Mr. Big Has At Least 10 Songs Written For New Studio Album
Mr. Big singer Eric Martin was recently interviewed by Troy Patrick Farrell of the weekly live “This That And The Other” radio show and talked about the band’s ongoing last worldwide tour, called ‘The BIG Finish”.
In case you didn’t know – and to quickly get you caught up – the band’s original drummer and co-founder Pat Torpey lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease in 2018. And now the band feels it’s a good time to end this chapter of their legacy. Mr. Big first leg of the tour started in Japan and Southeast Asia in July and August, playing 11 sold-out shows including Budokan in Tokyo, Japan! The next leg of the tour starts January 12, 2024 in Houston, Texas. Playing drums on the tour is longtime friend of the band, Nick D’Virgilio (who you’ll know from Spock’s Beard & Big Big Train).
As for why now is a good time to conclude the band, Martin said, “This That And The Other”: “Well, I really didn’t wanna end it. I think we’re gonna be done with it. I would just keep the door open forever. I didn’t wanna ever end something. I hate the end of anything, but Pat Torpey is not there anymore. And that’s kind of taking the wind out of the sails. He was the anchor of the band. And Nick D’Virgilio is a great replacement. He’s phenomenal drummer. He sings just like Pat. Nick’s great. But everybody has so many other projects. I don’t. I really like the MR. BIG project… I have a couple of irons in the fire. But, yeah, it’s over. To me, it’s kind of a bummer. But it’s time. It’s been 35 fucking years, man.”
And the question you really know… what are the chances of Mr. Big making a new studio album? Martin said, “We’re doing it now. We’re working on it now. [Mr. Big guitarist] Paul Gilbert and I — I’ve been going back and forth to Portland, Oregon, where Paul lives, and we’ve been writing and recording everything. And so far, I wanna say, [we have] 10, 13 songs so far. And Billy’s [Sheehan, Mr. Big bassist] got one that he just brought in. And Nick — we said, ‘Hey, Nick, if you’ve got any tunes, man, throw it our way.’ And he’s got four songs that are pretty good.”
Sounds like D’Virgilio is a welcomed addition to the band – when it was announced (March ’23) that he was going to be on the tour, bassist Billy Sheehan has this to say, “We found a wonderful drummer in Nick, and he’s got a great voice too. Nick has a vocal range similar to Pat’s, and he’ll be able to do the parts Pat did with a similar finesse. It’s a big relief because MR. BIG has always been heavy on the harmonies. When the band began, we really relied on each other. We knew each guy would do exactly what he needed to do vocally and to do it righteously, on key, and in time. It’s difficult to find a drummer who sings in that range, but Nick has the voice we really need onstage.”
If you make it out to Mr. Big’s final tour, expect them to play their breakthrough ’91 album ‘Lean Into It’ in its entirety!
Let’s hope the band decides to create that new studio album and keep going as a band. A highly underrated band of the 90s. Listen to that voice! Eric Martin is incredible.