Big Scary: “Our mental ethos played a big part in how the songs came together”

Big Scary
(Image credit: Nick Mckk)

Around the middle of 2017, Big Scary seemed to be on the cusp of a hard-earned mainstream breakthrough: their third album, Animal, charted at #5 at the end of the year prior – and earned frontman Tom Iansek an ARIA nod for Producer Of The Year – and the band were comfortably selling out theatres across the country. But after their second time playing Splendour In The Grass in July ’17, their hype train came to a screeching halt. Cue years of radio silence, while Iansek kept the dream alive in other projects.

Big Scary reconvened at the dawn of the new decade, writing some two dozen songs that saw them freed from the pressures of success – Iansek and drummer Jo Syme weren’t gunning for that breakthrough anymore, and instead made music because… well, that’s what they loved doing. Their “comeback” album, 2021’s Daisy, marked a seismic shift in Big Scary’s musicality, swapping soft-rock for indie-pop with glittering synths that filled hypnotic soundscapes. So swept up in the haze, it wasn’t until they had Daisy in the bag that Iansek realised he hadn’t played a single guitar on it.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…