MacDaniels says with effort in his voice. He’s trying to sound louder than the sound check coming from the opening band, Peridoni. The two bands are opening for Jahman Brahman and this time Big Something isn’t the opening act.
While the guys in the funk rock band speak about their excitement in the growing amount of support for their live show, they are more focused on performing the songs from their newest album, Truth Serum.
“It’s a good representation of what we do,” Vinograd says as he pulls the voice recorder closer to his mouth while drums and guitar illuminate in the background. “It’s definitely a fair shake at what we are as a band.”
The six-piece band recorded the eight-song album completely live in order to try to capture an authentic, raw type of sound. Big Something worked with producer John Custer again for their third album and decided it was going to be a very quick process.
MacDaniels smiles as he remembers the band recording in the studio.
“We all had head phones on and we were all in the room together,” MacDaniels says with a laugh as he looks at Vinograd. “Usually we’ll track things separately. We wanted to do it in a quick span of time and really
just focus on what the songs sound like in their raw, live form. We all knew that if we could capture some of the
same energy from our shows on the record that it would pay off. I’m really proud of the way that this album came out for this reason.”
By this point in the conversation, more people are starting to gather in the downstairs area by the stage.
The lights were being tested as they flashed different colors and artists had already started on their second round of portraits. The rest of the members in Big Something were finishing up their preparation for the night and it was almost show time.
The conversation was coming to an end and Vinograd and MacDaniels started walking downstairs to meet up with their band. The six members crammed onto the small stage and another night of funk music had started for Big Something.
Big Something has plans to release another live album next year, along with performing in Colorado for the first time. They will also be performing at the fourth annual Big What festival.