The Great Big No!
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The Great Big No!

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The Great Big No and By All Means Band at the Mellow Mushroom tonight: 'Okay, we get it. You like the Mellow Mushroom.' You might say that, especially as they keep giving us all something to do late at night. Last week, former Tuscaloosa favorites Deacon Greene hit the stage for a one-time show after two years of not playing together — funny thing is, they sounded better than ever. During their set, GBN guitarist Aman Ellis gave Adam Watkins a breather and tore it up every which way, mixing in some bluesy riffs to get you thinking what he could do if he explored that genre. It wasn't brought to my attention until they took the stage later that evening that former Del drummer Grant Willis joined GBN — a notable aquisition, for sure. The multitalented Willis has sat idle since his group split a couple of years ago, so it's good to see him back in action. Also playing is By All Means Band, a fun Boulder, Colo., group offering up a healthy portion of Afro-jazz inspired by the great Fela Kuti (listen if you haven't).
- Tusk Magazine


The Great Big No! received the award of being the first runner up in the '09 Relix Jam Off and received editorial coverage in the Feb '09 issue. - Relix Magazine


The Great Big No brings the weirdness
Tuscaloosa band to play Little Willie's
Caleb Johnson
Entertainment Reporter
Issue date: 10/31/07 Section: Entertainment


If you like live music, visual effects and costume contests, then Little Willie's is the place to be on Halloween. The Tuscaloosa-based band The Great Big No will headline the festivities, which promise to include lots of surprises, said guitarist and vocalist Aman Ellis.

"A lot of it is top-secret," he said. "I'd have to kill you if I told you about it."

Ellis said Halloween has always been one of his favorite holidays, and he enjoys wearing a costume for the night.

"It's your chance to be weird," he said.

While he would not reveal his or other band members' costumes for this year, he said he dressed up as Towelie from "South Park" last year. He did give one hint though.

"You might see John Holmes there," he said.

The music will start at 9 p.m., with a pre-show set of dance music by Crunkasaurus Sex. Ellis encouraged everyone to check out Crunkasaurus Sex's "booty-dancing" music. Crunkasaurus Sex will also play during The Great Big No's set break.

Ellis' roommate Taylor Addison will also provide visuals during The Great Big No's set. The Great Big No's music is a great fit for this mash-up of music, visuals and costumes.

If this sounds like a lot going on in one place, that is because it really is a lot to pull off before last call. Ellis said he is aware of the effect time constraints have on the band's set.

"It's less about do we have enough songs to play two sets, and more about will we have enough time to play all night long," he said.

Ellis said Little Willie's is one of the band's favorite places to play. He said people there are always nice, and the great bartenders lend to the atmosphere. Ellis also said Little Willie's has the best soundman in Tuscaloosa.

The Great Big No, which formed in 2006, recently added Daniel Welch on keyboards and synthesizers. The band has also been working on getting in the studio. Ellis said the band is looking at different studios, but Workplay Studios in Birmingham is their current choice.

Ellis said the band has been trying to get studio time for a while but school and work have limited their time. He said the band hopes to use Christmas break to record some songs and put together publicity kits to send to venues outside Tuscaloosa.

"We're pretty lazy," he said.

The members of The Great Big No do have ambition though. Bassist and vocalist Ben Scott said the band plans to go "onward and upward" with their music. If their current gig does not work out, then Ellis has another idea for the band.

"We're thinking maybe Britney Spears' backup band," he said. - The Crimson White


The Great Big No brings electic music to local scene
Young group one of Tuscaloosa's most eclectic
Caleb Johnson
Entertainment Reporter
Issue date: 11/30/06 Section: Entertainment



Tuscaloosa's burgeoning music scene produces bands from all across the musical spectrum, and The Great Big No has emerged as one of the most eclectic of this new wave of young bands, soaking up influences from genres ranging from funk to country.

It would be easy to label the band's smooth grooves as jam music, but The Great Big No's music is not that easy to categorize. Lead singer/bassist Ben Scott said he is not a big fan of the term jam band. He said it is a term that does not mean anything to him.

"I think it's something people use as a catch all," he said.

The band's MySpace page describes their sound as, "Noam Chomsky lecturing P-Funk through a slide whistle."

The Great Big No's influences are extensive. Scott said Talking Heads, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Phish and The Allman Brothers Band were all influences that can be heard in The Great Big No's music.

The Great Big No formed about three months ago, Scott said. Guitarist Michael White answered a flyer that Scott posted around town. Scott met drummer Aaron Hathcock and guitarist Aman Ellis at Little Willie's. Hathcock is the house drummer for open-mic night at Little Willie's.

The closing of bars on the Strip, such as The Booth, is leaking into local musicians' consciousness. Hathcock said he hopes that the closing of bars on the Strip does not affect The Great Big No's ability to get gigs. He said a goal of his for the band is to play more bars and tour around the United States.

"I'm ready to go somewhere with a band," he said.

Scott said he sees growth in Tuscaloosa's music scene though. He said he believes that the scene has gotten better in the last two years.

"I've noticed a big up tick in the indie scene," he said.

As for the immediate future, The Great Big No plays Egan's Friday night. Hathcock said the band plays an assortment of covers by bands such as Pink Floyd as well as original songs. Scott said the band has about eight or nine original songs right now.

There is always improvisation within The Great Big No's music, he said.

"We try and keep it interesting," he said.

The Great Big No also will open for Baak Gwai at The Legacy on Dec. 8. Scott said Baak Gwai is an example of the growth of the Tuscaloosa indie scene.

"Baak Gwai is my favorite local band," he said, "I just think they're really creative and original."

He said the band plans to record two or three songs over Christmas Break. This will be the first time the band has recorded together. Scott does not have delusions of grandeur for the band right now.

"I just want to have a good time, write some songs and see how far we can get," he said. - The Crimson White


http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/section/tusk0215 - The Tuscaloosa News


http://www.band-itmagazine.com/bands - Band-It Magazine


Discography

Heart of Dixie Disco, Vol. 1, Ask Questions Later EP, Live @ the Shroom

Photos

Bio

Please visit www.thegreatbigno.com or http://www.myspace.com/thegreatbigno for more up to date info about the Great Big No!


Featuring Aman Ellis (lead guitar), Ben Scott (bass/vocals), Daniel Welch (keyboards), and Grant Willis (drums/vocals), The Great Big No! is a genre-straddling quartet from the steamy southern metropolis of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Together, they have form ear-blitzing sonic sounds that leave audiences stunned, elated, and mystified; basking in what can only be compared to a post-coital afterglow. Long-time fans along with newcomers come to love The Great Big No! because they know to expect something new and exciting every show: mind-bending lights and projections that keep eyes busy while ears and bodies are taken over by the music, technology manipulated in new and abstract ways, and musical guests ranging from saxophonists to beat boxers. Needless to say, no 'No!' show is ever quite the same as the last.

In addition to their own ongoing expansion throughout the Southeast, The Great Big No! and its members have enjoyed sharing stages with some of the jamband and festival scene’s most popular acts: the Disco Biscuits, Telepath, DJ Logic, Dubconscious, and Dr. Fameus. They have recently released their new album, Heart of Dixie Disco, Vol. I (available on i-Tunes), with still another studio album in the works. Armed with unstoppable grooves, multi-textured soundscapes, and an inventive spirit, The Great Big No! is coming to entertain you. So keep an eye out, when The Great Big No! rolls into town, you don’t want to miss it.

http://www.myspace.com/thegreatbigno