Kings of the Swing Revival Working On New Record

Thursday, February 16, 2012 15:05

An Interview with Glen Marhevka of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

by: Casey Pukl

You all remember Big Bad Voodoo Daddy from the Hollywood hit movie, Swingers, and fortunately these guys are still going strong. A house favorite, these guys turned Anthology upside down with their infectious swing last time they were here, and this weekend, we’re ready for part two! With two sold out shows, we fortunately found time to catch up with trumpet player, Glen Marhevka, to get the scoop on the band’s latest record, which they’re hoping to get out later in 2012!

CP: I read on the Facebook page that you guys just finished recording a new album!

GM: We did! We did all the band stuff, and now we’re getting ready to mix and master and do all of the artwork and stuff. The music is all pretty much recorded at this point. It’s going to be a little while before it comes out obviously, but it’s recorded.

CP: Can you give us a little preview of what to expect?

GM: It’s definitely going to sound like us. It won’t be anything from out in left field, but it’s going to be a really great album. There’s a bunch of original stuff on it, a few obscure covers on it, and we’re actually going to play a few of the songs live when we’re down there in San Diego this weekend. People can get a feel for what we’re doing now.

It’s really great. The level of musicianship is really high right now. About half of the album we actually have a whole big band on the album. We brought in a bunch more horns, so it’s really great. It’s going to sound amazing.

CP: Do you have any idea when it’ll be coming out?

GM: I’m not entirely sure; there’s no official time yet. Our goal was to put it our around summer time, probably the beginning of summer. That’s what we were hoping for, but I’m not sure where we’re at right now, but we’ll let our fans know as soon as we know.

CP: Great! I know we’ll all be looking forward to it! So tell me what else you guys have been up to lately. I’m sure it’s been mostly writing and recording, right?

GM: Mostly we took some time off in the past month to get the album done. We actually recorded the entire album, well, rehearsed and recorded the album within two weeks basically. So we blocked off the time to do that in the last two weeks of January. Now we’re going to start playing some live shows again, and just finish up the album mixing and all that. So we’ll play and get all that going, and then hopefully soon be in full tour mode for the new album.

CP: I know you mentioned there would be some originals on this record. Can you tell me a little bit about the writing process for the band?

GM: The writing has pretty much always been done by our singer, Scotty Morris. He’s the songwriter for the band. He goes ahead and comes up with songs and brings them to us. Our piano player arranges the tunes for the horns, and we start playing them live at sound checks to start coming up with ideas and changing things. I guess part of the collaboration process comes into effect when we take the basic song and start changing the arrangement. Each guy gives his input, and we sort of change it from there. Then it just keeps getting worked out, more tweaks to the arrangement, and it just keeps going. But all of the songs for the most part have been written by Scotty Morris.

CP: How did you get involved in this band?

GM: I actually started in the band in the beginning of 1995. I knew the trombone player for the band, Jeff Harris. He was the original trombone player. The band was just starting out, and they started as a three-piece band for a little while. Then they started adding a horn section, and that’s about the time that I came in. I was a trumpet player that could play jazz and swing music, and I already knew Jeff. So I went down, met the guys, hit it off right away, and then I just started playing with them right away. Scotty and I really hit it off. He was really into me joining right away. So I started playing with them, and we just started playing shows.

It was crazy back then. We probably played 20 to 25 concerts a month at that point. It was crazy. We were playing almost every single night, and it was just crazy, but it was so much fun. We grew the horn section then from a three-piece to a four-piece, and then eventually to a five-piece over like four years. We added a piano player, and the band really just sort of grew. I brought in a couple of my friends, like our sax player Carl Hunter, and our piano player, Joshua Levy, after a few years. The band just grew into what it was.

CP: Who are some of your influences?

GM: As far as trumpet goes, some of my main influences are jazz musicians. I really love Miles Davis, and Doc Severinsen from The Tonight Show Band. He was a huge influence when I was younger. He’s a great player, and I used to be really amazed by him. I listen to a lot of jazz, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard. I listen to a lot of saxophone players too like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, Hank Mobley. I listen to a lot of jazz.

CP: What are you most looking forward to about coming to Anthology this weekend?

GM: It’s just going to be a lot of fun! We played there one other time, and it was super fun. Plus, we’ve been playing in San Diego forever. I know from the early days in the band when I first joined, we used to play small clubs in downtown San Diego. It’s really fun for us to play there, and it’s actually one of the places we’ve been playing the longest. We’re just going to have a fun time. It’s going to be great!

Special thanks to Glen for taking some time out for our loyal blog readers! Get ready to swing your tails off this weekend!

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Spotify

WHAT: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
WHEN: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 7:30 & 9:30pm
TICKETS: $18-$77 Buy Tickets