Big Head Todd and the Monsters will scare up a good time at Park City Live
Big Head Todd and the Monsters have been making music for 30 years, 360 months and 10,950 days. That means something to the band’s guitarist and singer Todd Park Mohr.
“It means that I’ve had a happy life and will continue to do so,” Mohr said during a phone call to The Park Record from a stop in Salina, Kansas. “We are very fortunate to have fans who are interested in what we’re doing today after three decades, and that’s the biggest part that I’m the most pleased about.”
Big Head Todd and the Monsters — Mohr, drummer Brian Nevin, bassist Rob Squires and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton — will continue its 30-year anniversary with a concert on Thursday, Nov. 30, at Park City Live, 427 Main St. Doors will open at 8 p.m. and guest artist SIMO will kick off the show.
Big Head Todd and the Monsters are currently on the road to support its new album, “New World Arisin,’” which has been embraced by its fans.
“To know our fans are interested in the new album means a lot to me, because the big challenge of when you’re involved in any type of art for a living is you have to figure out how to maintain inspiration and creative motivation.”
Mohr said one of his wells of inspiration over the past 10 years has been blues music.
The band did two “Big Head Blues Club” albums.
The first was “100 Years of Robert Johnson” in 2011, which featured guest appearances by Bobby King, Hubert Sumlin, Charlie Musselwhite, David Honeyboy Edward.
The second was “Way Down Inside,” an album featuring songs of Willie Dixon, in 2016. The guests who appeared on the album include Muddy Waters’ son Mud Morganfield, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Billy Branch and Erica Brown.
“Those projects changed my life,” Mohr said. “They changed the way I thought about music and the way I looked American music, and I think that gave me a new energy going back to rock ‘n’ roll.”
In a way, those albums took Mohr back to his original musical influences — Albert King, B.B. King. Aretha Franklin and the Stax Records catalogue.
“I love the rhythm and blues of the ‘60s and ‘70s,” he said. “But I also liked Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, [Bruce] Springsteen and Elvis Costello.”
With that new enthusiasm, Mohr was able to write fresh material that leaned in a certain direction.
“I would describe that as contemporary pop-rock,” he said. “And the synergy of the new songs brought in some older songs that we had been sitting on for awhile.”
Two songs on the album, “Glow” and “Mind,” were written more than 20 years ago, Mohr said.
“Some of the other songs like ‘Wipeout Turn’ are more like five years old,” he said. “And with these songs, the nice thing about the album is there is some variety to it.”
The oldest song on the album wasn’t written by Mohr. It’s a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Room Full of Mirrors.”
“I kind of liked how it fit in with the vibe of the other songs,” Mohr said “I also like the lyric of this song and that it’s a lesser-known Hendrix track. It also fits with the band because we usually cover Hendrix in our encore.”
Another challenge that Big Head Todd and the Monsters have lived through is music industry’s shifting paradigm.
“The music business is set up to look for new things, new acts,” Mohr said. “We’re in an interesting place and kind of look at ourselves as one of the last of the big-label bands.”
Still through the changes, Big Head Todd and the Monsters have managed to keep its core lineup together..
“Part of it is that we’ve had a fortunate career and have gotten a lot of support from our fans,” he said. “We have been able to grow, and they have allowed us to grow creatively.”
Mohr also credits the band member’s synergy.
“We listen to each other and everyone has something different to bring to the puzzle,” he said. “We rely on that, and it’s like what a great marriage would be.”
Although continuing to create music for a living is a major feat in today’s music climate, Mohr said the ultimate reward is connecting with the band’s fans.
“Being able to play live for people is a completely unique thing to do in life,” he said. “But there is also something to be said about being a songwriter, because songs affect people’s lives. People identify with music, and it’s neat to have something you create have a life of its own in other people’s worlds. That’s a privilege.”
Big Head Todd and the Monsters will perform Thursday, Nov. 30, at Park City Live, 427 Main St. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcitylive.net.
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