Big Atomic: Nuclear Jamming

Big Atomic: Nuclear Jamming
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Hangar 9

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Chromophonic: Raging Jams

Who: Big Atomic / Chromophonic
What: jam band showcase
When: 2016-12-09
Paducah’s premier jam band Big Atomic will return to Carbondale for a jam-band showcase Friday, Dece
Thomas Henry Horan
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Paducah’s premier jam band Big Atomic will return to Carbondale for a jam-band showcase Friday, December 9 at the Hangar 9 with Carbondale’s own jam sensation Chromophonic. As their ever-growing fan base knows, Big Atomic’s big musical palette runs from southern ballads to festival rock to jazz to funk to Latin fusion.

A Big Atomic song can zip along at forty-five revs per minute or fly into space at mach seventy-eight, but their extended-play grooves just go round and round, circling the musical center tighter and tighter, like a centrifugal diamond fusing into a neutron star. Hear them at <>.

Recently, Nightlife split a nucleus with Big Atomic’s Micah Greene and had this chat:

Do you come from a musical family?

Not at all. But after ten years of actually getting paid, my parents are cool with my career choice. They’re my best fans now.

So where did you learn?

Honestly, I’m almost completely self-taught. In high school, Matt Robinson and I and a guy with a bass just started learning together. We taught each other. We taught ourselves. Matt is still my most stable bandmate. He plays all our Latin percussion.

Widespread Panic definitely sounds like an influence.

Oh, yeah! Umphrey’s McGee, Phish, Grateful Dead. But I also dig Parliament-Funkadelic, Lettuce, Melvin and the Bluenotes. Jazz, roots, Americana, I listen to it all. But I think we learned the most about improvising, handing off, extending a jam, things like that, from Widespread Panic.

What have you been up to since your last Carbondale show?

We’ve been gigging quite a bit. Now that we’re based in Louisville, we’re getting out to Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Lexington, Bristol, Nashville, Evansville. We’re very excited to be expanding our fan base.

We hear you’re working on a new album.

We recorded some new tracks at Loud and Clear Studios in Paducah. They’ve been super to us. I can’t say enough good things about them. Now that we’re in Louisville, we’ll need to record the rest of the new album here. We haven’t found a new studio yet, but another band here has their own studio.

You haven’t signed with a label.

Honestly, we’ve been sort working as our own label. We’re getting into the marketing, the placement, all the stuff a label would do. We’ve sold some music to movie and TV soundtrack sources, you name it. Once the labels realize we don’t need them, they’ll call us. But, yeah, we’ll answer the calls, for sure. In the meantime, we’re just focusing on spreading our musical good news to more audiences. Right now, we’re excited to be coming back to Carbondale. Audiences at the Hangar 9 are fantastic.

Will we get to hear a Big Atomic/Chromophonic jam?

That would be awesome. We heard them at Ragefest, but we didn’t get a chance to jam together. So, yeah, if those guys are down for jamming, we’re down. And we’ve also heard good things about Porch Fire.

As you know, many of our dear departed favorites have come back live onstage as holograms. Which dead celebrity hologram would you most like to jam with?

No question— Michael Houser of Widespread Panic. Shoot, I’d like to be a hologram jamming with Widespread Panic!

Who wouldn’t.

Can I tell you a story?

Please do.

Once, we showed up in Memphis for a Widespread Panic show. We knew some of them would get out before a show and talk to people and maybe jam sometimes. There were some open electric outlets in the parking lot, and we set up our gear and were going to play some songs. We figured, even if the guys from [Widespread Panic] don’t come out and jam with us, we’ll at least get a few new fans. We were aaalllll ready to go, literally one downbeat away from starting our first song, when a cop pulled the plug. He didn’t want to be a dick, but he had to do his job. So, we were like, one stomp away from kind of opening for Widespread Panic, but then the fuzz stomped on our fuzz pedal.


It’s cool. There will be more lots to play in.

who: Big Atomic / Chromophonic

what: jam band showcase

where: Hangar 9


when: Friday, December 9