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College-formed BIG Something to visit Columbus

BIG Something from left to right: Ben Vinograd, Nick MacDaniels, Casey Cranford, Doug Marshall, Josh Kagel, Jesse Hensley. Credit: Courtesy of J. Mimna Photography.

The start of BIG Something was neither very large nor all that unusual. Rather, the band arose from a more typical origin — guys go to college, make some friends, start a band.

The North Carolina-based sextet is set to perform at Scarlet and Grey Cafe on Wednesday.

“It was the old-fashioned story that everyone moves to college and starts a band,” lead guitarist Jesse Hensley said. “We frequented the same bars and venues and met pretty organically.”

Hensley’s career with music started in a similar way to the band; there was no huge defining moment when he chose to pursue the passion.

“I don’t think I ever had it in my head (that) I would be a touring musician,” Hensley said. “I don’t know if I ever really thought about it, but I love it.”

Drummer Ben Vinograd said his career was a much more conscious decision.

“When I decided to take drum lessons as a kid I was like ‘Alright, I’m doing this,’” Vinograd said. “The second I started playing I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

BIG Something has an eclectic sound, one members describe as a mix of rock, pop and funk — a result of a variety of instruments. There is Nick MacDaniels on guitar and lead vocals, Casey Cranford on saxophone and electronic wind instrument, Josh Kagel on keyboard and trumpet and Doug Marshall on bass.

BIG Something has released four studio albums since its formation in 2009. The most recent, “Tumbleweed,” dropped on Friday.

Hensley and Vinograd agreed the album was a long time coming — a buildup of hard work over the last year.

“We started writing some of the songs like a year ago,” Hensley said. “We had some of these songs written when our last album came out.”

Vinograd said the hardest part is over, and his feelings surrounding last week’s release are nothing but elation.

“We’ve already been giving it to friends and shipping it out to radio stations, so we’ve already gotten feedback,” he said. “Now it’s just pure excitement.”

While Vinograd said he’s already been listening to the album on repeat, looking for holes, Hensley takes a different approach to experiencing his own music.

“I like to wait until (the album) is released so I can get into it and hear it with everyone else,” Hensley said.

Despite this difference, both admit they can’t pick a favorite song from “Tumbleweed.”

“I think songs are like children,” Hensley said. “Each song is a child, I love them all equally.”

Hensley, Vinograd and the rest of BIG Something will set out on a more than 40-date tour on Tuesday, with its second stop to be in Columbus.

Vinograd said he is looking forward to visiting again, and not just to play music.

“There seems to be a lot of good diners in Columbus, a lot of cheap eggs,” Vinograd joked. “But really, it’s a college town with a lot of young people ready to have fun. There’s always an audience.”

The show Wednesday starts at 9 p.m. at the Scarlet & Grey Cafe with opening act Litz. Tickets are $7.

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