Big Dipper Return!
Nearly 16 years after the band’s breakup, Merge is announcing a reissue of what they are calling Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology due March 18. This three CD set includes their Boo Boo EP and first two albums as well as nine bonus tracks, a video and one previously unreleased CD made up of the band’s final recordings. In addition to the release, the original Big Dipper line-up will play 4 shows on the east coast in April and if all goes well then they will extend to the mid-west later in the year. Yesterday afternoon, I spoke briefly with Gary Waleik about the reunion and what it’s like to re-learn you own songs.
CMJ: Were you initially (sixteen years ago) planning to release Very Loud Arrays as it is today or including more tracks?
GW: In the band’s opinion, Very Loud Arrays (recently titled) were the best 15 tracks from a group of 25 or 30 that we had recorded after being dropped from Epic. At the time we believed that we would be picked up by a new label, a new trend of them had begun to sprout and were becoming larger than indie labels but smaller than majors—we thought that we would have fit right into that.
CMJ: You announced the reunion five months ago on your MySpace blog, how have you begun the process of remembering your music since then?
GW: Well personally I have not started due to the time that I have spent working on our anthology. Our bassist Steve has begun and we have been keeping in contact on his progress. I don’t think that it should be too hard, I haven’t seriously played guitar for the past 15 years but remembering the songs will come quickly after remembering the guitar.
CMJ: Do you see Big Dipper continuing to play after April? Who is this decision up to?
GW: Ultimately the decision is up to the band. I’m sure that Merge would love for us to tour relentlessly but we are family men now with full time jobs. Now we’re all either gray-haired, bald or much heavier than we were 18 years ago when we last played together and subsequently more self-conscious. If our April shows go well, we have fun and receive a positive response then we’ll take it from there. The band will discuss the idea and agree as a whole if we would like to continue on to a tour of the Midwest—we were always popular there, especially in Kansas.
Check out the Big Dipper myspace page, and check out an mp3 from Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology here! Also, talk about how excited you are that Big Dipper is back via our forum!