The members of Big Scenic Nowhere have deep roots in the stoner rock world. You have lead singer and bassist Tony Reed leading Washington’s Mos Generator, guitarist Gary Arce being an original member of desert rock progentitors Yawning Man, drummer Bill Stinson also playing in Yawning Man, and Bob Balch who has been the guitarist for Fu Manchu since 1996. These four have teamed up in a new band called Big Scenic Nowhere and they’ve already released a debut album called Vision Beyond Horizon in 2020, as well as an EP called Lavender Blues.
The band has a new album called The Long Morrow out in fall 2021, which was recorded during the same three-day session that produced Lavender Blues and will come with outtakes and other extras. Today we’re premiering a new song from the band called “Deflector (Of Future Days)” and it showcases the band’s continued progression from stoner rock into a more progressive psychedelic rock sound.
Big Scenic Nowhere’s sound is developed around the collaborative process of Balch and Arce, who bounce riffs and ideas off of each other to create a sound that is surprisingly unique in the progressive/psych/stoner rock genre. They’ve had contributions from artists like Nick Oliveri, Alain Johannes, Mario Lalli of Yawning Man, and many others. During the sessions for the new album and Lavender Blues, the band started to coalesce around Reed, who took the band’s sound in a new, more progressive-rock oriented direction. The band will release a new song each month until the release of The Long Morrow this fall, check out the latest “Defector (Of Future Days).”
While Reed normally plays bass in Big Scenic Nowhere, “Deflector (Of Future Days)” finds the band changing up their lineup a bit and Reed playing guitar and Balch on bass.
This is the only song I played guitar on during the live writing sessions for this album,” said Reed. “Like most songs during these sessions, the main riff was something that Gary came up with and we just fell in, adding our styles to complement his. Because I was writing on guitar for this one, it’s the song that sounds most like me or Mos Generator. When it came time to do the guitar overdubs I used a Fender Strat and that is not a typical choice for me. I think I wanted the top end to have that Stratocaster chime. If I was going to site an influence on this track I would have to say it’s Voivod. Not only in the guitar chords, but also in the vocal melodies. I can hear the influence of their 1991 album Angel Rat in many places on this song. In fact, Voivod (and the bands that influenced them) find their way into much of my writing. The lyrics are about how your choices have a massive impact on your future and how fear of a wrong choice can keep you from taking chances.”
“This tune is the only song on the record that I play bass on,” said Balch. “I find that we write differently when one of us switches instruments. It’s funny, you can kinda hear that there is a guitar player playing bass. Probably played a few too many notes but what the hell!”
As far as the riff that Arce brought into the sessions, “The main riff was inspired by later BLACK FLAG, the Process of Weeding Out era, which is in my opinion the most innovative Black Flag record,” he said.
“It sounds like if Phil Spector recorded on the beach and was chilling with everyone and taking it easy,” said Stinson