Gents Exclusive Interview with Big Boy Brass

Music in Lancaster:

As a music teacher and freelance trumpet player in Lancaster, one of the biggest aspects of this city that fills me with pride is how the music scene is THRIVING. No matter where you go, there is always good music to be heard. I myself used to play with a brass quintet in front of the Queen Street bus station, and have had the opportunity to play trumpet for Central City Orchestra at events all over Lancaster for two years now. This week I had the privilege of working with Connor Devlin and Matt Woodson, two members of Big Boy Brass, a brass band that has earned quite the reputation in Lancaster. They are working on a new album and the Gents of Lancaster could not be more excited to share this interview with our readers!

Make sure to watch/listen to the video while you read! The Gents bet you can’t resist tapping your toe!

 

Gents: How did you get your start?

Big Boy Brass:

“It’s the Summer of 2015, Matt, myself, and our good trombone buddy Ryan Polakoff just finished playing a gig in West Chester, PA with a production company and we were walking to our cars when some random guy said “Hey!  Blow those horns” and we were like “nahhh, we’re tired,” he responds “I’ll give you $20” so we quickly blew down When The Saints Go Marching In and collected our prize.  We were pleased with our new source of income so we took the streets of Lancaster every first and third Friday to make some pizza money.

We started a Facebook Page and we officially became Big Boy Brass in September of 2016 when people started asking us our fee and if we play stage shows, events, and Christmas parties.  Needless to say, we had to step it up and get a solid band together.” 

Gents: Why is Lancaster important to your group?

Big Boy Brass:

“Lancaster is important to our group because it is where we honed our skills.  We received a ton of support from the people on the street, the incredible non-profit: Music For Everyone, and eventually Tellus 360 who let us pollute the city with our raucous sound every Sunday evening.  We end up playing somewhere in Lancaster every week.”

Gents: Tell us about the upcoming album!

Big Boy Brass:

“The band has worked hard over the last year to write new music that has a true “Big Boy Brass” sound.  We are only recording the best tracks to guarantee at least 40 minutes of high-energy jams designed to lift you up, shove you around, and help you to get bent.  We’re recording at Thornwall Studios just outside of Lancaster and we are releasing it on May 24th, 2019.  You can find it on our website, at our merch table, or all streaming platforms.”

Gents: How can people support your album even if it’s already funded?

Big Boy Brass:

“Buy the album and come to the Album release concert on May 24th at Tellus 360! Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.”

Gents: Where do you want to see the group in the coming years?

Big Boy Brass:

“In coming years we want to see the group playing more in the surrounding areas other than Lancaster, Pa as well as performing at more festivals. I also wanna see us continue to write new originals and keep on pushing to establish our own unique brass band sound.”

Gents: How do you come up with what tunes you are going to play?

Big Boy Brass:

“We’ve built a vast collection of originals and covers so that we can tailor our set-list to the audience.  Most of us are capable arrangers and not only do we play the music we love but we take requests and learn tunes on the fly.  The combination of horns, guitar, drums, and vocals allows us to play anything. Our only limit is our imagination.”

Gents: What’s the best part of being in BBB?

Big Boy Brass:

“We are fortunate to be able to play frequently and grow as musicians and performers.  The music is high-energy and wherever we go, people always get into it, dance, sing along, and shout “raw meat.”  We don’t need amplification so we’re like a mobile party, we’ve done parades, second-lines, stage shows, corporate events, Christmas tree lighting’s, private parties, birthday flash-mobs and food truck frenzy’s but our home will always be on the streets.”

Gents: What was your favorite gig with BBB so far?

Big Boy Brass:

Matt:

“By far to date my favorite gig would have to be a tie between New Years Day playing for the Froggy Carr Club (the biggest and baddest Mummers Club In Philly with over a thousand members) and our first second-line that we performed in 2016.”

Connor:

My favorite “gig” was the PA University Professor Strike of 2016.  Millersville University was shut down for about a week and students and professors were holding rallies on campus.  Matt suggested we go out and play to support the strike so showed up late after a quick rehearsal in my tiny college apartment. We blew our horns and banged our drums for hundreds of students and faculty members.  Everybody was dancing and singing and nobody who we were, I remember the feeling of pure bliss when I saw Barry Atticks and Joey Holland-Garcia, two of our music professors right behind us shaking tambourines and cheering us on.  The professors asked us to play the next day at a rally downtown and we ended up being broadcast on NPR.”

Gents: Do you already have Merch for sale that our bloggers can get their hands on?

Big Boy Brass:

“Yes, you can get it at our merch table or at http://www.bigboybrass.com”

A huge shout out to Big Boy Brass for taking the time to interview with us here at GentsofLancaster! Watch out for their album May 24th, and grab your tickets for the release party at Tellus 360!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s