“We’re going to do a song now, that has become a bit of an internet sensation,” Eric Martin quipped from the stage of Jergel’s in Warrendale, PA, where he was playing a sold out show with Mr. Big, introducing a new song, “Everybody Needs A Little Trouble.” The song was one of two the legendary hard rock group played in their set that night, previewing the upcoming release of Defying Gravity, their ninth studio album, which will be out on July 21.
The U.S. dates, which began at the end of May, are a rare treat. As Martin told the audience from the stage, it had been at least 15 to 20 years since they had started a tour in the U.S. — normally, the bulk of their touring happens overseas, particularly in Japan, where they’re still a massive touring act. According to Martin, after this run of U.S. shows, they’ll be working across the pond for the bulk of the rest of the year, all of the way into 2018.
No matter where they start out, it was just great to have Mr. Big back on American soil and playing shows. At the time that they toured the States in 2011, it was their first full U.S. tour in 15 years. Time flies, right?
Billy Sheehan has good memories of the glory years that first kicked into gear when the band scored an unexpected number one with their ballad, “To Be With You.” He says that even as the chart hits faded away, the residual effects of having that success remained.
“When you get in an airplane and they know you’re a band, the flight attendants go, ”What band are you guys?” ”Mr. Big.” ”Never heard of you. Do you have any songs that I’d know?” [Starts singing To Be With You’] ”OH MY GOD!” They’d recognize the song right away,” he tells Popdose. “We got a lot of free drinks and first class upgrades as a result. [Laughs] Right away, things change and everything goes up a notch. I remember flying coincidentally in a scary manner on Malaysian Airlines. The pilot let us come and sit in the cockpit of a commercial airliner! They don’t do that anymore! But it was pretty cool. And people were really nice to us. You become part of a nice club in the music business, that everyone kind of knows you.
The music business is pretty small, so everybody kind of else knows everybody else’s star web, one way or the other, or they’re are one or two degrees of separation away. It really moved things along for us. Personally, nobody got rich by any means, but now, we have a little money, which was nice. We all managed to be smart and save our money and not blow it on car collections or antique whatever. We were all pretty smart about our money and we were careful with it. You know that it’s never going to go on forever, so you get smart with it right up front and sure enough, it never does. But the good thing about Mr. Big is that we still play and we still have a great time and it is as if it went on forever for us in a lot of ways.”
In this exclusive video, which you can watch above, Martin shares the story behind “Everybody Needs A Little Trouble,” which he says is “autobiographical.”
“People say that trouble is my middle name, which I don’t believe that, but it follows me everywhere I go. I look for adventure in life. I don’t like to settle into the normalcy of life — I like to have a little bit of danger. I embrace it!”
Defying Gravity is available for pre-order now and will be released on July 21 by Frontiers Music.
Photo Credit: William Hames