STYLE. Confidence. Heaps of ambition. Pop hooks galore. These are all things The Big Day have in abundance. Bursting onto our radar in late 2021, the four-piece appeared like a bolt out of the blue – bringing an immediate sense of style and identity, as well as a firm belief in their own trajectory.
Landing in a flurry of colourful suits, sunglasses and stadium-ready pop anthems, they made an instant impact with those early live shows in the likes of Sneaky Pete’s and Stereo – and have since lived up to all that early potential and more.
Now we can say the cogs of The Big Day’s machine are very much in motion – in fact, they’re working furiously hard. This week alone the band have shared their second single ‘The Bad Things’ (the eagerly anticipated follow-up to last year’s ‘Fashion Statement’) and they’ve been longlisted in Glastonbury’s revered Emerging Talent Competition. Looking ahead even further, there’s also the small matter of gigs at Wide Days and TRNSMT to look forward to. It’s all shaping up to be a pretty big year, pardon the pun.
And in amongst all the excitement, we were delighted to recently welcome them into TTV HQ for a memorable live session – allowing them to walk in the steps of massive names before them like Bastille, Passenger, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Hozier and more. Slated for release next week, the session will be a brilliant introduction for those not yet acquainted – capturing that boundless charisma and the insatiable live energy for which they’ve become known.
So, ahead of the session’s release, we spoke to illustrious frontman Ryan Hunter about all things Big Day – from the new single and their exciting announcements to future plans and more.
He opened on the new single: “Bad Things was the first track that came together for The Big Day. I had the main riff for a long time and for years felt frustrated that I could never find a home for it. But out of nowhere (on a hot summer’s afternoon in 2021) everything just fell into place, sitting on mine and Barry (from Gallus’) balcony in our old Maryhill flat. It felt fresh, exciting and unlike anything I’d written before.”
“The lyrics are inspired by making bad decisions in life, due to the influence of someone you may be perhaps trying to impress. We’ve all been there, right? I was also listening to a lot of Duran Duran and Talking Heads at the time, you can definitely hear that.”
Always a live favourite, ‘Bad Things’ is every bit as refreshing and endlessly catchy as when we first heard it. It’s an instantly addictive pop anthem that encapsulates everything we love about The Big Day. Led by a perfectly zingy riff, it’s fun, colourful, infectious and absolutely full of character. It’s also littered with inspiration from the likes of Duran Duran and Talking Heads as they add some eighties-fuelled bombast to their contemporary indie-pop. A worthy follow-up to the brilliant ‘Fashion Statement’, it was the obvious choice for their next single.
“With our first single ‘Fashion Statement’, we wanted to throw people of balance a bit. We were just having fun with the process of releasing a debut single (and of course we still are having a lot of fun with it), but we wanted to follow up with a tune that’s stuffed with even more melodies, hooks and surprises. It’s a straight up, no arsing around pop tune.”
“It’s also one that’s been getting a huge reaction at our shows- and we’re all about giving the people what they want.”
Naturally, it’s another step forward for the band – one that has allowed them to reinforce their strong sense of identity, musically and otherwise. Their sonic world is one defined by a myriad of influences as diverse as David Bowie, Confidence Man and Duran Duran – fun, slick, unpredictable and ultimately unapologetically pop. In fact, it’s remarkable that in such a short space of time, they have managed to carve out a lane that is so uniquely theirs in Scotland’s busy music scene – and they’re most definitely flourishing in it. Ryan believes this development comes down to friendship and mutual dedication.
He reflects: “We’ve certainly learned a lot about each other. We work together like a well-oiled machine and I’d definitely put that down to being best pals. But musically, we’ve got a much better idea of how to turn each other on with ideas, especially when messing around with songs in the practice room.
When we ask what his favourite thing is about being in The Big Day, he reveals: “I like that there’s no limit to what we can do. We’re always experimenting with wild ideas and never putting ourselves in a box creatively. It’s just so much fun. I think that’s why it works so well, because we are genuinely just having fun with the whole idea of “being in a band” and “looking a certain way”. Saying that, we all have the same common goal which is to be a huge band. We’re really not scared to say it. I feel like it’s not “cool” to say that these days, but we don’t really care.”
A band unafraid to be ambitious, their reputation as a formidable live act continues to grow with each performance – not only are they musically tight with pop hooks aplenty, but they’re also engaging performers, full of charisma, enthusiasm and an effortless cool. What does he believe makes a great live show?
He says: “It might sound cliche, but I genuinely think the main thing is to have fun with it and play the music that you love playing. Audiences will be able to tell very quickly if you’re not enjoying it and if you’re not, it’ll 100% affect their experience. Also practice practice practice.”
It seems that all of this practice and experimentation is starting to pay off with they news that they’ve been longlisted by Glastonbury in their Emerging Talent Competition.
“It’s madness to be honest” he says. “We’ve only got two tunes out at the moment and to be recognised for such prestigious awards at this stage in our career is just super affirming. It makes us really really excited for the future, knowing that our very best is still up our sleeve.
And if the unthinkable happens, what will they do if they win? “My honest answer? We’d probably start by crying (I would anyway), followed by telling each other how much we love each other, calling and telling everyone we know, then we’d likely go for a massive scran together to celebrate. Me and Leo would probably head home afterwards and watch The Incredibles together (our joint favourite watch).
It goes without saying that these kind of competitions are great opportunities for unsigned artists like themselves – something that feels rare in a world where the creative industries continue to fall victim to funding cuts.
Ryan adds “They’re so important. It’s harder to be an independent touring artist than it ever has been these days, but to have these initiatives championing new talent really reminds us that there really are people looking out for us. It’s also a belter of a name drop to use on your annoying uncle at Christmas dinner when he’s like “you still doing the music aye? you making some money from it yet aye?” – “Aye uncle Jim we just got longlisted for Glastonbury.”
In the meantime though, The Big Day are firmly looking to the immediate future – a future which includes two very important dates at Edinburgh’s Wide Days showcase and, of course, TRNSMT Festival in July.
He says “We’re planning lots behind the scenes right now- but we’ve got loads of fun shows in the coming months, including our Wide Days showcase in Edinburgh and TRNSMT in Glasgow! We’re also looking towards England for some festival dates in the summer amongst many other fun exciting things.”
With big dreams for the future, you get the feeling The Big Day have all the drive and ambition needed to make them happen. And they’re only just getting started.
Ryan finishes by saying “We’ve got so many songs we want to record and release over the next wee while. We’d also love to support a massive band at The Barras, we’re ITCHING to get out on tour and we’ve got our sights locked on Austin Texas for SXSW next year. Big up all the bands representing Scotland there this year!”
Tune into ‘Bad Things’ below.