Sunday | February 03, 2019


There’s a certain sense of enthusiasm and high-spiritedness that differentiates BIG Mouth from other bands in the city. Bringing their own brand of energy to every performance, it’s not surprising the band has been nominated for awards in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Having recently started their Friday residency at Stars ’N’ Bars in La Mer, we sat down with BIG mouth for an exclusive interview about – everything under the Dubai sun!

That’s an interesting name for a band. How did you guys come up with it?

Doug: Mikey has a big mouth ha ha

David: I think Mikey stole the name from another band ha ha

Mikey: I was in a band called ‘BIG Mouth’ a few years ago in Manchester, that band ended and when I put this one together, it seemed like an appropriate name for me – I do talk…. A LOT. Plus, it’s catchy and easy to remember.

Since the band covers all kinds of songs, is it difficult to switch between genres during a set?

Mikey: It all depends on the room – you have to read what the audience wants to hear. We operate on a request system, so people request what they want from us, and we’ll perform it if we can. When we’re doing the big end-of-the-night party sets, we have certain “segue” songs that help us get from one genre to the next. A good example of this is Mr. Brightside (by The Killers) – we use that one to get from the modern stuff into the rock genre.

David: You get used to it. We try to give 100 percent energy to all our songs, no matter the genre.

Doug: As long as you’ve learned to play in different genres, switching should be pretty easy.

Which genres do you guys have the most fun with on stage?

David: Definitely the heavier rock songs, but we enjoy anything that has a good groove.

Mikey: I enjoy it all but I certainly prefer the big ‘80s cheesy stuff. I love the audience’s reaction when we break into a tune like “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”. I love big rock numbers, but that’s my musical heritage. I like to jump around a lot – I’m not a big ballads guy.

Doug: Anything involving silly poses and too many notes.

 How did the band come together?

David: I met Mikey in Bahrain. We were both playing in different bands at the time. A couple of years later, he asked me to join BIG Mouth where I ended up meeting Dougie.

Doug: We met through residencies in Bahrain.

Mikey: I was playing in a club in Bahrain and our guitarist got fired. Doug was recommended to me by a mutual friend in the UK. He came out and blew me away with his skills – that was 5 years ago, and we’ve been working together on and off since then. Dave and I met a year later, he was in a ‘rival band’ across the street from us. He used to come to jam nights at my bar and I’d visit their jam nights too, and we formed a friendship. When I was putting together BIG Mouth a couple of years ago, I had a vision for what I wanted (Dubai’s answer to Mr. Big - commercial pop rock tunes played in a rock style) and I needed certain kinds of musicians to achieve that. Doug and Dave were my first choices, and thankfully both of them said yes to me.

What’s your favorite part about being a musician?

Doug: In Dubai, I’m able to balance a lot of projects and save money at the same time.

Mikey: I enjoy the travel. I’ve been lucky that I’ve travelled the world doing what I love. I’ve settled in Dubai as I don’t have to sacrifice that passion, and I can still support my family.

David: The long lie-ins.

Who are your creative inspirations?

Doug: I first picked up the guitar after hearing Steve Vai’s ‘Eugene’s Trick Bag’.  These days I steal guitar licks from guys like Paul Gilbert, though I don’t really listen to his music.

David: Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers, Sonny Emory, Mitch Mitchell and Brian Downy are all great drummers who influenced me growing up.

Mikey: For me, I love big live bands. If you really want to see a band perform live, go and watch bands that have been doing it for 30+ years. Status Quo are my favorite band of all time – they’re still KILLING it live even at 70 years old. I’m also a huge Queen and Abba fan. In terms of lead singing bassists (my role in the band) Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy is my main influence – the guy was just so solid as a player and as a singer.

How often do you guys rehearse?

Mikey: As a band, we rehearse once a week… it keeps things tight stage-wise. If we get together outside of a gig environment, we try to put in new songs all the time too, just to keep the set fresh for our regular viewers. Different bars also have different requirements.

David: We all do our own private practice as well daily.

Where do you see BIG Mouth in 5 years?

Doug: 5 years is quite some time, we all have our projects and plans for the future.

David: Hopefully still in Dubai, I love it here.

Mikey: Who knows? 5 years is a long time, I promised my wife I’d stop professional music when I was 30 – that was 3 years ago! And now, BIG Mouth has taken off in a way I never thought it would. We’ve been busier over the last 2 years than any of us could have imagined, I think whilst the demand is still there we’ll keep going, but I don’t want to see it die out. I’d prefer to go out on the top and then do something different – SO COME AND SEE US NOW!!!! ha ha

Any plans of putting an album out in the future?

David: I’d love to but I can’t find any other musicians who are into progressive swamp death jazz.

Mikey: As BIG Mouth, I highly doubt it. We’re a party covers band. We get asked a lot about it, and never say never, but currently no plans. We all did that years ago. I have recently started writing again, but you either have the bug for original work or you don’t. Sadly, I’m too busy being a dad and running the band to have any real creative time.

Doug: For original music, I’m only working on EDM which hopefully will be an album one day.

Any memorable gigs you’d like to share with us?

Doug: We did a ‘50s/’60s tribute for a birthday party on the beach in front of the Burj Al Arab.

David: That was a cool moment I’ll always remember with BIG Mouth. The Burj Al Arab was lit up in the background.

Mikey: I’ve done some great gigs over the years. As for BIG Mouth, a lot of the festivals stick in my mind – playing at the amphitheater or under the Burj Khalifa, at the Formula 1, or on JBR. Recently, we performed for Gordon Ramsey on his annual visit to his restaurant in Dubai – that’s one for the grandkids! Dubai offers up so many opportunities to play at great events, but I also like a good residency and getting to know the regulars in a bar. Our newest Friday residency at Stars ’N’ Bars on La Mer is awesome – a stunning view of the Dubai skyline and beach…the bar is gorgeous!

**Edited for clarity**

**Photos courtesy of Big Mouth's Facebook page**

If you haven’t had a chance to watch this highly energetic band perform yet, head down to Stars ’N’ Bars on a Friday night and catch BIG Mouth doing what they do best!


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