Interview: Big Big Train talk latest Christmas track

Three times Progressive Music Award winning band, Big Big Train recently released their their first Christmas single Merry Christmas on December 8th with an exclusive B Side – Snowfalls on all vinyl and CD copies. A donation to the Night Stop homelessness charity will be made for every copy sold.

The promotional film for Merry Christmas stars actor Mark Benton and reached number two in the UK Physical Singles Charts. Big Big Train are headlining the Night of the Prog Festival at Loreley in Germany on July 13th, 2018. You can check out the single below!

We managed to catch up with the band as they talk about their latest Christmas single and more!

So first of all, a big congratulations of being named number 2 in the Physical Singles Charts, did you ever think it could get that far?

Our last album was top 50 in the national UK charts so we felt we had a decent prospect of charting. Although Big Big Train isn’t a household name, we have developed a substantial and loyal following in recent years and so chart success is on our agenda as it helps to promote the band.

Can you tell us something about the release nobody knows?

Whilst we are seen inside a giant snow globe on the promotional video, listeners might be shocked to find out that the snow globe was, in fact, created by the film maker in post-production. We were filmed against a green screen at Real World studios for the effect. It was a hot summer’s day, too hot for the heavy coats and scarves required for the wintery scene.

What was your favourite moment recording this?

Working with the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge was great fun. Like most progressive rock bands we like to include sections of music with a bit of scale, majesty and drama, and the choir ticked all those boxes. And I was a choirboy myself so it brought back some happy memories of my youth.

How has the track Snowfalls gone down with fans also?

Snowfalls was written after I had heard David’s demo of Merry Christmas, so I wanted to write something that provided a contrast to the A side. Snowfalls is, perhaps, more of a winter song than a Christmas song. The song ends on a crescendo which is a bit heavier than our normal style and listeners seem to have enjoyed it very much.

How was it working with Mark Benton and how did you come across him to feature in the video?

Mark is a prog rock fan and attended one of our gigs in 2015. We were introduced at the aftershow and Mark has become a good friend. He quickly said yes to our request to appear in the promotional film and we had a fantastic weekend filming in Oxford. It was perchance that Mark also appeared in the M and S Christmas film this year.

If you could work with any band on a new song, who would it be and why?

Assuming I couldn’t get Prefab Sprout, XTC or Genesis back together, I would like to work with The Unthanks. They cover similar musical territory to us, although in more of a folk setting. They are a great band.

So what’s next for you? Any new music in the pipeline?

We are writing a new album at the moment, but that won’t be recorded until later next year. We will be mixing a live album and Blu-Ray early next year and that should be out in the summer.

Will you be touring at all in 2018?

We are headlining the Friday night of the Loreley festival in Germany in July. We may do a UK warm up show ahead of that. We won’t be touring until 2019 though.

What was the first ever gig you all attended as a kid?

My brother took me to see The Jam at Stafford Bingley Hall. I liked their Rickenbacker guitars.

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