Big Spring have been popping up on various radars for nearly a year now, getting a very early career break when they were given a slot on The Pit stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals last year by mega-fan Daniel P. Carter. “Those were our fifth and six shows ever, so we did feel like we weren’t really ready,” admits towering frontman Ollie, “But we’d never have said no to doing it.”
“New bands often have five or so people at their fifth gig,” adds bassist Alex, “we had a couple of hundred people in the crowd! But despite them coming too early, those are still two of our favourite gigs” he concedes, “But Dan P. Carter calling you the best new band in Britain and all that... it can be a lot to live up to.’”
Brothers Alex and Ollie Loring have been playing in bands together since they were at school. Big Spring, however, represents the coming of age of the musical bond they share. Alex, the more talkative of the two, alternates between easy-going self-belief and Gallagher-level boastfulness at the drop of a plectrum. “In previous bands there was never the scope to write good individual songs, and that wasn’t particularly something we set out to do with this band,” he says, “it just so happens that each time we do a Big Spring track we can go ‘Yes! This one is a banger from start to finish’ and it’s gratifying as fuck. People want to hear some big songs and happily we can provide.”
‘Big’ is certainly an appropriate moniker for both the band and their music. Tracks like new cut ‘Cold Foot’ (out next Friday) next are engorged, swollen takes on the sonic template laid down by such 90s grunge kings as Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, the latter of who’s ‘4th Of July’ pretty overtly influenced Big Spring’s titanic ‘5th Of July’. “I love that album!” gushes Ollie, “it (1994’s ‘Superunknown’) is one of our biggest inspirations, so I wrote the sludgiest song I could and that name sort of stuck. My demo was actually fairly light, then I gave it to Alex and he whacked a load of distortion on it and tweaked the drums to make them sound huge and beefy.”
This sums up the interesting yin/yang creative process the brothers tend to employ. The more modest and calm singer tends to write most of their songs in his own unique manner. “Oliver writes in a really free way because he’s unencumbered by knowing chords or how song structures should go,” teases Alex in typical younger sibling fashion. Ollie grins, “I’ve always been bad at learning other people’s songs by ear, so if I hear something I like I’ll try to play it and end up creating something completely different.”
After the freeform composition phase is over, it’s time for the younger Loring brother to work some magic. After producing their debut single ‘Buzzards Leave The Bones’ out of necessity, Alex has fast become an in-demand producer for bands looking to capture that mammoth industrial sound he’s mastered. “(Headlining tour mates) Decade came to me and were like ‘Yeah, we want to get you in to do our next album, we’ve all spoken about it’ and I was like ‘Wicked!’” He’s adamant, however, that Big Spring remains his flagship project. “I’m not just saying this because this is our band or because it’s my brother, but it makes such a difference when the level of songwriting is so high. I’ll just do those tiny tweaks to the dynamics and make it into the Big Spring sound.”
Having learnt from their overeager beginnings, the four-piece’s plans are currently more modest than their self-belief. “It’s baby steps at the moment, we’re going to just keep doing what we’re doing: writing then recording then releasing singles, every eight weeks if we can,” Ollie promises. Their debut might be a way off, but Big Spring may very well have a Big Summer ahead of them.
What: Colossal 90s-tinged rock with enough of a pop sensibility to lodge itself in your skull
Get Three Songs: ‘5th of July’, ‘Cold Foot’, ‘On A Bamboo Sleeping Mat’
Fun Fact: The pair’s earliest memories are listening to Blur’s ‘Parklife’ and ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ on tape cassette together...
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New single ‘Cold Feet’ will be released on 20th April.
Words: Josh Gray