Big Syn makes Doom-pop® music with synthesizers, drums, and guitars. We spent an afternoon walking around Humboldt Park... talking synthesizers, studio challenges, and delicious music casseroles.
They're releasing a new vinyl LP, "It's Awake," on October 23 at the Empty Bottle.
Emulsion: What's origin story of Big Syn?
Corey (Drums): This band morphed out of an electronic project that Dan and I were working on, starting in 2014.
Once we added Tara on vocals, we started sounding more like a weird rock band. We've gotten a lot of comparisons to bands like Blonde Redhead, Warpaint, and we were once told we sound like Bjork singing with YES. That was my favorite.
Tara (Vocals & Synthesizers): Yeah, Dan and Corey were in Conductive Alliance together and they had known each other for a while.
Then Corey started drumming on a project I play in called New World Ancients. Eventually we decided to add bass and start a new project, and that's Big Syn.
Emulsion: Sounds like the Chicago music community was a big part of it.
Tara: Definitely, this group came together from just playing in friends' bands.
Jordan (Bass): Actually, this band was my introduction to the indie rock scene in Chicago. Before Big Syn, I played a lot of church and cover bands, which is sort of a different scene.
Emulsion: Oh interesting... so what's been your experience with different music "scenes" in Chicago?
Corey: It's not always tangible to find a link between two types of music. Sometimes there's just a vibe, and that's what makes it work.
Every city is a little bit different. Where I grew up in Memphis, people didn't really separate themselves by genre.
And in some places Chicago can be more compartmentalized, like you have your gospel crowd, your blues crowd. But at the end of the day it's music. And everybody just kind of throws it into this big casserole
Tara: It's delicious...
Corey: Yeah, it' a big delicious casserole...
Tara: Of music.
Emulsion: Tell us about your next release, "It's Awake."
Corey: Yeah! "It's Awake" is our new vinyl LP, which we're releasing on October 23 at The Empty Bottle.
And you can also listen to the album digitally on Bandcamp.
Emulsion: Where did you record the album?
Corey: Well, we recorded this album piecemeal because our original plans got derailed. We had made so many recordings at Caleb Willitz's Rattlesnake Studio, so we were going to do the album there...
Tara: But the building caught fire after our first day of recording and Caleb's studio burned down.
Emulsion: That's awful. Did you lose the music, too?
Corey: Fortunately no one was hurt, and no, we didn't lose the music. I took the footage on a hard drive a few days before the fire.
But it threw our plans into a tailspin, so we eventually finished the record with Shiraz Dada of Maps & Atlases. His studio is called Soothsayer.
Emulsion: Well it's great to hear this album, especially after those setbacks in the recording process.
Any upcoming shows we should know about?
Tara: Shows! Definitely. We have a show at Coles on October 6th with Health + Beauty and The Curls.
And yeah, we have our vinyl release show on October 23rd at The Empty Bottle.
Emulsion: Where can we find your music online?
Corey: Our debut album "It's Awake" is available for streaming on our Bandcamp page: https://bigsynchicago.bandcamp.com/releases