Nikki Blakk of the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 The Bone recently conducted an interview with vocalist Eric Martin of MR. BIG. Martin spoke about never auditioning for VAN HALEN, and playing in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. You can now watch the chat below.
Frontiers Records has set a February 28 North American release date (four days earlier in Europe) for MR. BIG‘s new acoustic live album, “Live From The Living Room”.
At the end of January 2011, during a week-long promotion trip to promote for its latest reunion album, “What If”, and tour, MR. BIG was invited to the WOWOW TV studios in Tokyo to perform a special show in an intimate setting.
When the talk of a broadcast first came up, the band wanted to present something different from what they’ve ever done before. Thus the idea of an acoustic show came about and a string quintet was brought in to enhance the project even more, with arrangements provided by Takashi Miyazaki. Although Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan hooked up electric on a few songs, the show was still very much acoustic in nature throughout. Pat Torpey played various acoustic percussion instruments during the gig.
Commented Eric Martin: “The idea for the show came out of a quick conversation the four of us had after a day of interviews promoting the new ‘What If’ CD.
“We did an acoustic show at the Hard Rock Café in Singapore in 1996 that, to this day, is one of my favorite live recordings. It had a stripped down, up-close and personal feel to it.
“If we were going to do something like that again it would have to be extra special.
“We were talking about the old days when musicians used to live together in a band house and practice day and night. Our favorite rock band posters and tapestries adorning the walls, family hand-me-down furniture, amps that doubled as lamp stands, friends hanging out and the usual cluttered mess on the floor, lyric sheets, guitar cases and chords, music stands, beer cans, pizza boxes, wine bottles etc. ‘Live From The Living Room’ was born out of that.
“We wanted to recreate a harmonious atmosphere and treat our fans to an informal jam session of songs from the past and present while throwing in a few surprises from our wish lists (strings, Japanese taiko drums).”
The result from that magic night in Tokyo is now here: 10 MR. BIG classics in a completely new and fresh dress and a portrait from the very first ever acoustic show from the band.
“Live From The Living Room” will be exclusively released in a glossy digipak and will include the following songs:
02. Still Ain’t Enough For Me
03. As Far As I Can See
04. Voodoo Kiss
05. Take Cover
06. Around The World
07. Stranger In My Life
08. All The Way Up
09. To Be With You
10. Nobody Left To Blame
“What If…” was released in Europe on January 21 via Frontiers Records. The North American release, also on Frontiers Records, followed on February 8.
“What If…” is MR. BIG‘s first “all-original” album since the reunion of the four original members, Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey, back in early 2009. Sixteen years after the release of “Hey Man”, the new recording is set to bring back MR. BIG on the height of the current hard rock scene. The CD was produced by Kevin Shirley (AEROSMITH, RUSH, IRON MAIDEN).
Formed in 1988, MR. BIG forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark “shredding” musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies. The original lineup produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres, be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included “To Be With You” (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), “Wild World”, “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind”, “Just Take My Heart”, and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy”, “Addicted to that Rush”, “Colorado Bulldog”, and “Take Cover”.