Big Scenic Nowhere (Fu Manchu, Yawning Man, Kyuss, etc) prep debut EP (listen)
Big Scenic Nowhere is the collaboration of two veteran California desert rock musicians, Gary Arce of Yawning Man and Bob Balch of Fu Manchu. The two have known each other since the ’90s, but only started collaborating after a fateful social media post about Del Taco…
Arce, just back from tour with Yawning Man and celebrating the comforts of home, posted on social media of his triumphant return to his local Del Taco. Balch responded with his usual order – a regular red burrito with extra cheese and sour cream – and a band was begun.
Of course, it’s never really so simple.
Bob and Gary have been acquainted since the ‘90s, when Fu Manchu would practice in the garage of the house Gary lived in with other members of the desert scene. Gary remembers coming home from his construction job at the time, working outside in the desert summer, ready to kick back and crack a beer, only to be unable to watch television because Fu Manchu were so loud.
They’d bump into each other over the years periodically and Bob eventually brought Gary in to film a piece for his instructional guitar series, PlayThisRiff. After the above-mentioned Del Taco post, it was Gary – whose collaborative efforts have been myriad in outfits like WaterWays, Zun, Ten East, etc. – who finally called Bob to jam.
And jamming would be the course of it. Big Scenic Nowhere is a new project, but the moniker will be familiar to those who’ve followed Arce’s many-banded career path. A demo was put together and quietly issued on CD-R in the early part of this decade with Arce on guitar, but the idea that propelled them toward the PostWax release of Dying on the Mountain is a complete revamp of what Big Scenic Nowhere was going to be.
The aforementioned Dying on the Mountain is Big Scenic Nowhere’s upcoming debut EP, and it features other musicians from that same desert rock scene and from other likeminded scenes, including Tony Reed (Mos Generator), Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man), Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Opeth), Bill Stinson (Yawning Man), Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator, ex-Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, etc.), Lisa Alley and Ian Graham (both of The Well), and Thomas V. Jäger (Monolord).
The EP is made up of just two songs, the 20+ minute “Dying on the Mountain (Pt. 1) / Altered Ages / Dying on the Mountain (Pt. 2)” on side A and the five-minute “Towards The Sun” on side B. You’ll have to wait to hear that expansive, psychedelic side A, but we’re premiering “Towards the Sun” right now. It’s a tasty dose of stoner rock, and you can listen below.
The EP comes out September 13 via Blues Funeral Recordings. Pre-order link coming soon.