Big Sir

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NO TREBLE: Bassist Redefined an Interview with Juan Alderete


Juan Alderete
is a man who stays busy. After getting his break with thrash metal outfit Racer X, Alderete now contributes the low-end to progressive rock giants The Mars Volta, whose new album Noctourniquet hit stores this week. The record marks the band’s sixth effort anchored by Aldererte, who joined their ranks in 2003.
The Mars Volta ‘Noctourniquet’

Additionally, Big Sir released its third album, Before Gardens After Gardens, in early February. The album was created after Alderete and collaborator Lisa Papineau were both diagnosed with serious illnesses: Alderete with polychythemia vera, and Papineau with Multiple Sclerosis. Three weeks before the album was released, Papineau was also diagnosed with cancer.

“I wake up and I thank God every day – and God meaning everybody’s God who looks down on me,” Alderete said. “I can’t believe how fortunate I am to wake up every day and feel good enough to go play music and do what I do.”

A veritable gear guru, Alderete is also launching a new website called PedalsAndEffects.com, in which he will give advice on building pedal boards, how different pedals sound, and how to get the best sounds possible out of your effects.

We phoned Alderete at his house the morning after Big Sir played a special in-store concert at Hollywood’s legendary Amoeba Records to get the latest from this exciting bass player.

Congratulations on the new Big Sir album, Before Gardens After Gardens. It’s a really incredible record.

JA: Thanks! It’s something that means so much to me. A lot of people know my band through Mars Volta, but when Lisa [Papineau] and I put this record out, we never thought that Mars Volta fans would get it. We thought we would put it out on Omar [Rodriguez-Lopez]’s label, and it would just sit there, but our other record is jumping in sales because people are finding the new one and liking it, so they check out the old one as well.

I’m not going to say we’re a band that’s in the black yet, but I anticipate we will be if we continue to promote it and do videos for it. Hopefully if we go on tour, we can continue to get that support to spread our word, and basically our word is that no matter what you’re going through, you’ve gotta keep that dream alive. If you’re at a day job and you really want to create something really beautiful in a graphic artist program or something, or you’re a photographer and you want to take the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen… as long as you have that inspiration, it drives you.

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Juan Alderete creates the “Vato Vibrato” Tone Print


In this video Big Sir’s own Juan Alderete creates a TC Electronic TonePrint for the Shaker Vibrato pedal. He names the TonePrint “Vato Vibrato”.


PREFIX Track Premiere: “The Kindest Hour” by Big Sir




"The Kindest Hour" will appear right at the halfway mark on Big Sir’s upcoming 11-track album, Before Gardens After Gardens, which makes me think it could be an important transitional song. Singer/composer Lisa Papineau (Air, M83) and bassist/composer Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta, Racer X) create this pretty, eerie (also pretty eerie) tune with help from Heather Lockie and her moody viola playing, which is contrasted by Alderete’s smooth, clean bass. Also featuring Cedric Bixler Zavala (The Mars Volta) on drums and Matthew Embree (RX Bandits) on guest vocals.

Although subdued, Papineau’s melodic singing is of major note here, as it adds dimension to her partner’s muscle and, overall, fills out the otherwise sparse music. The voice and the instrument meet up here and there, eventually creating a watershed of sound that boils over as if you turned the stove off a second too late. The result is something like a cathartic overflow of warmth—thanks, in part, to the blanketing organ—ultimately faced with an icy wash of male-female vocals. “Hour,” which you can stream below, is a compelling audio embodiment of feelings that could be as strongly expressed visually as they are here. Big Sir’s Before Gardens After Gardens will be available Feb. 7 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions/Sargent House.


Big Sir To Play some California Shows




We are very excited to announce two new west coast shows for Big Sir one in Los Angeles with Marcel Rodriguez Lopez of (Zechs Marquise & The Mars Volta’s) electronica project called Eureka the Butcher featuring Sadah Luna don’t miss them if you are in the  area:

BIG SIR
Feb 20 - Hollywood, CA @ Harvard & Stone w/ Gregory Rogove,  Eureka The Butcher & Sadah Luna, & Devendra Banhart DJ’ing.
Feb 27 - Long Beach, CA @ Harvelle’s w/ The Vespertines & C-Gak

follow  @bigsirband , @eurekabutcher , @j_alderete , @lisapapineau

HEAR EUREKA THE BUTCHER


RCRD LBL Premiere: New track DL “Our Pleasant Home”

Big Sir, the longtime collaboration between singer/composer Lisa Papineau (Air, M83 collaborator) and The Mars Volta’s bassist Juan Alderete, will release a new effort on February 7 via Rodriguez Lopez Productions /Sargent House. The album, Before Gardens After Gardens, is a collection ethereal prog-rock numbers, as evident on this premiere of “Our Pleasant Home.” The track features The Mars Volta singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala on drums, and is buoyant and eclectic – a marriage of noises that somehow creates something beautifully cohesive. - Emily Zemler

Stream or DL : Big Sir - Our Pleasant Home


Premier Guitar Video Rig Rundown w/ Juan Alderete

Premier Guitar’s  Chris Kies talks to bass player Juan Alderete backstage while in Chicago on tour in The Mars Volta where they both talk through his current Rig. 


Sargent House / RLP Presents May We Introduce You To Big Sir Free Album DL All Weekend


Big Sir is Lisa Papineau and Juan Alderete. After a five year wait Big Sir have just finished their 3rd album and it will be coming out on RLP / SH in January 2012 with a lot of great special guest players including Cedric Bixler Xavala on drums. We have already been talking a lot about Lisa and Juan’s other projects; Sargent House put out Lisa Papineau’s solo album Red Trees in 2010 and is releasing the new EP she just did with our own Matthew Embree under the moniker ME&LP entitled Chez Raymond on August 9, 2011. Juan plays bass in The Mars Volta, as well as in the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group and Vato Negro. So we figured it was time to start talking about their new 
Big Sir album and to introduce to you this music if you are not familiar already. So we will be giving away for FREE Download their last album entitled Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer all weekend, just enter your email address - we won’t spam you and you can unsubscribe anytime if you don’t want any further news from Big Sir.  Enjoy and share it with friends! - Sargent House / Rodriguez Lopez Productions.

(Source: sargenthouse)


Little Big, but No Sir - June 17th Vato Negro and Friends



Juan Alderete’s Vato Negro will be playing this sweet show, a lot of great musicians come out for the night if your in LA.