MR. BIG frontman Eric Martin has confirmed that the band has found a new drummer and is planning to play some shows again next summer
The group initially made the decision to go on a hiatus following the passing of drummer Pat Torpey, who died in February 2018 at the age of 64 due to complications of Parkinson’s disease.
When asked in a new interview with The Metal Voice if there are plans for MR. BIG to return to touring, Eric said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I’m here to tell you… I still can’t really the drummer now… Well, look, MR. BIG is definitely gonna happen. There’s no question about it. 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. And there will be a phenomenal drummer. It won’t be Matt Starr [who played with MR. BIG in the past] on this thing. Matt’s doing his own thing; I think he’s playing with Ace Frehley now.”
Regarding the new MR. BIG drummer, Eric said: “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.
“I don’t wanna mention the guy’s name until the press release comes out. But the guy really stepped up,” Martin added. “And everybody knows him. And then 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.”
Back in February 2021, MR. BIG released the live set, “Raw Like Sushi Mega Edition – Revive 2017: 2017 Japan Tour Official Bootleg Box“, which was A collection of the band’s 2017 performances in Japan.