Mr. Big shut things down after the 2018 death of drummer Pat Torpey, but after plenty of speculation in recent months, it now appears as though the veteran band will regroup in 2023. The band’s frontman, Eric Martin, revealed the news that a reunion was afoot for the coming year while speaking with The Metal Voice (seen below), and he also revealed the news that they will have a new drummer in place, one that he feels Torpey would have approved of.
“Well, look, Mr. Big is definitely gonna happen. There’s no question about it,” said Martin (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). “It’s gonna happen in the middle of 2023. And it’s gonna be multiple dates. We’re working on the U.S. and a possible tour… Paul is involved — obviously, Paul Gilbert, the original guitar player. [Bassist] Billy Sheehan… The spirit of Pat Torpey.”
Martin went on to add, “There will be a phenomenal drummer. It won’t be [former Mr. Big drummer] Matt Starr on this thing. Matt’s doing his own thing; I think he’s playing with Ace Frehley now.”
As for the new mystery drummer, Martin preferred to keep that under wraps for now. He did share, “I will tell you that he sent an audition video. And I watched it. It was ‘Lucky This Time,’ which is a song that we hardly ever did — mainly me, because it was really hard to sing it. It’s on the Lean Into It album. And what he did was he thought he’d one-up the audition, so he played drums on it and he sang the lead and the harmonies on everything. And it was phenomenal.”
Offering another clue, Martin commented, “Everybody knows him,” then added, “One really, really cool thing is that he was a big fan of Pat Torpey. And I totally noticed how when he did the video, when he did the drums and the way he tuned the drums, he’s got Pat down. When he was playing Pat’s snare hit, the crack of the snare, it was definitely Pat Torpey. I think Pat would approve of this new mystery man.”
Mr. Big got their start with 1989’s self-titled debut, but it was their sophomore set Lean Into It that saw the band’s star rise thanks to the songs “To Be With You” and “Just Take My Heart.” They’ve recorded nine studio albums with the most recent being 2017’s Defying Gravity.
Stay tuned to see what 2023 brings from Mr. Big.