If you go
What: Big Head Todd and the Monsters
When: 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 23
Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder
More info: bouldertheater.com
Big Head Todd and the Monsters has more longevity as a band than most marriages. The Colorado rock band is in fact well ahead of the curve, celebrating 30 years together (census statistics show that less than half of marriages last more than 25 years).
No, they're not a legal union of spouses, but the force in maintaining a band — a friendship, anything, really — for 30 years deserves accolades. There are solid reasons Todd Park Mohr, Brian Nevin and Rob Squires haven't divorced, and it's really not that complicated.
The trio's friendship dates back to the mid-1980s when they attended Columbine High School in Littleton, then the University of Colorado in Boulder, but Mohr said, without hesitation, that the key to the band's long life is its loyal fans. As music genres sprouted like ragweed in this 30-year span, Big Head Todd and the Monsters' fervent following remained strong since its inception.
Big Head Todd will visit its old stomping grounds in Boulder for an 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 23, show at the Boulder Theater behind its November release, " New World Arisin'." The group's 11th studio album was recorded at Boulder's eTown Hall and features a "hodgepodge" of new music spanning genres as well as a couple tracks that were 20 years in the making, Mohr said.
The band hit platinum fame with 1993's "Sister Sweetly," netting three chart-topping singles. Through thousands of tour dates and pumping out a steady stream of albums, the quartet (with Jeremy Lawton on board, too) operates with a healthy mix of communication, compatibility and drive.
Loving making music helps, too, Mohr said, a bit of fatigue in his voice.
"We still are excited and motivated about getting better," said Mohr. "And we get along well."
Fatigue, perhaps, from answering the — give or take — one millionth interview as the frontman of one of Colorado's most beloved bands. Or maybe it has to do with Mohr being in the midst of a hefty tour. One might wager, however, that his weariness lies in rearing his almost 1-year-old daughter, who keeps him very busy, he said. (In his rare down time, he likes to go fishing and eat, he said, laughing.)
Impressed with Colorado's music scene
The band blew up during the big-label era, and Mohr said the shift to a more independent industry seems overall favorable, in his opinion.
"There are some trade-offs when straying from the major-label infrastructure," said Mohr.
When the band started, "there was a commitment to a band's careers over the longer term — riding with them from being a young act, to a sophomore act, and so on," Mohr said. "But that doesn't apply to so many people anymore. I think the healthy part about today's music is there are more genres, more boutique groups that are doing really well. There's value in having an independent career, and it's a much more inexpensive way to market."
Mohr, who lives in Denver with his family, said he really digs the local music scene.
"I think Colorado has one of the healthiest music scenes in the country," said Mohr. "Every year we go to almost every city, and I'm really impressed with what I see here. There's a lot of good music out now."
Big Head Todd helped pin Colorado on the music map with its blues-tinged rock that rotated among the generation of grunge, skate punk and alt-rock.
Thirty years later, the members are old pros, having played Red Rocks 19 times. They also crafted and cultivated their creativity with a series of side projects as the Big Head Blues Club, collaborating with big-name artists, like the late B.B. King.
As for now, Mohr said the band is focused on the Monsters' good old rock 'n' roll. And he said, "now more than ever, we're having fun."
The younger days didn't prepare him for success, Mohr said.
"I didn't have the confidence," said Mohr. "Since, there has been an incredible amount of learning — really, a lifetime of learning — that has helped keep us in the game."
The scenic cruises the band hosts for its fans probably helps boost morale, too. Big Head Todd and the Monsters embarked on a cruise around Italy with fans in September. The band hosts these small water excursions (about 160 people) for fans to join the band in sight-seeing, dining, drinking and informal performances. In March the band sets sail in the Caribbean, followed by a September 2019 riverboat trip down the Danube. Keep an eye on bigheadtodd.com, as the cruises sell out fast. (The September Italy jaunt sold out in one minute, Mohr said.)
"It's pretty incredible," said Mohr. "We're stuck with fans for a week on a small boat. We've made a lot of great friends through those trips."