Nicki Nero’s Big Star Baby: New Songs, New Band

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“My Way To Help Is To Write Songs”

Nicki Nero’s Big Star Baby

I got an email out of the blue the other day from a local musician named Nicki Nero. He wrote, “Hi there, I am lead singer/writer for Hamilton based, rock band BIG STAR BABY, just released our debut album as a download,  wanted to know if you can review it; it’s the best rock album that’s come out anywhere in the last decade, please check out the site www.bigstarbabymusic.com and know that statement is true.”

Now that’s confidence!

After giving a good listen, I will say with confidence that Nero is onto something. His vocals are of the quality of Morten Harket of A-ha! for those readers who remember that Norwegian group that recorded “Take On Me” in 1985. The Big Star Baby instrumentation consists of two electric guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and backup vocals. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but the aspects of the music that stands out beyond the quality of the vocals are the melodic hooks and the lyrics.

You should check out these tunes simply because of their value as unique, thoughtful and catchy pieces of songwriting craft. Here’s a sample lyric:

Meltdown
by Nicki Nero

Play the track

And so you think you’ve got it all figured out
You know it all, you know what life is about
But when it rains it never stops
And all your little plans don’t work out

So fast you can’t even see it come down
So fast you can’t even breathe again
Will bring you down to your knees
Are you losing control?

You never see, you get so carried away
You never think about the things that you say
And you don’t care, you’re not aware
About the million voices screamin’ out for help

So fast you can’t even see it come down
So fast you can’t even breathe again
Will bring you down to your knees
Are you losing control?

And all the plans you make
Keep breakin’ down, fallin’ down
And all the time you waste, you’re losin’ it
You’re throwin’ it all away
You’re throwin’ it all away
You’re throwin’ it all away
And all your little plans

So fast you can’t even see it come down
So fast you can’t even breathe again
Will bring you down to your knees
Are you losing control?

So fast you can’t even see it come down
So fast you can’t even breathe again
Will bring you down to your knees
Are you losing control?

Nero recorded pretty much the whole album in his small but decently equipped studio, except for some back up vocals from his wife and brother in law.  The solo on Meltdown was performed by Tony Moretta, who has played on a few top 40 hit records in Canada in the past by way of his association with Our Lady Peace producer Arnold Lanni.

Nero says, “Music will always be an escape to a more ideal place than the world we have built in reality, and I build that world for myself and hopefully for others every time I write a song.”

Nero started out as a drummer, and kept at it till he started making his own beats. Eventually he wanted to write songs and needed a melodic instrument so he learned some chords on a guitar, and wrote his first song around the 3 chords he knew and he hasn’t stopped since.

When medical troubles resulted in a series of seven back surgeries, each one getting progressively worse and taking him to the limit of sleeplessness and medication issues, Nero was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When he finally got help, he learned that at least 30% of soldiers returning from a tour of duty are affected with the same disorder, and some will never be able to get adequate treatment because resources are so thin. Nero admits, “I went through my own private hell yes, but these people have to learn to live with things like actually taking human life, and that freaked me out. I experienced dark places the mind can go to, I got help, so I wanted to help. My way is to write songs.”

Right now he’s putting together a live line-up, trying to get decent players to rehearse in February. With luck he’ll find the bandmates he needs and start booking shows this spring.

For a great set of song samples and more information, go to www.bigstarbabymusic.com