Big Bang Boom - Interview!!

BIG BANG BOOM is comin' to town! This rock trio of dynamic dads ditched their grown-up gigs and started jammin' out for the cool crowd - KIDS!

Chuck, Steve and Eddie wanted MORE from children's music, and today they play parent-friendly, educational children’s music! So... a kids concert that won't be filled with Itsy-Bitsy Spider or rousin' rounds of Wheels on the Bus?!?! YES, PLEASE!!

Tri-County Kids was lucky enough to talk with Chuck Folds, one of the musicians behind the band. Check out our chat below, and be ready to rock on this weekend when they come to town!

Tri-County Kids: First of all, we LOVE the name of your band. It just signifies loud, crazy, fun!

Chuck Folds: I actually had the name "Big Bang Boom" in my head for a while, but I had to wait for the right band to live up to it!

Gotcha. So, then what was the catalyst for Big Bang Boom's big debut?

CF: It was my son's 7th birthday and I had to do something different than the usual bounce house, gymnastics or park parties. What could I do that would be different? We decided to rock out for my son, and put on the invites that there would be a rock show put on by "Big Bang Boom!"

And there you go! It obviously took off from there, but you have been playing music long before your son's birthday.

CF: Ha! Yeah, I don't think anyone starts out at 22 wanting to be a professional musician and comes up hungry to play for crowds of kids - at least not starting out. We've all been playing professionally since 1988, touring college clubs and playing original music, doing the rock and roll thing.

Then, when I had kids, I naturally started gravitating to kid's songs. But I couldn't stand the choices my kids had to listen to - things like Kids Bop or Barney. There were other musicians going through a similar transition, and what emerged was a whole movement of actual good quality kids music.

So true! Big Bang Boom's music is funky, bluesy, rock and roll with intricate rhythms you don't normally hear on kids songs. Your songs sounds like "real" songs you'd hear on the radio - not the singsongy tunes of standard kid's music.

CF: That's just it! We approach our music from the standpoint that we don't produce it, arrange it, play it or record it any different than how we approach our "grown-up" music. You know, why can't kids music be creative and fun?

We've had parents tell us, "Oh, we have your CD playing all the time in our car." And we say, "Oh, we're so sorry -" but then they go on to say, "Oh, we LOVE it! We sometimes have the songs playing and the kids aren't even in the car!" That's our greatest compliment right there.

Musically your songs rock, and lyrically, they still resonate with kid themes - being bored on road trips, having to do chores, etc.

CF: You know, kids key in on lyrics in a different way than adults - they pay attention to the lyrics more than adults! Lyrically, we don't dumb it down. We sing about kid stuff, but we sing to them like we'd sing to anyone else.

You all started out playing to teens/adults and now to kids and families. What has that been like?

CF:We have the background of playing bars and frat parties - rock and roll. But really, we like to say that playing for kids is very similar to playing for a frat. There's usually someone falling into your stuff, we have to give very specific instructions so the audience knows what to do, and something is probably going to get spilled on our equipment.

Ha! So you know how to roll with it! What can we expect during your live show on Sunday?

CF: Our approach to our live show is to get kids to expend as much energy as possible. We tap into that latent energy they that can exude that's pretty tremendous. There isn't much sitting down at our show.

We do covers, but more rocked-up versions of songs. We do a Hokey-Pokey that is way over the top, based on Little Richard's version, and turn it into a contest between parents and kids. We also do several originals, but all with kids' participation.

So our kids will all be good and worn out, ready for nap or a good night's sleep afterwards...that's music to every parent's ears!!!

CF: That's our goal, we try to make that happen. And we try to give parents a break for a minute - they can enjoy the show without wanting to puke on themselves because the music is annoying or so awful.

YES! I think every parent can get behind that! What age is this Sunday's show for?

CF: It's all ages. Our sweet spot is kindergarten to second graders, but the preschool and younger crowd really get into it by seeing all the other kids participate and interact. We love mixed age shows!

You've played here before...what makes you excited to return to the area?

CF: First, we always remember the cool children's museum with the big boat. We'll be doing arts and crafts with kids before the show there.

But mostly, the Weill Center is 100% the coolest venue I've ever played at. I'm truly not just saying that. I've played thousands of places, and the Weill Center is the just neatest-looking place. Everyone is Sheboygan is so lucky to have such an amazing Performing Arts Center. To have that history, the venue built with that kind of eye and perspective and have it still be around today - you don't see that anymore.

We agree! We love that the Weill Center brings great performances to families in our communities, and we can't wait for Big Bang Boom this weekend!

Big Bang Boom!

Sunday, April 23

3:00 pm

The Weill Center for Performing Arts

Tickets are available NOW at the Weill Center for $7 each. Don't miss it!

Make sure to check out the Big Bang Boom Pre-Show Party starting at 1:00pm. Hang out with the Big Bang Boom band at the Children’s Museum before their performance at the Stefanie H. Weill Center!! Meet the band, create your own instrument, and rock on! Present your ticket to the show at the front desk to receive an exclusive discount on your admission ($2/person)!

Photo credits: Big Bang Boom Website and Facebook Page.

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