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About Big Candy

North Branch, MN

Big Candy began in early 2003 when Jake Gossel and Roy Swanson tried to go to a Stuart Davis concert with Roy's Brother Link but were refused because Jake was not yet 18. Angry and disappointed, the young boys stopped to shop at the G-spot (Guitar Center) where Gossel laid his fingers on a Korg Electribe for the first time. Gossel, who until this moment had no experience with any musical instruments, found this machine quite fascinating and was ushered into an altered state of consciousness while listening to the hypnotic beats that his video-game-primed fingers had created in the store

When Swanson and Gossel got home, they bought an Electribe on eBay. The next few months unfolded with Roy and Jake teaming up, creating electric guitar/electribe songs in their basements. Digital drums cracked open Gossel's beat-brain and his rhythmic jewels began to spill not only into his drum machine, but increasingly onto a nearby drumkit which belonged to the already legendary composer and multi-instrumentalist Bob Fisk. Gossel absorbed technique and style not just from Bob but from drummers he had listened to all his life, thanks to the quality musical tastes of his father. After purchasing a digital eight-track, a "MicroKorg" synth, and an Akai sampler, Roy and Jake began writing together as a duo dubbed Weird Kid/Beard Kid, inspired largely by Junior Senior. WKBK recorded a dozen or so songs, some of which may be posted in the future

Andy Fisk played a significant part in the early music that Gossel and Swanson wrote; he provided technical skill, motivation, and humorous creative inspiration which shaped their early writing process. It was in Andy's tiny carpet-walled Duluth bedroom that Roy and Jake spent long cwispy nights jamming and composing with Jake's Electribe, Roy's guitar and Andy's Keytar. At this point, Roy's brother Link and Andy's brother Bob had been writing songs for a few years, and the four brothers joined together, along with Gossel, to form an instrumental psychedelic jam group called The Flow. The Flow played a few shows; however, in spite of great songs like "ToolBox," "Pumpkin Patch" and "Five Alive," they ultimately dissolved due to some silly sibling sourness

Roy, Gossel, and Link continued to write music, heading in a heavier direction than The Flow, with Gossel on trap set and Roy/Link laying down guitar and bass. Andy Fisk did some songwriting, vocals and keytar with them for a bit. They won the North Branch Battle of the Bands and played the Battleshack with long progressive instrumentals such as Infected Finger and The Mission. Searching for a singer, they recruited Dan Skoglund because of his impressive range and style that reflected their influences Dream Theater, Rush, Yes, and The Mars Volta. Skoglund, Gossel and the Swanson Brothers wrote a half-dozen tunes and played several shows in the Chisago County area before bassist Link left to join Beau Hays Jordan Ottoson's backwoods psychedelic odyssey band Sumerian Babyl. Adam Gossel, Jake's younger brother, was already primed up to the task of bassist, (due to the phenomenal music of a highly inspirational band named Dream Theater), and ended up making the songs sound stronger and fresher than ever. Jake and Adam Gossel, Roy, and Skoglund wrote songs together that manifested a tightness and originality that they had never experienced before.

More About The Artist

Portrait of Big Candy