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Interview:
Australia's Big Scary isn't quite as frightening as it sounds
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

On its first full-scale tour of North America, Australia's Big Scary is both enjoying and getting accustomed to how it's done on this side of the Pacific pond.

"It's really new because in Australia a tour means three weekends of playing Friday and Saturday, and then you're home in between," explains the group's Jo Syme, who formed Big Scary with Tom Iansek in Melbourne though it tours as a four-piece band. "This is the first time we've even gone more than five days (on the road) in a row. We were really nervous, 'cause we tend to party and stuff, which isn't healthy on this kind of tour.

"So now we're trying to be really smart. We stay out of town so we're not forced to party with the friends who come to the show and we try not to drink very much and do the exercise and eat salad kind of thing. And it's worked; for the first time, instead of being on the brink of being sick the whole time our voices and our playing has gotten stronger as the tour's gone on, so that's good."

Syme, 27, says Big Scary's songwriting is following suit. The duo is now "juggling with the next batch of songs we want to work on" for its third album. Its latest, "Not Art," won the prestigious Australian Music Prize, which puts a little pressure on what Syme and Iansek do next.

"We're taking our time," Syme says. "It's been the least jammed kind of work we've ever done. I tracked my drums and then went away on holiday, and Tom spent time chopping up what we had recorded and layering on top of that. Any idea of it being a two-piece was totally thrown out the window and it's all about what the songs need.

"So it's just about songwriting in general, how to create a climax when you've really only got eight limbs between you. We just decided we're not limited to that anymore, and we'll figure out how to best play them live when it comes time for that."

Big Scary performs with Jeremy Messersmith on Tuesday, June 3, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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