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Interview with Bigfoot

Bigfoot is one of those bands that draw a lot of fan appeal. Their mix of solid riffs and tight solos is what keeps people listening. Their natural charisma is what keeps people coming to their shows. Before their set at Manchester Rebellion, I managed to sit down and chat with the guitarists, Sam Millar and Mick McCullagh. Where we talk about the band's musical tastes, their new singer, the hardships of being on the road and trying to capture their live energy on record. Also, Guns 'N' Roses comes up a bit in the interview. 

You've recently recruited a new singer in Sean Seabrook. How's he fit in with the band since his debut?

Mick: He's fit in really well and singing brilliantly at every show. So we can't fault him, he's fit right into the band and the chemistry was there right away.

Sam: Yeah, we picked him because he felt like the right fit for the job. He's nailing all of the shows, this being the eighth or ninth show. I've kinda lost count.

How was the reaction at your hometown show in Wigan?

Sam: It was really good. We did that venue as it was one of the first places we ever played. So there was some historic value to do it there, and it made sense. Obviously, there were a few ropey bits as it was the first time we had played live with Sean, but it all came together really well.

How do you feel like you've evolved as a band over the years?

Sam: I think we've come a long way from you hear on the first EP compared to now. I think we've definitely found our feet. When we first got together we didn't really know what we were. We just came together and tried to make something. You can hear it on the first EP, it's got a bit of this and a bit of that. We were just throwing things against a wall and waited to see what stuck.

Mick: Exactly. Then the things that stuck just evolved naturally over time. Rather than trying to force ourselves into a pigeonholed category and we've been really happy with it.

So, do you feel like your musical tastes have expanded since becoming a band?

Mick: Every member brings a varied musical taste to the band. Yet, over time I think we have expanded our tastes even further.

Sam: I think it helps that we do all listen to different things. So we all discover new music through each other. Like, we're all in the van and we stick on someone's Spotify playlist on and then discovering you actually really like Lionel Richie.

Mick: Yeah, even Kylie Minogue comes on. At first, I was like "No!" then I realised "actually, this is quite good". 

I think when you're younger you really want to be seen as a rock or metal fan but as you get older you just relax and listen to whatever sounds good. Though, as a band, it's really good to have an eclectic taste in music anyway.

Exactly, it just means there's more room for ideas and fewer filters. In saying that, how does a Bigfoot song come together?

Mick: There are several different ways.

Sam: Sure, there's no set formula. It can come from Mick writing a riff and it expands from that or I'll come up with the general idea for a song and we work around it. 

Mick: There's no textbook on how to do it, we roll with whatever comes up. Trap us in a room with a riff and an idea and we'll work it out. Also, Sam's a great songwriter, so sometimes he'll come in with the melody and lyrics already written out. It's quite mixed.

Is there any song that you've not liked how it sounded on the recording and you've moulded it to how you've wanted it to sound in a live setting?

Sam: I think our whole sound has never translated to how we've wanted it to be on our releases. I don't think we've quite nailed that energy we have on stage, even on the album. For me when I listen back to our second EP, it sounds so raw. So, when you listen to it from a radio listeners perspective it might not have been the best way to go about it. Maybe it should have been more produced but at the time that's what we wanted. 

Mick: We always try to hone in on that live vibe, making it easier replicate it on stage. It's just one of those things. I think "live" is where we're at really. That's where the energy goes and the magic happens.

So,  do you think a live album could be the solution?

Mick: Oh we'd love to eventually.

Sam: When we've got the back catalogue and we can make it a big enough event to pull it off. As a live album has got to be you're greatest hits, hasn't it? You can't just go out there and make one

Mick: We're a relatively new band. So, hopefully at some point in the future that could be a reality.

Hey, when you can do it, you can do it. Speaking of live performances and touring. What is the best and worst thing about touring?

Mick: Well the worst thing is the travelling, it's absolutely exhausting. Especially in a van around Europe for two and a half thousand miles. At the same time, we all have a laugh and that's the best thing. We just take the piss out each other. 

Sam: I'd say the best and the worst thing, the answer to both, is Mick. No further explanation needed.

Who would be your ideal touring partners, either to support or have someone supporting you?

Sam: I'd love to tour with a proper legendary band like Aerosmith. Them in particular, because it's still the original line up and after so many years and that must be something special. I'd also love to tour with The Darkness, who is sort of a newer wave of that classic rock sound.

Mick: For me, I'd have to say Guns 'N' Roses or maybe Slash and Myles Kennedy. At the same time, I'd love to hit the road with someone like Massive Wagons, because we're pretty good friends with them and that could be a great tour. You know take a UK band on the road and have fun.

Fair enough, any of those would be great shows to go to. Moving on though, I usually like ending on this but I won't here. What is the hardest thing, professionally or personally, you've had to overcome and how did you overcome it?

Mick: Gear and leads... and things just breaking all of the time. I think to myself "how can this be broken, I just bought it the other day".

Sam: I think for me it has to be juggling your life around this one thing. It's such a hard industry to be a part of. Even to get a point where you get a few hundred people to a gig. I mean, the bands that make it are one in a million. So, to even consider yourself to be one of those bands that might make it, you have to make this your priority. So, your personal life can completely change because this is now your life. You've got to do it because you enjoy it and you want to make it work. You can't sit and whine about it.

Mick: It puts tremendous pressure on your home life and we're at this "make or break" stage of our career. Yet, at the end of the day, it's what we signed up for. So we make this work.

So, one final silly question to end on. What would be the one album and one luxury item you would have if stuck on a desert island?

Mick: Right... Appetite For Destruction and wet wipes.

Sam: Say a guitar, because that's the sensible answer and probably Use Your Illusion II by G'N'R.

Mick: So, G'N'R, wet wipes and a guitar and we're sorted. The basic needs are covered then.


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