Next Mr. Big Album Could Be Their Last
Mr. Big singer Eric Martin said he was trying to work on material for a new album, and it could be their last one.
The band has continued touring since the death of drummer Pat Torpey in February, although Martin had previously said he didn’t foresee Mr. Big continuing without Torpey, who’d been forced to take a hands-off approach to his work in recent years as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
“We are doing some touring this summer,” Martin told KNAC.com in a new interview. ‘We just got back from Australia, Thailand and China. We did some shows with Extreme and it went over wonderfully. I don't know why we didn't think of that earlier. We're heading to Europe to do the European festivals, which should be fun. I’ve been home for about a week, but it hasn't been till the past two days that I've been reflecting on Mr. Big. I've been working with my partner Andre Pessis, who I've worked with throughout Mr. Big’s existence. We're trying to get a jump on writing material for a possible Mr. Big album for 2019. That could very well be our last. We’re booked to do some touring in June of 2019.”
Martin said, without Torpey, "the wind has been taken right out of me. Billy [Sheehan] would miss it just as much as I do, but he's got enough stuff to keep him busy. Paul [Gilbert] would probably love to get off the road, stay home and make solo records. We’ve been in this band for 30 years now, but without Pat Torpey there's a huge emptiness. I don't think we could find an equivalent to Pat. It's impossible. I suppose there’s a chance that Billy can talk me out of it but right now, I just don't know.”
The band recently released Live From Milan, which features one of Torpey’s last appearances before his death, and acts as a tribute to him. By that time he wasn't able to perform full shows, but provided vocals and some percussion alongside "sub drummer" Matt Starr.
“Pat was our anchor,” Martin said. “It didn’t matter if we thought we were in dire straits, he was the guy that anchored us. Here was Pat, really weak, fatigued, we had a couple more weeks before we could head home. He really wanted to go home and rest, but like the true workhorse that he was we’d get to show time and he’d get pumped up. I would say something like, ‘Where’d you get all this energy all of a sudden?’ And he’d respond, ‘It’s showtime!’
“On that tour we’d do ‘Daddy, Brother’ and Pat would be offstage singing, then he’d join us on ‘Alive and Kickin’.' I'd introduce him and here he’d come always with a smile and this positive energy. He was my rock. I'd be hot and miserable and I'd look at Pat and I'd get to work and belt ‘em out. When I was looking back at the DVD, it brought back a lot of great memories, because there was Pat singing the songs and his voice. Pat had a voice like Paul McCartney – his vocal stands out in the mix, more so than Billy or Paul or even me at times.”