The untold story of Mr Big, the band who survived everything
They’re the supergroup who survived hair metal, grunge and even their own break-up. With a new album out now, the Mr. Big big shots give us the inside story of life in the band
That’s kind of a touchy subject,” says Mr. Big frontman Eric Martin, just as the band’s tour bus pulls into Nashville. “What are you trying to get at? Are you trying to break up the band?”
He’s responding to questions about what happened to the band following their Addicted To That Rush/Colorado Bulldog heyday and the colossal worldwide success they enjoyed with the ballad single To Be With You, having split 15 years ago. Did they struggle to sustain it? Was it tough accommodating virtuoso shredding and anthemic balladry in one unit? Were those stylistic extremes reflected by a fractious intra-band dynamic?
Mr. Big were a supergroup of sorts, who came together towards the end of the 80s. Martin was a cute-looking kid with a powerful, soulful vocal rasp. He had enjoyed some local notoriety as the singer with Bay Area band 415. Rebranded the Eric Martin Band, in 1983 they released Sucker For A Pretty Face, a decent album of melodic hard rock produced by Journey’s producer Kevin Elson. Martin followed that with an even better self‑titled solo album.