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Here at Figment News we’ve interviewed a lot of artists who are…shall we say idiosyncratic (Fustercluck), dark and mysterious (The Infernal Archon – Merchants of Metal Festival), and downright surly (Can of Wupazz).  In short, we thought we’d seen it all…that is until we sat down to interview the self-described originator of the latest metal movement “Dad Metal”, Big Poppa.  To say Mr. Poppa (aka Hugh Weber) is “his own person” is an understatement.  A musician who doesn’t court the mainstream nor ignore it, he has carved out a niche of his own, even if that niche is a dark and rather messy place.  In an interview that was at times rambling, chaotic and downright strange we talked to Big Poppa about the history of the band, the imminent release of his first album of recorded music “Learning to Share”, and his plans for the future.  Whether you think he’s an innovator or a madman, one thing’s for sure this ain’t your dad’s metal.

Figment News:  Big Poppa has had a rather tumultuous past.  In fact, despite being the so-called originator of the “Dad Metal” genre, you actually almost broke the band up following your first rehearsal and then spent 12 years deciding whether or not you wanted to go ahead with the project.  What made you decide to push on?

BP:  Whereas most musical hacks and people lacking true vision would say something hokey like “it’s the music” or “I love the fans”, I reject that. It’s the shady hotels, green room food and the love of the road that kept me going. Shiz.

Figment News:  Your band mates Mike Billeter and Andrew Bryjulson, have since left the band.  After 13 years of waiting for you to work with them, why did they decide to leave now?

BP:  Moments after my progeny emerged from the womb covered in the slime of love and passion, those boys … and I do mean boy…decided they no longer had the stomach to sacrifice for the dream. Posers. EEEEEEEE-ow!

[editor’s note: This final exclamation was screamed and seemed to be completely involuntary. It would become a regular occurrence in our interview.]

Figment News:  You recently held a press conference to squelch rumors of a reunion tour only to have someone, that looked suspiciously like you, call a 2nd press conference to say that there may indeed be a reunion tour.  What’s the deal?  Any chance Billeter and Bryjulson will return to the band now that you’ve released your first recording “Mother’s Milk”?

[editor’s note: At this point in our interview, the ceiling collapsed. Brynjulson and Billeter fell from above wearing black spandex and carrying rope and proceeded to run from the room screaming “WE’RE NEVER COMING BACK, WE’RE NEVER COMING BAAAACK!!!”]

BP:  “Um…your guess it as good as mine, but I’d take that as a no…”

Mother's Milk

Figment News:  Speaking of “Mother’s Milk”, tell us about the EP.  It contains no music and is actually a commentary on the album you are currently working on.  Why would your first release in your 13-year career be devoid of music?

BP:  Big Poppa fans expect and deserve more. Any hack can create music, but it takes a certain kind of genius to point out the genius genius behind the genius. Geeeeeeeen-ius!

Figment News:  Anything you can tell us about your new album?  After all it is your first LP of recorded music?

learningtoshare

BP:  “Learning to Share” is our way of giving back to all of the bands we’ve influenced. Except the band “Forcept Extraction.” For legal reasons, we can’t explain why.

Figment News:  Rumor has it that you are planning a music festival, but have yet to invite any bands to join the bill.  How do you plan to have a music festival if there is no one playing on it but you?  Isn’t that just a concert?

BP:  Thank you for the opportunity to explain the Fiestaval. We will be inviting up to 5 bands to suckle at the teat of rock stardom. The venue is yet to be determined, but it will be awesome.

Those bands which help us reach our goal of being the biggest band in Figment history will be included in the line-up and also receive their own “Fiestaval VIP Shirt.”

fiestavaltshirts

All they need to do is encourage their fans to become Big Poppa fans and give a shout-out for their band.  The five bands that receive the most shout-outs or send the most fans will be included.

For example, we would love to include Eccentric Arcade.  If they could encourage people to fan Big Poppa and give a shout-out for EA, they are IN. Additionally, five lucky fans will be randomly selected to get a t-shirt and some love from BP.

Figment News:  So in essence you’re challenging bands to mobilize their fan bases to not only come see them play live but you as well?

BP:  Yeah…I mean I guess so… what kind of question is that? NEXT QUESTION! NEXT! NEXT!

Figment News:  What do you think the fans of these other bands will think of your live show?  Is this a Fiestaval that will have something for everyone?

BP:  No. Absolutely not for everyone. This is a Fiestaval that will have something for intelligent, thoughtful metal fans. Slackers and losers need not attend.

Figment News:  I don’t usually ambush people with questions, but you are a known abuser of hypo-allergenic baby formula and breast milk.  In fact, Jeff Hanneman of Slayer has a restraining order out against you for harassing him at concerts.  Are you high on formula and breast milk right now?

JeffHanneman of Slayer

BP: Hanneman is a…

[editor’s note: this section was removed due to inappropriate suggestions of uses for house pets and baby strollers.]

AND, Its been months since I’ve tasted the sweet nectar of the gods.

Figment News:  Clearly you are an influence for a lot of bands out there today, because…well your press materials say that, but truly how are you an influence – you have no music?

BP:  I never said I was a role model. In the immortal words of my personal hero Natalie Portman in her classic hit, “Natalie’s Rap”: “All the kids looking up to me can [expletives redacted]” I think you get the point.

Figment News:  So what you’re saying is that you truly are the living embodiment of a Figment band?

BP:  Big Poppa serves a critical civic function, which is to inspire people of all ages to strive for and achieve their goals and dreams.

If you reach for the moon and fall short, you’ll still be among the stars. I think Flavor Flav said that once. Or maybe it was Mother Theresa. Who cares, I think it makes sense.

[Editor’s Note: At this point, Hugh pulled a microphone out of his pocket, threw it on the floor, and shouted:]

Big Poppa, Out!

3 Responses to “Father Knows Best: The Big Poppa Interview”

  1. Big Poppa Says:

    I was misquoted.

    I never said Natalie Portman was my personal hero. I said she was my personal girlfriend.

    Yeeeeeeeee-ow!

  2. Mike Billeter Says:

    I would just like the records to show that, while it may have appeared that Andrew and I were spying on this Big Poppa interview, we certainly were not. We were doing our best Boondock Saints impression. So what if we landed in the same room where the interview was taking place while Big Poppa was talking about us and was about to publicly beg for us to return to the band and help him make (potential) #1 hits again. It was all just a big miseavesdropp… a big miscommunication. To be clear, we’re still not coming back until we get paychecks from the 3 years of hard work we put in without any compensation beyond non-financial offers. YOU WERE THE ONLY PERSON IN THE BAND WHO ENJOYED BREAST MILK AND FORMULA, HUGH! I NEEDED ACTUAL MONEY TO GET BY.

    Mike Billeter, out.

  3. frizbee Says:

    Eccentric Arcade would LOVE to be a part of Fiestaval. Here’s hoping we make the cut!

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