Born from the merger of the remaining instrumental section of the Stoner Metal band Godsized and the unique vocal tone of singer Drew Davis from the Mercy House, Big Mono saw their inception during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
With the band scattered between the UK and Europe, extreme hard work and a ton of coordination have finally paid off with the debut of their first single, A Thousand Times, on 23 September. MetalTalk’s Dany Jones caught up with founder and guitarist Neil Fish to chat about the birth of the band, the grand plan, touring during the Brexit era and stories from the road in Episode 52 of MTTV.
“Big chunky riffs, soaring, proper lead rockstar vocals and just trying to make hookey hard-hitting rock songs,” is how Neil describes the band’s goals. “That’s one sort of distinction we wanted with this band. We wanted it to be loosely labelled as a rock band or a hard rock band because it gives you loads of options where you can take it. You can get heavier. You can bring in acoustic elements. You can do a lot more with it when you don’t pigeonhole. We want it to be kind of a bit more general, and that means we can be more creative.”
Godsized formed in 2005. Neil Fish left the band in 2013, though the band did continue for a while. Neil says he thinks the band were on hiatus, when bass player Gavin Kerrigan made contact saying that the wife of Nigel, the tour van driver, was very ill.
“I want to put a do a show at The Underworld,” Gavin had said. “It’s all for charity with just Godsized and we can do all different lineups.”
Gavin had asked the last six members that have been in the band over the last ten years, and everyone was up for it. “Everyone loves Nigel,” Neil says. “We just wanted to do it. So long story short, we did that gig, it was a great success, and it really inspired a lot of us to jam together again. I personally hadn’t played with those guys since 2013, and this was in 2018.”
The show was a success. “It felt good to be jamming and being in a rehearsal room with those guys again,” Neil says. Further jams happened. “We kept it light and loose, and we came up with some cool songs straight off the bat. I thought, well, this is really cool.”
There was no preconceived idea for a singer, and a Covid-19 hampered process eventually led to the idea of Drew Davis. “We used to play with The Mercy House a long time ago,” Neil says. “He was a really cool frontman.” An email exchange followed, which led to Drew joining for rehearsal. “From the minute he walked in, we just thought there’s something about this guy,” Neil says, “and it was cool. It’s been good chemistry.”
Drew has a peculiar vocal, particularly at the high end. “I think he’s got a really original voice,” Neil says, “and that’s one of the things that I really like about Drew and what he brings to the band. Because he doesn’t sound like the music we made before. I think he comes with quite a unique set of influences because of his solo projects. He’s really interested in Bowie. He’s really interested in quite a unique set of influences and all the classic rock stuff.”
An album has been recorded with a tentative release date of March/April 2023. There are at least two more singles which will be released shortly, and plans are underway to organise live shows.
“I just want to get on stage and do gigs,” Neil says. “I love all that part of being in a band. I love all the parts that everyone moans about. I love just being in a van and drinking warm beer and looking out the window for 12 hours a day.”
Big Mono make their live debut on 26 November at The Underworld, Camden, supporting Star Circus.