Most SWITCH fans would find it hard to believe that there could be anyone in Central Florida who has not yet seen this band and any of their alto ego performances. They have been together for years, rocking the local entertainment scene. SWITCH has a loyal fan base of people who spread the word and bring friends to their many shows at different venues all over the area. You can imagine that they were extremely excited to see the reveal of their latest expansion, The Big BAND Theory.
If you haven’t guessed, The Big BAND Theory has a similar concept of the closely named popular television sitcom. Four geeky guys and a hot blonde come together on stage, and make some pretty sweet music together. The four “geeky” guys suddenly seem less geeky when you get past the costumes and witness the talent and substance. The hot blonde becomes even hotter. And there you have a winning combination.
Drummer PJ Murray talks more about the evolution and future of this latest extension of SWITCH. He was kind enough to answer some questions for those of you who are curious to find out more about how it all came together.
Q: How did The Big BAND Theory evolve? Who initially came up with the idea and the concept?
A: We’re always kicking around new ways to reinvent ourselves. The idea of our show has always been to be visually stimulating as well as musically entertaining. To go that extra mile and give our audience more bang for their buck. The idea of “4 geeks and a gal” came to us one night at a gig and we just started running with it. Comic books, science fiction, movies, old TV shows, the influence here is endless. What people have seen so far is just tip of the iceberg. LOTS of great ideas/concepts are in the works as we speak and we’ll be unveiling them soon!
Q: How does the latest branch of SWITCH compare and/or differ from it? Does The Big BAND Theory have a whole new set list?
A: At its core, the four members of the legacy SWITCH drive the music. That part of our sound hasn’t changed. But with the addition of Kat, our vocals, repertoire, and possibilities are endless. Yes, we play 80s music, but we also play 70s, 90s, and current hits. That’s a huge list. We literally know a million songs. Literally! A few “new” songs we’ve added are “You Oughta Know” from Alanis Morissette, “Happy” by Pharrell, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Bruno Mars’ “Locked out of Heaven”, and No Doubt’s “Just A Girl”. And, as we always do, we inject the SWITCH flavor into them!
Q: What is your target audience with The Big BAND Theory? Do you cater to a different crowd or demographic than you do with SWITCH?
A: SWITCH has always been for the 80s-loving, party rock crowd from 8-80 years old and TBBT has the exact same elements. However, the demo for this band caters more toward the younger end of that. With the extensive song list we have, we can cater the sets to the ages of the crowd. It makes us a more viable force. We opened up for 80s legends Loverboy at 98.9 WMMO’s Downtown Concert Series. That was definitely more of an 80s/90s kind of crowd, so we adjusted the set accordingly. One of our strong suits as a band has always been to read a room, know what the crowd wants, and deliver.
Q: Are you performing as the BIG BAND THEORY in primarily the same types of venues as SWITCH and Nerd Ranger? Will you still perform as SWITCH, Nerd Ranger, and Def Lepprechaun?
A: Yes. One thing we’ve never been is background music. Big visual shows, Corporate Events, private parties, opening for numerous national acts, and even weddings - under the right circumstances, are our sweet spot. And we’re positive you’ll still be able to see ALL the bands we perform as at some point again in the future.
Q: Who is your newest member and how did you come to find her? Did you hold auditions through your Agency, Metropolis?
A: Katharina Santana is our newest member. She’s an amazing singer/songwriter and we’re fortunate to have her hang around with us jokers. We’re not easy – after playing 10 years and 600+ shows together, there’s a lot of history. Over the years we’ve had many people get onstage and sing with us, including Kat. Her voice is incredible and she brings an edge to the songs, which is perfect for our brand of music. So we’ve informally and unintentionally held auditions over the last decade.
Q: What has a female singer added to the group? Does she bring a new dynamic and energy?
A: She’s stepped right in and has only added to the chemistry — it’s uncanny. But she also brings a fresh perspective on songs. And yes, she’s a ball of energy onstage. She doesn’t stand still the ENTIRE show. But she can also croon with the best of ‘em. She absolutely KILLS on Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m The Only One”.
Q: What would you tell SWITCH fans who have not yet seen The Big BAND Theory? Why should they come out to see your latest production?
A: First, we’d tell them to GO SEE THE BIG BAND THEORY!!! What are you waiting for??? You can thank us later!! Secondly, we’ve always operated under the SWITCH Entertainment brand as multiple bands anyway. Most people aren’t 100% sure what they are going to see with Nerd Ranger, SWITCH, etc., in the arsenal. No matter what we’re dressed or performing as, we get to pick from a catalog of the all-time greatest songs. I doubt we’ll play some blue grass or B-side symphony music, so the SWTICH/TBBT fan should be just fine if they’ve turned on any rock or pop radio station in the last 30 years.
Q: Describe The Big BAND Theory in three words:
A: FUN FUN FUN!!!!!
Q: What would you tell anyone who has yet to see any of your bands? What are they missing out on?
A: We do it old school. We’re entertainers as well as musicians. We sell smiles for a living. Our shows are all about the audience and our intentions have always been to deliver high energy, quality music, and fun the only way we know how. We can’t fake this. It’s in our blood. It’s our passion.
Q: When and where can they see SWITCH and The Big BAND Theory perform this summer?
A: Well, to start, you can see us at World of Beer Orlando/Dr. Phillips on Saturday June 28th starting at 9pm. And we’ll also be playing a HUGE show on July 4th at the Oviedo Mall - 1700 Oviedo Marketplace Boulevard in Oviedo, FL 32765. This show is ALL ages and there’ll be fireworks in the evening! Should be a blast for all! We play two shows that night between 8 and 10pm.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: First of all, thank you Jen for taking the time and interest to ask us about The Big BAND Theory. We’re flattered you care so much. Also, to anyone and everyone out there, you can check TBBT out on Facebook @ facebook.com/bigbandtheoryrocks, and also on Twitter @BigBandOrlando.
Thank you, PJ, for the information and insight. Be sure to check out all branches of the SWITCH brand at your favorite local venues, and be sure to follow them for the latest events. If you are interested in hiring them for your event, contact them through their website ASAP to ensure availability and secure the date.