Brandon Cocard and Tim Eddy on the Tahoe based psych-rock project
Interview: Danny Kern
Photos: Julien Perly Petry
Snowboarding and music have always been intertwined, and Easy Giant is an intersection of these medium. Brought together by a shared love of mountains and instrumentation, the project began as a garage jam band by the name Mega Meat and morphed into something bigger once music mastermind Chris Emmington produced a set of original songs. With no excuse not to practice, the group of artists and snowboarders created Easy Giant. It was only a matter of time before Easy Giant paired up with Absinthe Films for the TurboDojo premiere tour. 18 shows, 10 countries, 1 month. Back stateside, band members Brandon Cocard and Tim Eddy discussed the psych rock project that occupies their time off the hill.
Band Members: Chris Emmington, Brandon Cocard, Tim Eddy, Ryan Taylor, Aaron Oropeza.
How did Easy Giant come to be?
Brandon: Well we started as Mega Meat.
Tim: Yeah exactly, dude, the first band was Mega Meat.
Brandon: Yeah, it was just me, Chris, Tim, and sometimes Aaron and our buddy Taylor Carlton. It started as just playing music just for fun, and, well, we still play music for fun, but every once in a while we'd do a video premier and get a Mega Meat set together so we could play a show after the movie.
Tim: Yeah, Mega Meat was basically a reason to practice. The formula was basically: get a gig at a video premiere, and that would give us a reason to get together and play music, instead of it staying on the back burner.
So how did Mega Meat turn into Easy Giant?
Tim: I feel like—correct me if I'm wrong, Brandon—we were really busy with snowboarding, and then that's when Chris really focused on music then frickin' Easy Giant was formed.
Brandon: Yeah, it wasn't until Chris wrote all that original music one winter while we were away that it happened. We got back, and Chris hit me and Tim up and was like, "Yo, I got all these original songs, and I want to play shows,and I want you guys to help me do it." That's when we became like a legit band with an original set.
When was this? This past winter or was this prior to that?
Tim: Two winters ago, right?
Brandon: Let's see… I wanna say 2015, yeah.
How would you describe Easy Giant?
Tim: We keep it loose for sure; the way we've been performing the Easy Giant songs, they're more jammed out when we play them live. Each show is so different; we just play off the crowd and however we feel.
Brandon: Yeah, the live versions are way different than the recorded versions because the recorded versions are just Chris. It's just him playing every instrument. The mentality for shows is just, "Hey, we don't have to play every song the way it's recorded; lets just get up there and let it breathe."
What sparked the idea of combining the Absinthe premier tour with an Easy Giant tour?
Brandon: Just because we used to do it in the past—that was the only time we'd get together and play music was like before a video premier. I know it's something that we all love doing, and I just wanted to keep that going, so I tried to connect Easy Giant with Absinthe, and it evolved into playing every Absinthe premiere on the West coast, then ultimately into a world tour, basically.
That's pretty cool, playing musicfor a month straight, while on a video premiere tour.
Brandon: I mean that's like dream come true right there.
Tim: Yeah, that was insane—not only the opportunity to do it, but that people actually wanted us to do it. That was pretty cool.
Any speed bumps during the tour?
Brandon: Yeah,we got all of our shit stolen in Seattle. Honestly it could have been way worse because whoever took our stuff, they were on foot, so they could only take basically what they could carry, which was like my backpack, my bass, and all my hardware. But if they had been in a truck we would have lost everything. It would have been like end of tour. In a way, I feel like it was a rite of passage almost. I'm almost certain that every band who's toured has some kind of story similar to ours.
Tim: And it makes sense 'cause we were getting a crash course in touring. We played 18 shows in 1 month, in 10 countries, so we may as well get the full experience and get our stuff stolen.
Ok so you guys got robbed, any other hiccups?
Brandon: Oh yeah, Ryan had an allergic reaction in Worcester. It was right before the show, and he's allergic to artificial sugars, like sweeteners or whatever, and he had a sip of my drink then just broke out in hives. He had to play the show like that. And in Austria I had to go to the hospital.
Tim: Oh yeah, I forgot about that.
Brandon: Yeah, so Taylor [Elliott], my girlfriend, went and got dinner and was like, "I brought you this cake." I was pretty hungry, so I just like mowed this cake down, but for some weird reason there were pinenuts in the cake. I didn't even know that was a thing, pine nuts in a cake, but I started having trouble breathing.I went to the hospital, and the guy was like, "You're not having an allergic reaction." I'm like, "No, I am." He was just like, "You're good; you're good. "So I went back to the bus, and my body just had a little battle.
Tim: That was crazy, dude. I had an allergic reaction in Prague. I drank, I don't know, probably like four beers in the course of one night, and my body started feeling a lot different and some kind of weird.
What was the craziest thing that happened during the tour or on the tour bus?
Brandon: Sorry, what happens on the bus stays on the bus, but I just had this crazy memory and something happened to somebody that…
I kind of assumed I was going to hit a road block with that question.
Brandon: We can't give you the details, but I can tell you that it did involve a burrito.
How was it traveling on the tour bus with everyone?
Tim: The tour bus vibe in the US was very different than the tour bus vibe in Europe. The Europeans know how to party.
So you guys had mentioned something about sobriety during the tour when it first started, how'd that go?
Brandon: We got through the US tour no problem. It lasted about three days in Europe, but we kind of all had a bit of a sit-down, and were like, "Hey, were in Europe,and this continent has the best beers in the world. It'd be kind of stupid for us to not at least enjoy one or two here and there.
Tim: So out of respect for the local communities,we had to support the local beer. That's how you justify that one. We didn't want to, but we had to.
Did you guys have any guests play during the tour?
Tim: Mikkel [Bang] played a frickin' badass solo.
Brandon: It was our second to last show; we were all like, "Alright, we're going to get Mikkel on stage and surprise him." So Chris gets on the mic and is like, "Mikkel, come rip a solo." But it turned out Mikkel had just disappeared for the night and went back to the bus; he wasn't even there.
Tim: That was unfortunate.
Brandon: So the next night, we made sure he was around,and he got up and ripped. We actually got like half the crowd on stage that night.
Tim: That was so awesome—the grand finale, playing outdoors, under the stars in the Alps. It was epic. Yeesh moment.
What can people expect from Easy Giant in the future? Any plans or other shows going on?
Brandon: Chris is releasing an EP with a lot of the songs we were playing on the tour.
Tim: We'll probably be performing it at a bar near you at some point.
Brandon: Yeah, we'll be playing shows again as soon as we can. The future for Easy Giant is bright
Tim: We've got a bit of momentum right now; it's pretty frickin' rad.