Kickin’ it
Student Weekly, 1st September 2004
By Nuttaporn Srisirirungsimakul,

If someone told you had a big ass, you’d probably be pretty upset. But if you were Big Ass — vocalist Aekarat Wongchalaat (Dax), bass player Phongphan Phonlasit (Oak), drummer Khajorndet Phromraksa (Kob) and guitar players Phunsak Jaturabun (Off) and Apichart Phromraksa (Muu) — that’d be a different story.

Considering the accomplishments the band has racked up over the years, it’s hard to think of many things that could make a person happier.

Big Ass hit the music scene in 1998 with their impressive debut Not Bad, an album that won them the Season Award for the best new artist. Then they followed up their success with the sophomore album XL, which yielded hits like “Korn Tai (Before Dying)” and “Phuchai Mue Song (Second-Hand Man).”

And when Big Ass released My World in 2003 and it won the Season Awards for best duo or group, best rock album and best rock song, it became clear that Big Ass really were onto something big.

Not only do the guys produce their own albums, Big Ass are also the brains behind the success of other artists. Off is Body Slam’s producer, while Kob is a talented songwriter who has penned popular tracks like Body Slam’s “Ngom Ngai (Blind)” and Ebola’s “Jam (Remember).”

And now seven years into the business, Big Ass are back with their fourth, appropriately titled album Seven. While the band is bigger and busier than ever, Big Ass’s Dax recently squeezed out some time to catch up with Student Weekly.

Student Weekly: The name of your band is a bit naughty. How did you come up with the name Big Ass?

Dax: Actually when we were students we used so many different names to book studio time that the owner would get confused if we were the same band. So we wanted to find a unique name to represent our band. When we looked around, the first thing that caught our attention was an ass. It seemed firm and sturdy just like rock music, the music we like. And we didn’t want just a normal ass, so we named the band Big Ass.

Student Weekly: On your CD cover, you mention Mango Team. What is it?

Dax: It’s a group of our friends who like music, consisting of Big Ass, Body Slam and those who helped us to write lyrics. In fact, it comes from “man” and “go,” meaning we’re moving forward. Also, in front of Off’s house, where we gather together to make our music, there is a big mango tree. So it’s the perfect name to represent our group.

Student Weekly: Big Ass are famous for releasing songs with weird or funny titles. What’s your favourite song title so far?

Dax: We want to make our songs different from others in the market so we use strong words when naming the songs. There are many song titles that I like depending on my mood. But for now, I like “Sattru Tee Mong Mai Hen (Invisible Enemy).”

Student Weekly: The eighth track in the new album doesn’t have a title and is instead represented by the Big Ass logo. Why is that?

Dax: Actually, it’s the interlude to show how happy we are to finally have our own logo. We always wanted to have a symbol to represent our band. We had designed 30 or 40 logos, but we ended up choosing the one from our creative designer. It’s the letter “B” and “A” linked together. It’s very simple but we love it. The track is a tribute to our logo.

Student Weekly: In the No Parents Allowed Concert 2, Big Ass were chosen to represent the Knight character from the online game A3. Does that character suit you?

Dax: I think every boy wants to be a knight because chivalry, honour and strength are associated with the title. But I think I haven’t done enough knightly or brave things to be praised as a knight.

Student Weekly: After seven years in the business, do you still get stage fright? If so, how do you overcome your fear?

Dax: I don’t know about other people, but no, I never have stage fright. I can’t wait to be on stage so I can have fun with my fans.

Student Weekly: Final question. If Big Ass were a person, what would he be like?

Dax: Firm, honest and straightforward.