By Lindsey Borders
Big Head Todd and the Monsters formed in Colorado in 1986 and quickly rose to the national spotlight with dozens of chart-topping singles. They have sold out their home state’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre seven times. They have also sold over three million albums worldwide. Their tours have included some serious heavyweights; B.B. King, Charlie Musselwhite, Hubert Sumlin, David “Honeyboy” Edwards and more. Big Head Todd and the Monsters are currently on The LP Tour with fellow musicians Soul Asylum, The Wailers, and Matthew Sweet. Each artist is playing their most popular album to date, with Big Head Todd and the Monsters performing their legendary Sister Sweetly album in its entirety.
We had the exclusive opportunity to chat with Todd, the lead singer and guitar player, about how the music industry has evolved over the years, how The LP Tour came about, their collaborations with legendary musicians like B.B. King and much more.
You guys have seen quite a lot of changes throughout your 27 year career in music. What do you think are the best and the worst things about music today?
The best of music is that there is a lot of diversity. I am seeing music of all kinds of genres flourish. I am a fan of folk and blues music so it is neat to see young groups doing well representing traditional forms. Still not a fan of the pop and rap genres.
How did the LP Tour (with Matthew Sweet, Soul Asylum and The Wailers) come together?
Our album Sister Sweetly had its 20th anniversary, so we celebrated by playing the album in its entirety and fans went nuts. So we extended the idea to a festival format.
You have collaborated with several legendary musicians including B.B. King, Cedric Burnside, Ruthie Foster, and many more. How did those come about and what was the most memorable thing you took away from them?
There is always deep learning that occurs when other musicians play together. In the case of these blues legends they have so much life experience that it is a fascinating ride to spend time with their stories. For sure Hubert Sumlin and Honeyboy Edwards gave me a proper education in music and life.
What are each of your backgrounds in music and what made you want to pursue music?
Todd: Woodwinds, piano in grade school, then guitar
Brian: Drums in school
Jeremy: Music degrees, musical producer and musician extraordinaire
Love of music fuels the pursuit, along with the fear of day job
What’s the most memorable gig you guys have performed?
Red Rocks is always the biggest gig of all time!
Any crazy fan encounters?
Some fans are not mentally stable. We have had a handful of harassment issues.
What would be the line-up for you guys’ dream gig?
Springsteen, Dylan, Big Head Todd. But seriously any great blues or folk!
What was your first concert and do you have a favorite?
First concert was U2 at Red Rocks and it is probably my favorite.
What was your first album on CD, cassette, and/or vinyl?
Do any of you have a guilty or musical pleasure?
Big Head Todd and the Monsters perform at Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheatre on August 21.