Big Big Train

6. The Mellotron, has become an icon..a pseudonym to great music in progmusic circuits. whats your thoughts on that and the particular instrument?

We are huge fans of the Mellotron. The distinctive, eerie sound that it makes played a big part in the development of the prog-rock style in the early 70's. Nowadays, it forms part of a whole library of sounds that we use, but it's still an important element of our sound. I was working on a song with a big ending the other day, and had to call up a Tron choir sound...sometimes, nothing else will do.

7. If the ultimate choice were given to you, which comes first, live performances or studio work? I realise that is 2 sides to one story, but please do tell...elaborate!?

To me, the writing and recording side of things is far more important. It gives us a chance to leave behind something of permanent significance. Gigs can be amazing, but they are ephemeral. At the moment, we have young kids and other commitments and only have a limited time for the band and we have decided to concentrate on studio work. However, we are keen to perform live again so priorities may change in the future.

8. In many interviews Beatles comes up as as the ultimate forerunners of prog!? In other words...without Beatles, no progscene as we see it today! Do you concur? Please elaborate!

The Beatles covered an astounding amount of territory in such a short period of time. Even today, some of their albums sound challenging and interesting. However, it's really difficult to separate out the threads of the development of prog. What would In the Court of the Crimson King have sounded like without the Beatles? Or Days of Future Passed? Those are impossible questions to answer.

9. In a given concert, with you BIG BIG TRAIN headlining, whom or which band/artist would you most like/love to see on that imaginative event/ poster! Please feel free to name several!

If I had a time machine, I'd like BBT to go back and be on the six bob tour with Genesis and Van Der Graaf Generator. If it was one of today's bands, it would have to be Mew.

10. In this day and age of progcircuits, I guess most of your fans, friends & musicians would like to learn the instruments of your choice, im of course talking make and brand. Please elaborate individually!

image002Andy got a Rickenbacker bass last year which we used on the English Boy Wonders re-release and The Underfall Yard. I cannot imagine that we would ever use a different bass, it's a beautiful instrument. I've been using a fairly cheap Epiphone Les Paul copy in the last few years. It plays and sounds great. We've just bought an American-built Fender Telecaster, though, so that may become my main guitar. As for acoustics, I use Takamine 6, 12 and nylon string guitars. David is a multi-instrumentalist and uses loads of different things. His main guitar is a customized Telecaster and he also has a lovely Rickenbacker 360 6-string guitar. He also plays a Fender mandolin and a Takamine 12-string acoustic, amongst lots of other things.

11. Congrats on the release (out the 15th Dec.) of the new album! I find it very interessting (I think it is wonderful!)The former album was great too, but a bit on the heavier side (to my ears) in its approach, this new outing is quite on the mellow side overal, with some more bombastic theme´s, is that on purpose or is it just the way things turned out?

I don't think it's a good idea to try to write an album in a certain style, so it's very much a question of what comes out of the writing sessions. The Difference Machine showcased the more experimental side of our music, whilst The UnderfallYard is more of a song-based album. Most of the next album is already written but we won't know the direction that the album takes until we hear the songs together.

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