About as new a band as we’ve ever featured on these pages, at least in terms of recorded output. Their debut single has only recently been released, and you can check it out after all the words which follow, courtesy of Tom from Sweet Houdini…
Thurrock and Bexley.
How did you meet?
I (Tom) met Wayne at a previous Job in 2010/11. We got on from the minute we met. We would constantly talk about music and hang out in the stock room listening to Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins, like a modern-day Beavis and Butthead. Sadly, that all ended when Wayne had to leave the business, but we stayed in touch. After some time, I noticed Wayne had posted on social media regarding treatment he was receiving for an illness, and I reached out immediately. Inevitably, we started playing together and we played in an existing project for a bit then, formed BigKarma during Covid with Wayne’s brother Gary. Gary and Wayne had played in bands together, so it was a good fit. Gary had been a fan of what we were writing, and he brought something of his own that I think really made the music exciting for us.
How long have you been playing as a band?
On and off for a few years.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Couple of reasons – we toyed with so many ideas for a few weeks. I was listening to Sweet Oblivion by The Screaming Trees and Houdini by the Melvins at the time. So the seed was planted from that. Also I like the fact it has a bit of mystery in it.
What are your influences?
Like most bands our influences come from many different places, from the obscure and funk but also the Seattle sound which shaped the 90s. I think our broad taste gives us an edge. I think there are elements of the obvious like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins on our single Dominatrix as we release more music you’ll hear our love for St Vincent, Bowie, Talking Heads, Fugazi, The Clash, Qotsa, the stooges, Soundgarden, Melvins, screaming trees, to name a few. But as alternative music is gaining momentum again there are so many great artists that have come out more recently, we admire Wolf Alice, Momma, October Drift.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I think we are theme music for the end of the world. I think a lot of bands feel the way we do and have the same struggles. But the difference is we embrace the fact things are hard, we know what we are and we enjoy the chaos. Like dancing through a minefield.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
I like the strange, I like the darker side of society, I use a lot of metaphor. If you close enough it becomes a lot clearer. I think Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell did that so well. I naturally picked up on it I think, it was subconscious.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We like to keep the energy going, in the spaces between songs we keep it going, lots of atmosphere. At this stage there isn’t much talking. Not because we don’t want to but as the sets are short we want to get as much music in as possible.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Once we played in Camden and a homeless guy came in to watch us. He danced like crazy, body popping and screaming so loud, he was having the time of his life. The thing that amazed me was the fact he held onto his dog’s lead the whole time and the dog didn’t move! We bought him some drinks after. Very cool guy.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Guitars: Gretsch G6129T-59 FSR Black Sparkle Jet – Echo Park – Bullion Gold Tavarez -TVL Oxblood Jazzmaster – HomeBuilt partcaster Tele
Amps: AC30 – Orange 50th anniversary or50 – AC30HW
Bass: U.S Fender Jazz, Jack Cassidy, Fender P-Bass
Bass amp: Fender Bassman
Drums: Gretsch Renown – Paiste 2002s
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our debut single: “Dominatrix”!
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
To put out as much material as possible, and play as many shows as we can. We are hungry and ready to hit the road. Keep in touch via Instagram.
If you want to check out more new music, then fire up our Headline Act playlists on Spotify and YouTube!