Big B Fool’s Gold
Hunter S. Thompson summarized it best when he said, “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” The words ring true even more so in 2012 as the industry scrambles to any table scraps are left of the carcass of the music business. The facade of a rock star life filled money and fame has been exposed to reveal a life of hardship away from loved ones, long hours and little pay. Las Vegas based singer/rapper/songwriter Big B is throwing a few clever jabs at the music business with the title of his sixth studio album aptly titled “Fool’s Gold”.”I’ve been making records for such a long time now and after a while you start to realize that the whole music industry is fake,” said Big B about the title of the album. “People get caught up in chasing this idea of success that just doesn’t exist. People who window shop never see the inside of a store unless they walk in. You could have the coolest looking store front ever, but when you open it up its still just a junk yard inside. That’s the way I see the music business. It sounds glamorous until you see it for what it really is, which is fool’s gold.”
Big B has been clawing his way throughout the music industry with a blue-collar mindset and an unorthodox style that bridges the gap between rock, hip-hop, and reggae vibe. Big B’s versatile abilities allow him to seamlessly appeal to both rock and alternative fans who can rock out to Everlast one minute, and unabashedly blasting the feel good vibrations of Sublime on their iPod next.
Despite the music business being caught in a tailspin, Big B is actually enjoying new found success after his last album, “Good Times & Bad Advice”, brought him a whole new fan base. The album saw the Vegas based rocker being cleverly inventive as he created some contagious new music with an all-star ensemble that included Grammy award winner Everlast, Cisco Adler, Pepper, and Scott Russo from Unwritten Law. “Good Times & Bad Advice” was unapologetically feel-good in nature, riddled with gigantic hooks, and head-nodding grooves.
The album produced the monstrous single “Sinner” featuring Scott Russo from Unwritten Law, which exploded in the Alternative Rock radio peaking at #23 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs. The song received heavy airplay from radio stations across the country and became the anthem for feeling good at stations like KROQ, which led to them inviting Big B to be a part of their annual Weenie Roast music festival alongside Weezer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kings of Leon, Jimmy Eat World and Hollywood Undead. Iconic sports complex Madison Square Garden used the anthemic chorus and catchy guitar riffs of the song “Good Times” in the venue’s entire summer advertising campaign. Big B capitalized on the heightened awareness by touring with Pennywise, Pepper, and as a part of the Vans Warped Tour.
For his sixth studio album, “Fool’s Gold”, Big B is upping the ante by delivering his most heartfelt album yet.
“I put a lot of heart and soul into this record and the last few years have been pretty hard on me for various reasons,” he says. “This record was my way of getting it all out and turning it all into a positive thing. I just wanted to make good songs that people can have a good time listening to. ”
Big B spills his heart out on the album’s 13-tracks that make up “Fool’s Gold”. The album runs the lyrical gamut from Big B’s introspective musings, to some poignant social commentary. Working with Big B on the record was producer Jim Perkins, who has sat behind the boards on the Vegas’ singer/songwriter’s last three albums. Together the duo’s musical chemistry produced some of Big B’s best material and together they won an Emmy Award in 2012 for their work on a Madison Square Garden’s commercial.
One of the most personal songs on the record is the song “Here Comes The Lightning”, which was co-written by pop icon Pink and producer Butch Walker (Weezer, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry). The song combines Pink & Walker’s pop sensibilities with Big B’s trademark brand of alt-rock.
“Pink is a good friend of mine and we always wanted to do something together, but the timing never worked out because of her insane schedule,” he said. “For this album everything just worked out as she had the time to work on a track together with Butch Walker. It was cool mesh my writing style with Pink and Butch Walker’s. The song we created together turned out to be one of my favorite songs on the record.”
The rest of the record is just as contagious as Big B’s thuggish charm. Big B is joined by a stellar cast of songwriters and together they produced some of the most captivating songs of his career. Country superstar Colt Ford jumped on board with Big B to record “First Round”, Slightly Stoopid jammed on “Ride Like A Rebel”, and the Dirty Heads dropped their blend of reggae-rock on “Hangovers With You”. Big B was joined in the studio some of his friends from the punk-rock community as Pennywise drummer Byron McMacki laid down drum tracks on a couple tracks, while NOFX guitarist El Hefe jumped in the booth to record vocals on another song.
“When it came time to put together this record I just had a ton of good friends that asked to make music with me,” he says of the collaborations on the album. “Byron from Pennywise and El Hefe from NOFX swung by the studio to help out. I did a track with Colt Ford on this record, Slightly Stoopid produced a track, and I hooked up with the Dirty Heads on a track. I’m not name dropping or anything like that, I just had all these people I’m friends with that I had the opportunity to collaborate with on some music.”
With the entire music industry focused on finding the next huge star via reality shows, Big B has taken a back-to-basics approach with his music. He has filled “Fool’s Gold” with fun spirited songs that can fit into any music lover’s playlist. If his goal was to create and album filled with great songs, Big B has already struck it rich with “Fool’s Gold”.