MR. BIG Drummer NICK D'VIRGILIO To Miss Most Of Final European Leg Of 'The BIG Finish' Tour; Replacement Announced

June 15, 2024

MR. BIG drummer Nick D'Virgilio will miss most of the final European leg of the band's "The BIG Finish" tour due to his commitments with his band BIG BIG TRAIN. He will be temporarily replaced on the trek by Edu Cominato, an experienced drummer from São Paulo, Brazil who has previously played with MR. BIG bassist Billy Sheehan and singer Eric Martin, Jeff Scott Soto and Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE),among others.

On Friday (June 14),MR. BIG released the following statement via social media: "As we prepare to hit the road for another EU/UK leg of our The BIG Finish! Tour, drummer Nick D'Virgilio, due to commitments with his band BIG BIG TRAIN, is unable to be with us the first part of the run. He will rejoin us for the final week — August 13th onward. In Nick's absence, we are excited to announce that Brazilian drummer, Edu Cominato, will fill in and rock with us July 13 - August 13!

"Edu started his professional career at the age of 15 and has never looked back. He has played and toured with some of the best musicians in the world, including Billy and Eric, Jeff Scott Soto, Geoff Tate and many others!

"Welcome to The BIG Finish! Tour, Edu!"

MR. BIG will release its tenth studio album, "Ten", on Friday, July 12 via Frontiers Music Srl. The LP features 11 new original tracks written by Martin and guitarist Paul Gilbert, along with André Pessis and Tony Fanucchi. In a tribute to their late drummer Pat Torpey, Martin, Gilbert and Sheehan enlisted the exceptional talents of D'Virgilio on drums for "Ten", which was produced by Jay Ruston and MR. BIG.

In the midst of their final tour — "The BIG Finish"MR. BIG, inspired by the legions of fans that shared in their goodbye over the past year, wanted to say a final farewell with the undertaking of a brand-new studio album. Culminating over three decades of musical partnership, Martin, Gilbert and Sheehan, with the help of D'Virgilio, ignite their spark once more and take a new form with "Ten".

Martin commented on "Ten": "This new album doesn't copy anything from the nine previous studio records. It's all new stuff from scratch. This is raw, unadulterated riff rock and blues with all the MR. BIG trimmings."

MR. BIG recently completed the European leg of "The BIG Finish", which sees the veteran band performing MR. BIG's 1991 album, "Lean Into It", in full, along with other cuts from the group's history.

Regarding how the farewell tour has been going so far, Martin told Radioactive MikeZ, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire": "It's been a bro love fest… Everybody loves each other. We're going out on top.

"I don't wanna tour like we're touring now," he explained. "I'm okay with it 'cause I've had a couple of weeks break to just chill out, rest the larynx, have a couple of beers and just hang out with my family. And I'm raring to go. We're going to South America, doing the West Coast USA, and I'm looking forward to it. But, man, this is a long-ass tour. It started last year in Asia. Then I did some solo things where I went to Japan, and then I came home and sang the 10 songs or 11 songs that are on the new studio album. But I don't wanna tour like this."

"He added: "We're touring all the way up to August 23rd, I think. And then right after that, I got other projects, but no more MR. BIG. No more MR. BIG touring-wise."

Regarding the possibility of MR. BIG still making new music after the completion of the farewell tour, Eric said: "Everybody was saying, 'Hey, we could still continue to make records.' I'm, like, 'Yeah, that would be fun.' Well, the record was hard to put together because of everybody's scheduling, but it came together pretty quickly. The thing that took the longest was the album cover. Nobody could agree on it. It was ridiculous. I mean, our creative juices were poured out long time ago for any kind of artwork. And Paul Gilbert is kind of a cartoon artist, and I asked him, I go, 'Just draw pictures of us in cartoon form and we'll give it a name.' We couldn't even think of a name. Anyway, that took the longest. So hopefully we'll do another record, but I don't know. The album cover thing was painful."

When MR. BIG announced "The BIG Finish" tour last year, the bandmembers said that it was "time to mark the end of this chapter of their legacy" after Torpey lost his battle with Parkinson's disease in 2018. The first leg kicked off in Japan and Southeast Asia in July and August 2023, where the band performed for hundreds of thousands of loyal fans at 11 sold-out shows including Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.

As a session musician and touring artist, Nick has worked with many different kinds of artists and bands, from TEARS FOR FEARS, Sheryl Crow and Kevin Gilbert to Peter Gabriel and Eric Burdon and the ANIMALS. In 1996, Nick took Phil Collins's place in GENESIS and played on their "Calling All Stations" album. He has also carved out a major presence in the progressive rock world with his bands, SPOCK'S BEARD and BIG BIG TRAIN.

Before joining the Sweetwater team, Nick spent almost five years touring with Cirque Du Soleil's "Totem" as drummer, vocalist, and assistant bandleader.

Photo credit: Joel Barrios / Photography That Rocks

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