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Austin Ford from Big Fun: “The closest we got to describing our sound was a genre I made up called Guttertech”

Los Angeles-based electronic rock act Big Fun recently unleashed a gritty and extraordinary cover of Justin Timberlake’s classic ‘Sexy Back’. Heavily inspired by the Y2K pop culture sleaze, Austin Ford, Cody Barbato, and Nicholas Tripi embarked on a sonic journey of electrifying proportions, and I’ve been in love with their sound ever since.

I knew I needed to find out more about the band, and was stoked when vocalist Austin Ford agreed to an interview! Taking us through some of the act’s biggest influences, how they feel about being independent, and what they have next in store, please give a big welcome to our new friend Austin from Big Fun!

Hey Austin, thanks so much for chatting with us! I can’t wait to introduce you to our readers! Let’s kick things off with an easy one…Who is Big Fun and how would you describe your sound?

Hey! We are an electronic rock three-piece from LA. I kind of like people to try and make up their own idea of what we sound like – but the closest we got to describing our sound was a genre I made up called Guttertech. It basically revolves around the idea of using synthesizers and other pieces of gear in an incorrect and trash way. 

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peek at your cover of Justin Timberlake’s hit ‘Sexy Back’. I love what you’ve done with it! It’s fiery and intense and just so contrasting to the original. Why ‘Sexy Back’?

I’ve always been a fan of early 2000s pop and it’s kind of in the DNA of my songwriting. We wanted the cover (and the video) to be a mashup of that world and the LA DIY punk scene we’ve been a part of. The song translated so well into our sound because of its bare-bones structure and felt really natural as a harder song. 

Who would you put down as some of the band’s biggest musical influences?

Parliament Funkadelic, Deftones, The Boredoms, Lightning Bolt, The Pixies, YMO, Bad Brains, Death Grips, Nine Inch Nails, James Brown, Daft Punk. 

What is one thing about the music industry that you would change if you had the power to?

Even though the whole streaming model is kind of cool and there is this new way to be an independent band without a label, if it was up to me, I would have the industry go back to the way it was before Spotify. Where people had to buy the album on iTunes or buy a physical Vinyl/CD. We’re independent right now but we would much rather be signed to a label.

We’re always intrigued by the different approaches that bands and artists turn to in their creative process or processes. Can you tell our readers a bit about yours? How do you take an idea and turn it into a complete song? 

Some of the songs are made from little riffs I’ll record into the voice memos on my phone, and then I’ll bring them to the rest of the band and mutate them. The others are started super freestyle in jam mode and then sculpted later or conjoined to other existing jams. 

Which of your lyrics would you like to see printed on a T-shirt?

I’ve thought about this before haha! I think the lyrics to our song ‘Tiny Wurld’ would be good on a shirt. “I live in a tiny wulrd – tiny boys and tiny girls – everything’s so personal- everything’s so normal now”. 

Besides music, what other interests tie you all together? Walk us through a non-music day in the life of Big Fun and its members.

We’ve known each other since the 2nd grade and the 1st time I met Chuck (the bassist) it was at his mom’s garage to jam. The reason I was there was because someone we also used to jam with in 2nd grade heard me sing the national anthem and told me to come over haha. Music is the major connecting thing for all of us, and besides that, we used to play a lot of GTA5 together on the PS3 and go for long drives in either LA or OC. 

Thanks so much for chatting with us guys! Before we let you go, what comes next for the project?

We’re writing songs for album number 4 right now. Some of these songs are a totally different style than people who like us are used to so it’s gonna be interesting to see how it’s received. 


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