Big Dick: The Wavelength Interview

Sounds like: Energetic, 90’s-tinged, Albini-flecked power punk.
File next to: Wavves, Parts and Labor, Japandroids, Nomeansno
Playing: Tonight! @ Handlebar for Wavelength’s May Long Weekend Blowout

Big Dick are a punchy punk two-piece from Ottawa, Ontario, whose tight, aggressive and to-the-point songs belie their pleasant dispositions. We caught up with drummer Dave Secretary ahead of their May 15th show at the Wavelength May Long Weekend Blowout at Handlebar (159 Augusta Avenue, Toronto).

Hi! Who are Big Dick, and why do you exist?

My name is Dave and I play drums, Johnny plays bass, and we’re from Ottawa.

Aren’t people from Toronto the.worst.

I love Toronto! Most of the people I know there are amazing.

Okay, you pass the Ottawa test. Listen — about your band name… why have you, as a band, chosen to capitalize the first letter of each word making up the name?

The Nomeansno song [we are named after] has a capital letter on each word, so we thought we might as well too.

So, Big Dick — being a duo can often leave a lot of sonic spaces unfilled. Your recordings certainly don’t sound sparse, but tell us a bit about your sound choices and how you decide when to layer sound, and when to leave some air?

When we started we tried to cram in as much sound as possible, and since that’s really tiring to play live, we’re trying to open the songs up more and put more space in them… It’s way easier to play, and lets the vocals play a bigger part in the melody.

Do you ever wish Big Dick had more…members?

No, but I wish we had people to set up our gear and drive us around.

Do you believe that three is a magical number?

Three hasn’t done anything magical for me yet. So, no.

Hmm, but consider this: it has often been said that three’s a crowd. As a duo, what impact do you feel your number of members has on your sound, and the cosmos at large?

Having only two members makes it easier to write songs, I think. Also, our gear can fit in a minivan and sometimes even a large car, so that’s pretty cool. Other than that, I don’t think we have any impact on anything, whatsoever.

Do you believe that numbers in any way affect our day to day lives, Dave?

No. I have little vested interested in anything, least of all numbers. Numbers and patterns are meaningless, as is everything else in life. Johnny, being a 33rd degree Freemason, would disagree slightly with me.

Hey — about your band name — a lot of people are using underscores in_the_place_of_spaces these days. It’s the Information Age! Is there a reason you opted not to do this?

Underscores killed my parents, I won’t use them any more. We thought about taking the vowels out of our name because that’s a cool thing to do, but common sense prevailed and we opted to remove the consonants instead.

The longest song on your new LP clocks in at just over three minutes. Is there any numerological significance to your song lengths?

Song length x bpm = almost constant variable on this record. Shorter the song, the faster it gets. Good rule of thumb for all bands.

So it sounds like there’s some math to your madness. If you would — talk, for a moment, about the power of numbers.

Numbers are powerless.

The Roman numeral “II” is really just two ones side by side. Why do you think in modern notation the number “2” is drawn so distinctly from the number 1?

Well, actually, the number ‘2’ evolved from two horizontal lines, didn’t it? So, really, it makes sense. Wikipedia will either confirm this or prove my ignorance on the subject. [ed: Editor declined to look this up as he is tired of looking at Jimmy Wales’ face and also it is a den of lies]

Really quickly — about your band name. It has seven letters. Are you guys numerologists?

You aren’t counting the space between the words as a number?

Here’s a hot tip: get a handful of Big Dick at Wavelength’s May Long Weekend Blowout tonight at Handlebar (159 Augusta). Get there early to avoid getting shafted!

— Interview by Dean Williams