Celebrating 25 years of ska in 2013, Bigger Thomas continues to keep crowds moving and grooving to their unique version of American ska that includes a heavy dose of 2-Tone ska, rocksteady and reggae thrown in for good measure. The band reflects the cultural diversity of the city they call home with members who have roots in the New York City metropolitan area as well as Haiti, Jamaica and the UK.
Best known for their upbeat ska-pop song "Ska in My Pocket" they play a diverse style encompassing ska, reggae, pop and punk. Over the course of their 25 career, the band have had the pleasure of performing alongside the English Beat, Colin Hay of Men At Work, Pato Banton, Jimmy Cliff, Yellowman, Burning Spear, Bad Manners, The Selecter, Special Beat, De La Soul, Bim Skala Bim, The Alarm and The Toasters among many others.
The band recorded their 10-song album 'Steal My Sound' at Version City Studios in New Brunswick, NJ with King Django behind the board in 2010. The album art work was designed by the one and only John 'Teflon' Sims who worked with Jerry Dammers to conceive the 2-Tone look and design for The Specials, The Selecter and other 2-Tone bands.
Their latest digital only offering, “Ska In My Pocket: The Biggest & Bestest of Bigger Thomas” was released on Martin Luther King Day in 2013. This compilation tells a story that began a quarter century ago when the original members of the band (Roger Apollon, Marc Wasserman, Jim Cooper, Steve Meicke, Sean Moore, Kevin Shields and Steve Parker) first met one another in New Brunswick, NJ. The story has continued through to today's band which still includes three of the original members (Apollon, Wasserman and Cooper) with long time members John DiBianco, Spencer Katzman, Rob George, Chris Malone and Roy Radics. Though a love for ska and reggae music originally brought the band together, each member has brought a diverse set of musical interests that they developed into their own sound with 2-Tone ska (The Specials, The Beat, The Selecter), UK reggae (Steel Pulse, UB40) and punk (The Clash, The Jam, The Police) as the foundation. Like their cherished musical influences, the goal has always been to write and perform music that gets people dancing and thinking too.
Each member of Bigger Thomas has contributed individually and collectively to the unique hybrids of ska, reggae, pop, calypso and soul that appeared on four albums -- Bigger Thomas (1989), Resisting Success (2004), We Wear The Mask (2005) and Steal My Sound (2010) as well as two demo tapes they recorded in 1988. The 21 songs reflect the best of the diversity, creativity and originality they have developed writing and performing together all these many years.
Roger Apollon Jr. - Vocals
Jim Cooper - Percussion
John Dibianco - Drums
Rob George - Saxophone and backing vocals
Spencer Katzman - Guitar
Chris Malone - Trombone
Marc Wasserman - Bass