By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
Three years ago, Big Timber got its start playing punk. The band then tried its hand at alt-country before settling on its current sound — indie rock infused with a '60s garage flair. On its latest EP, Midnight on the Mainland, the group plays to both sides of its personality. Inspired by Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Paul McCartney's Ram, the players included two versions of the title track — one a folksy version, the other a rocker. We caught up with the Big Timber guys recently at the hi-dive, before a show with two other bands they play in, Snake Mountain and Eyes & Ears.
Westword: Tell me about the new EP.
Trevor Morris: It's being released digitally. We're trying something 21st-century to see how that works. There's going to be physical artwork, because I'm a collector of things, and I had a hard time trying to imagine putting something out without ever touching anything. We decided that instead of selling CDs with five songs on them, we could just give people artwork that they could have, and then they could download it.
Weren't you guys working on a full album as well?
TM: We're sitting on the full album. This is kind of the stop-gap precursor.
Andy Wild: These are five tracks that we decided did not fit on the album as a whole.
How does the newer stuff compare to the stuff you did when you first formed in 2005?
AW: It's definitely grown musically. We started out as kind of a punk-rock band. It was collectively decided that everybody wanted to try something new and different. I think we were a little bit more alt-country at the beginning. I'd never say we were an alt-country band, but we had a little more of a country leaning as opposed to now, which is more like melodic rock.
Bryce McPherson: There's definitely a lot less acoustic guitar on this album as opposed to the first album.
TM: I remember having a conversation when we were working on it about how, on the old stuff, it seemed like each song stood out as someone was trying to do this kind of thing. Like, you'd listen to one song that someone was trying to write — an old punk-rock song or something — or listen to this band a lot, and see how we came up with a bunch of songs this time around where each song wasn't its own detour. It's like we've digested a lot of our influences a little bit more.