MR. BIG singer Eric Martin has confirmed to the "Friday NI Rocks" show that the band is planning to make a new studio record next year. The effort will mark MR. BIG's first release since the passing of drummer Pat Torpey, who died in February at the age of 64 from complications of Parkinson's disease.
Speaking about MR. BIG's plans to enter the studio, Martin said (hear audio below): "I'm kind of the one lately getting everybody together for conference calls and e-mails and what we wanna do. I wanna spend more than six days on it, like we did with [2017's] 'Defying Gravity' album. I wanna be a little bit more prepared. I wanna do a new record, and I also wanna have a couple of different drummers on it, ones that Pat really liked, like maybe Mike Portnoy [DREAM THEATER, SONS OF APOLLO] or Gregg Bissonette [David Lee Roth], Ray Luzier from KORN — I really like his playing. Just get some great drummers to do an ode to Pat Torpey."
Martin went on to say that it is not clear if MR. BIG will make a new EP or a full-length album. "It kind of depends on the songs," he said. "If we only have six songs, then there's your EP, but if we have more, then we'll cut an album. We only have a little bit of a window of opportunity, 'cause Paul's [Gilbert, guitar] on the road for pretty much the rest of the year and then we might have a little opportunity in February to cut something. But we are gonna do a tour in June and July and then come home for a couple of weeks and then try to do as much as we can for about three or four months."
As for how MR. BIG will go about choosing its setlist for the upcoming shows, Martin said: "Billy [Sheehan, bass] was just talking about this the other day, how he wants to have three different setlists going, because we have so many songs. And the next tour that we do, we're gonna concentrate more on the first album, because that's kind of like the 30th anniversary, and we'll concentrate more on that first album. But he wants to break it up in twos or threes, so we have different sets. "
According to Eric, once MR. BIG is done with its 2019 touring commitments, it will be time for the band to call it quits. "Yeah, that's the last hurrah — that's it," he said. "It feels a little uncomfortable to keep going without Pat Torpey."
"Defying Gravity" was released in July 2017 via Frontiers Music Srl.
After announcing his Parkinson's diagnosis in 2014, Torpey continued to write, record and perform with MR. BIG, who also recruited Matt Starr (Ace Frehley) to share drum duties.
MR. BIG, formed in 1988, produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres — be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits include "Alive And Kicking", "Just Take My Heart" and the chart-topping ballad "To Be With You".