July 27, 2009

Mile High Music Festival 2009 Wrap-Up: Misquoted: w/ Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Misquoted: w/ Big Head Todd and the Monsters

(again, I'll mention that I asked each group roughly the same questions so I could get their opinions on a few things that I'm curious about when it comes to any artist, but especially when it comes to artists who make art I'm unfamiliar with)

LHJE:You guys have been around a little while, and I would imagine you would have a little more input on this that most the bands here today: Have you noticed any sort of trends with popular music these days? Do you see it going any sort of direction? If so, where do you think it's going, and how do you think you guys fit into that?

Rob Squires (Bass): Well, I'm not sure. It seems like there's a buzz going on in Colorado in the local music scene. I mean, a lot of bands are getting signed out of here: Devotchka, The Fray, and 3oh!3. So, that's great for this scene, and great for this festival, that all those bands are [playing the Mile High Music Festival], so that's a really nice thing. I think, with music in general, I don't know if there's a trend that I know about there…

Brian Nevin (Drums): Yeah, I think that the internet's changed everything, and I think for the better. I think it's allowed more diverse music to kind of get out there and get people to kind of find more music. So I kind of see how the indie scene is becoming a little more prevalent. When we first got signed with Warner Brothers, you kind of had to be a pop rock band, or you didn't have anything going for you … the indie scene was strictly underground.

RS: I think it's kind of exciting. As far as how we fit into it, we've always focused on making the kind of music that we want to make, and let the scene come to us. We just try to get ourselves in as many diverse situations as possible.

Do you find yourselves writing music that fits into what you feel comfortable doing, or what fits into your own genre, or is it more along the lines of what you write is just what you write, and that's what you end up playing?

RS: Definitely the latter. We've always just kind of been who we were, and didn't try to chase a trend or anything like that. Play what feels good to you, and hopefully, if you do it well, you'll find an audience … there'll be enough people out there that like what you're doing.

What kind of stuff that's been released recently has really changed the way you think about music?

BN: Like I said, I like a lot of the edgier rock bands that are coming out, because I've always been a rock fan, and now there's the freedom to be able to be as experimental as you want, and still get some name recognition. That's kind of what's gotten me really excited; doing something unusual, not having to stick to such a structure. You know, pop song oriented approach. But I find that in all the genres, you know, even in the acoustic folk music. People are able to be as country as they want to be or as bluegrass as they want to be and not worry about trying to stick to pop song format and that's the only way you're going to get heard. So, in general, just that freedom is motivating in my mind.

What kind of older stuff is still changing the way you think about music?

RS: Not sure.

BN: I've always listened to a lot of jazz music. I always find it to be the most challenging, compositionally. But we're all rock band fans, blues and soul fans. I still look back to a lot of the old blues artists and find them to be, you know, kind of the carrot that we're always chasing. Like if I can make something as cool as Muddy Waters made with his music, or a band like a Zeppelin or the classic rock bands, then I feel as though I've succeeded.

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