The Crocodile Presents: Big Business, Ben Von Wildenhaus

Sat Apr 20 2019

9:00 PM (Doors 8:30 PM)

Sunset Tavern

5433 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107

$13.00

Ages 21+

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The Crocodile Presents
The Crocodile Presents: Big Business, Ben Von Wildenhaus

  • Big Business

    Big Business

    Heavy Metal

    Big Business is a band. They play heavy rock. On that, we can all agree. Things get tricky when you try to classify exactly where on the musical spectrum the dynamic duo’s racket falls. “I guess psychedelic heavy metal punk rock? I don’t know. People always say ‘sludge rock,’ which I always found to be lazy and kind of inaccurate," says drummer Coady Willis. "A lot of our songs are fast, and it’s not like we’re playing a half-assed Black Sabbath riff over and over again. That’s been the struggle of the band. We’re a band that doesn’t really fit into what everyone else is doing."

    Willis comes from punk rockers The Murder City Devils. His co-conspirator, bassist/vocalist Jared Warren, spent time in noise rock weirdos Karp. Together, they formed Big Business in 2004. The LA-based outfit’s first three albums didn’t quite mesh with Hydra Head’s post-metal aesthetic, but their idiosyncrasies caught the attention of another iconoclastic outfit: The Melvins. They recorded three albums, an EP, and various songs between 2006 and 2016 with that iconic grunge/doom/experimental act, all while maintaining their own identity as Big Business. Along the way, they picked up guitarists Toshi Kasai and Scott Martin, but on 2016’s Command Your Weather, they returned to their core duo format. They remain in that lineup on their sixth full-length, The Beast You Are.

    “It’s just better. We work faster, and we know what we’re both going for. It gives us more room to be weirder in certain aspects and try different things. It makes sense because that’s how we established ourselves in the beginning and how we learned to write songs together, it was just the two of us. Coming back to that lineup felt natural,” continues Willis. The two performed everything on the album, which was recorded between the early November and early December of 2018 at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Becker (Pins of Light, Terry Gross). Willis, Warren, and Becker handled the mixing, with Carl Saff lending his mastering expertise to the final product. Once more, Warren has hacked up some construction paper for one of his unique cover art pieces.

    With a new, dynamic demoing process leading to the creation of the most songs they’ve ever written for an album, The Beast You Are delivers 13 doses of uncategorizably heavy rock music. From the ominous death march of “The Moor You Know” to the soaring “Let Them Grind” to the delicate, ethereal “Under Everest,” Big Business continues to defy listener’s expectations. No matter the context of their music, however, one thing remains true: they are definitely still a band.
  • Ben Von Wildenhaus

    Ben Von Wildenhaus

    Alternative Rock

    After 10 years spent deploying sonic barrages with saturnine heavy-riffers Federation X, tinnitus wasn’t the only voice in the back of Ben Wildenhaus’s head. “I had always listened to surf along with garage and punk and all the heavy and angular Olympia stuff,” he says. “But at the same time I was playing and listening to a lot of jazz—Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Miles, especially electric Miles, and getting weird with experimental stuff.”

     

    Languishing in the drowsy college town of Bellingham, WA, those other sounds started speaking in the back of his brain, too. Without Federation X touring or recording on a regular basis, he started playing in every other band in town. “I was playing two or three nights a week in Bellingham, and touring as a sideman. I started to get pretty tired of Americana, Townes and Graham Parsons, bluegrass beard rock, etc. I learned a lot about playing but missed the creating new music.”

     

    So he and wife, Tawni, broke the notorious clutches of that town and landed in New York City. “I always felt an attraction to NYC. It’s the closest you can get to world travel without the need for deep pockets. I decided to focus on six-string guitar—in Fed X we used only the four heaviest strings—by playing as much as possible around Brooklyn and composing new music for a podcast called Instrumental Quaalude.” There wasn’t exactly a clamoring commercial demand for Wildenhaus’s new style at first, so he played where he could, whether he was expected or not:

     

    "There was this small vegetarian restaurant/cafe down the street from our place called Phoebe’s that hosted random singer-songwriters. One day I asked the bartender if I could play during her shifts. I arrived every Wednesday and, instead of setting up in the front, I’d take a position in the dark back-area, among the boxes of wine and beers and napkins. I’d set my amp to a very low volume and mic it through the house stereo system. Then I’d improvise wallpaper jams for hours in exchange for a meal and booze. 

    "And I wrote a lot of material while improvising there. I also learned a lot about space in music there. When you’re performing in front of an attentive audience, there’s a lot of pressure to keep changing things, to move the music and your body, make things progress in some sort of visual way. In the shadows at Phoebe’s, I could let a simple melody or pattern settle into the space, get into all the corners.”

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The Crocodile Presents

The Crocodile Presents: Big Business, Ben Von Wildenhaus

Sat Apr 20 2019 9:00 PM

(Doors 8:30 PM)

Sunset Tavern Seattle WA
The Crocodile Presents: Big Business, Ben Von Wildenhaus

$13.00 Ages 21+

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 21+
limit 10 per person
GA
$13.00

Delivery Method

Mail
UPS
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.