Trinity James and Big Bad | News

News and Reviews


Wisconsin State Journal -November 17, 2005

“…Madison band Trinity James and Big Bad proved to be worthy openers to the show, providing rockers and power ballads alike very much in the Bon Jovi vein…”

By John Wiedenhoef

The Capital Times -November 17, 2005

Bon Jovi w/special guests Trinity James & Big Bad 
November 16 – 7:30 PM – Kohl Center, Madison, WI

“…The last time Bon Jovi played in Madison, the closest Trinity James got to him was the front row ticket he purchased on eBay. The Oregon rocker did much better this time around; he and his band Big Bad won a Battle of the Bands contest and were selected to play a half-hour opening set. The band’s tight, guitar-heavy rock fit the arena setting like a leather glove, and now the group will compete with local opening acts in other cities for a chance to open for Bon Jovi at Giants Stadium next summer…”

By Rob Thomas

Recent News

Local Band in ‘Have a Nice Gig’ Competition
WMTV Madison, WI 
10:59 PM Jan 30, 2006
NBC 15

The band who opened for Bon Jovi in November and was featured on NBC 15 needs your help to win a national competition.

The band Trinity James and Big Bad is playing in the ‘Have a Nice Gig’ competition along with other bands who opened for Bon Jovi on his tour, to win a spot to open for the group at Giants Stadium in New Jersey this summer.

The Madison area bad will face off with talent from big markets like New York City and Philadelphia.

The competition is an online XM radio contest and anyone can vote for their favorite band. Lead vocalist Trinity James says you should vote for his group because they are a regular band. “I think that our songs are timeless, you know we’re not following any fads. We’re a rock and roll band no different than the bands of the 50’s on up, you know there’s no gimmicks its just great songs, its just real rock and roll.”

You can vote for the band or just find more information about Trinity James and Big Bad by going to
That site will take you to the XM radio site. You have until February fifth to vote.

NBC 15 – WMTV Madison,WI

Hopin’ for one Big Bad Gig
Isthmus- The Daily 
Kristian Knutsen on Tue, 01/31/2006 – 6:15pm.

Remember back in November, when Bon Jovi played the Kohl Center, and the spot for the opener was reserved for a local band, as with all stops on the tour? The opening band that night (Nov. 16) was Trinity James & Big Bad (myspace page), the winners of a Battle of the Bands conducted the previous night at the Club Majestic.

The show that night was “great,” according to James, a singer-songwriter from Madison who has been performing music in town “for all of my life,” he says.

James recalls his experiences at the Kohl Center. “After the lights go down,” James thought about “all the years of going to concerts, where everyone is excited the show is about to start.” Their job on stage, he remembers, was that they had “to keep them that way.” Otherwise, “it was just like playing a really big bar,” James says. “It wasn’t really all that different.”

Their performance at the Kohl Center wasn’t it, though. The battle, the show, and an ongoing contest are all part of a quite slick Bon Jovi/XM Radio promotion named Have a Nice Gig. This is an online contest in which 32 bands that opened for Bon Jovi on their 2005 tour are facing off against each other four a chance to open for them again, this time at the Meadowlands, along with a record demo deal.

The bands are split into four groups vying against one another in an online poll, among which one will advance to the final round, where a winner is picked by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Trinity James & Big Bad are up this week, vying against seven other semi-finalists. James is encouraging friends, fans, and supporters of Madison’s music to vote in the poll, in which him and Big Bad are fortuitously positioned above the other contenders.

Like many online polls, one can vote as many times as one wants, a situation definitely approved of by both the contest and the vying bands themselves. There’s more encouragement to vote on TDPF, as a contest like this inevitably turns into a war of the clicks. This round of the contest last through Feb. 5.

The band’s genesis was reported in a 2005 profile in Maximum Ink:

The underdog of the event was Trinity James & Big Bad, as no one had ever heard of them, and when they were announced as winners, no one was more surprised than Trinity. His band had never performed live—It was Big Bad’s first gig.
Some may remember Trinity from bands like One Day War and She Might Have A Gun, but those bands are long since defunct. The recently rejuvenated singer went back to the studio to record a demo CD of new songs and enlisted his friend, Adam Wrathkey, to record, produce and perform the bass, drums and guitar.
Trinity used that CD to enter the Bon Jovi contest, and it won him a chance to compete. The only catch was, he didn’t have a band.
As the buzz of the town was wondering who had won the magic tickets to compete for the Bon Jovi slot, Trinity was putting together a band. He called Adam right away with the good news.
Together they recruited their friends for the challenge, and the newly formed band began rehearsals.
Adam, better known as Last Crack singer Buddo, played drums, with his Last Crack compatriots Paul Schluter and Don Bakken on guitar and Darren Soderholm on bass.

Trinity James & Big Bad’s last show locally was on Jan. 21, but there are no local gigs currently scheduled. Rather, James says, the band is taking it easy and focusing on the contest. Like most live musicians in Madison, James is interested in evangelizing the city’s musical offerings, and sees this contest as one such avenue. A break for his band, James says, “could help open people’s eyes to what’s going on here.”

Isthmus/the Daily Page