Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Tony Mascolo from Connecticut’s Big Fang. Big Fang is a power pop/indie rock band that recently released a two part EP – “Everything & Nothing At Once.” These EPs along with their other discography can be found on Bandcamp and other streaming platforms. Check out our interview below!
1. Before we begin, Mustard would like to thank everyone for being here. How is everyone?
Everything’s okay with us. We’re very happy to play shows again.
2. Mustard wonders how you met. They know humans love origin stories. What is yours?
The current lineup consists of me, Tony, on guitar and vocals, Grayson on guitar, Kyle on drums, and Mac on bass. We’ve gone through various lineup changes since I put together a full band in 2018. The current lineup played our first show this year. I met Kyle about 7 years ago through our Willimantic friends, Dr. Martino. He joined Big Fang in 2019. Grayson was part of the original lineup in 2018 and rejoined this year. I met him in 2016 when I was playing Big Fang songs as part of a duo with Joe Russo, now with Psychic Newborns and Tall Trees. Mac is the newest member and was suggested by Stephen Friedland of Fat Randy.
3. What is your songwriting process? Does music come first or the lyrics?
The songs I write typically form spontaneously by messing around on guitar. Many of the songs on the EPs came to me on Saturday mornings. Mornings seem to be the most-creative time for me. The music always comes first and typically I’ll come up with a vocal melody and the lyrics eventually form from that melody through stream of consciousness writing/improvisation.
4. Connecticut has a host of great venues such as The Space, Willimantic Records, Cafe Nine, and Toad’s Place. Do you have a favorite venue to perform at? What makes an authentic “Connecticut” show?
Our first show was at the State House and the sound there is amazing, but we also love the sound and intimacy of Café Nine. The shows there are so much fun. I feel like CT has an upcoming scene of great indie bands influenced by punk and post-punk and the shows reflect that energy and excitement.
5. Last February, in an interview with the New Haven Independent, it was mentioned that anyone who purchases the “Everything & Nothing at Once” EP can choose the charity of their choice for the proceeds to go to. Could you share more about this? Is this still ongoing?
The proceeds from the sale of both EPs on Bandcamp are sent to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. So far, $300 has been sent to about 20 organizations that support refugee services, LGBTQ advocacy and healthcare, abortion access, food banks, and bail funds. Bandcamp sales of those EPs will continue to be sent to charity.
6. What sets New Haven’s “Brick Oven” pizza apart from others like Frank Pepe’s or Willington Pizza House? Would Big Fang be interested in writing a jingle for Brick Oven?
My personal experience with New Haven pizza is relatively new aside from getting paid in pizza for playing at Bar with my previous band, Spectral Fangs. Because of its late-night availability and sale of slices, I’ve grown fond of Brick Oven over the last 5 years. And yes, I’d be down to write a jingle!
7. Big Fang is a big supporter of Bandcamp Friday’s. For those who may not know, what is Bandcamp Friday? How does Bandcamp Friday support artists such as yourself compared to other platforms?
Bandcamp has always been good to indie artists as a streaming service and marketplace. They take a minimal cut of sales, provide an easy way to find new artists, and it’s completely free to stream music. On select Fridays, they waive their fees and 100% of sales are provided to artists. We hope that they continue the same model now that they’ve been acquired by Epic Games. Other streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, may have a huge catalog of mainstream and independent artists, but they charge listeners, favor mainstream artists, pay indie artists small fractions of a penny for plays, and don’t provide a marketplace.
8. Who inspires (and influences) Big Fang?
Wipers, Husker Du, Mission of Burma, Built to Spill, Nirvana, REM
9. Besides yourselves, what other Connecticut artists should readers check out?
Dr. Martino, Psychic Newborns, Tall Trees, Bajzelle, Pond View, Wow Okay Cool.
10. Someone gets invited to a Big Fang show. What can they expect?
They can expect songs with a lot of energy and some they can even dance to.
11. How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
It’s bittersweet. On one hand, it’s easier to access music now than it has ever been and anyone can make their music available to just about anyone. On the other hand, with all the entertainment choices available, it’s harder to make an impact or stay on someone’s radar for very long. That is partly to do with how content is consumed and discarded at such a rapid pace.
12. What’s next for Big Fang?
We’re going on our second tour in July with Dr. Martino. It starts at the State House in New Haven on June 30th and ending in North Carolina on July 9th. We also have songs in the works for our next record which we would like to put out next year.