Not for average jam fans
March 25, 2004
When Big Metal Rooster went into the studio to record its latest album, the band members decided to play the entire 73 minutes of music at once.
“We started with song one, and where that was supposed to end, we kept going,” guitar player Tom Fleming said.
All the songs connected, and they left in the mistakes.
“It was a late night but a pretty amazing experience,” Fleming said.
The idea was partly inspired by albums such as Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” where one song flows into the next, but Big Metal Rooster took it a step further.
“The Pink Floyd album wasn’t all recorded at once,” Fleming said. “We wanted to get where the listener can listen to each song separately or listen to the whole thing.”
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It’s the kind of album where listeners should lay on their backs, put on the headphones and get lost in songs such as the 20-minute “Trapeze” or the 13-minute “The Adventures of Herman the Frog.”
Recording the album as one marathon song prompted JamBase reviewer Robert Champion to write, “Big Metal Rooster is not for the average fan of this genre. This recording is something that the experienced ear will have to put into perspective.”
Fleming describes the band’s music as experimental jamming with uplifting lyrics, influenced by Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull, the Grateful Dead and more recent bands including the Talking Heads, Phish and Yes.
The band plays its jams in a spiraling, psychedelic crescendo, building on musical ideas minute after minute.
“Sometimes it gets to a point where we’ve been building for so long that you feel the hairs start to raise on your neck. Then we give you this delivery of sound,” Fleming said. “There are four of us, and we pass the music around between us, building with each other. Sometimes it comes together really strong, and that’s the most intense feeling I’ve ever had in music.”