Photo Credit: David Okon
A new location can bring about a few changes. The outlook might get tweaked a little and the list of enjoyments can get revamped. That’s what happened when Chad Gosselin moved from the confines of Boston down to Providence this past April. His Americana rock act, The Big Lonesome, in turn shifted their home base to The Creative Capital along with integrating new members. On October 15, the band released their latest EP, Fascination, and it marks a new step in The Big Lonesome’s musical growth. With his brother Luke on guitar and lap steel, Sam Okon on bass and Rob DeSousa on drums, Gosselin moved towards an amplified rock sound while maintaining the band’s folk sensibilities.
“Fascination is a little bit of a transitional EP for us”, Gosselin says on the making of the record. “The band obviously had its roots in traditional Americana, especially the early Wilco albums. Eventually, though, the songs we were writing were becoming less and less “country” sounding for lack of a better word. I started going back to some old favorites from my younger years, like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. I discovered it probably 15 years after the fact as well, but I became somewhat obsessed with Guided by Voices after my cousin loaded up Bee Thousand onto an old iPod I had kicking around. “
“Consciously deciding to go less production on Fascination, ala Guided By Voices,” He describes. “We did a lot of this record wherever we could on the reasonable cheap; overnight sessions at Q Division in Somerville, MA, a live recording at Zumix in Boston, home recording and some overdubs at 37′ Productions. I dig the result, and I hope it showcases the rawness of some of the songs.”
Gosselin’s move down to Providence is one of the many examples of people moving to the city away from the rising costs of places like Boston and New York City. “Moving to Providence has been great,” He mentions about his new surroundings. “I feel like Boston has changed so much over the last few years that it was barely the city I grew up in and recognized. All the venues I played have close and all the record shops I used to go to are closed. I still use landmarks of places that haven’t been there in close to ten years but still, I slugged along and tried to enjoy the new things there.”
“Slowly though, all my friends had to move in different directions, chasing cheap rent,” Gosselin continues. “When even East Boston seemed to turn into Southie, I realized I couldn’t afford anything within 45 minutes of the city, so I’m trying my hand down here. There are so many cool, funky things happening here with tons of shows and lots of art and culture. I think I’m here to stay, but who knows where life will take you.”
In support of Fascination’s release, The Big Lonesome hit the road for a tour that started at the Brink Lounge in Madison, WI on October 21 and ended at the Map Room within the Bowery Electric in New York City on November 8. “We’ve been lucky to tour quite a bit this year,” Gosselin states on venturing out to different places to play. “This last trip was our second time through the Midwest this year. We played some of the same haunts as last time, with a few new ones mixed in for good measure. Appleton, WI might be my new favorite town in America; our van got towed, but it seemed like the entire city did one good deed after another to help us out. This was highlighted by Kevin Koutnik from Karate School housing the temporarily homeless band, Haley Reiter for driving us around all night while we tried to solve Vangate, and the kindest lady I’ve met in my humble life at the Appleton Police Dept who paid our ticket. There’s still a lot of good people in the world! The band got to drill a bunch of new material too, which we’re hoping to cut before we head back out in January.”
The Big Lonesome will be putting on a “homecoming” party at the News Café in Pawtucket on November 17 to celebrate the release of Fascination. New Bedford, MA experimental funk act Yopoh, punk rock shredders Futureproof and Kilgore guitarist Brian McKenzie w will be rounding out the night. Make sure to head to the show, grab a copy of the EP and enjoy some awesome music.