For all you cowgirls and cowboys who love some kick-ass music, have I got a treat for you. I was lucky enough to do an interview with Todd "Big T" Deming, who is releasing his debut solo album, "Put Some South in Yer Mouth," TODAY (August 21).
Todd "Big T" Deming Background
Big T is a West Virginia native who was raised in Jackson County. After graduating from Ravenswood High School, he went on to WVU and later Marietta College in Ohio where he majored in music education while playing football. Todd later left school to play for the US Football Allstars, traveling the globe to Hawaii and even Germany.
In 2000, Todd moved to Maine and he started the band Wolfcreek in an effort to bring Southern Rock to the North East. After a successful run of live shows and gaining a devoted fan base, Todd continues to carve out his own path. He's releasing his solo album in conjunction with Red Ridge Entertainment in Nashville. The album is being released through Magenta Records on 8/21.
Todd has years of experience and a well-honed stage show. He’s opened for national acts like The Marshall Tucker Band, Emerson Drive, and Steve Azar, and he's looking forward to hitting the road this fall in support of his new record!
Clementine Q&A with Big T
Clementine: Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you grew up, where you live now, your musical background, what instruments you play, whether you write your own songs, etc.
Big T: I was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where I spent most of my childhood until I turned 12. At the age of 12, my family moved to Ravenswood, West Virginia, where I graduated from high school. I was a Red Devil! I currently have a home in Washington, Maine, but will be relocating south at the beginning of October to be accessible to my record label for booking.
I grew up in a musical family. My mama and daddy were in a gospel quartet called "The Family Four," so southern gospel was a heavy influence early on. I was always interested in music because of my parents and, of course, my brother Shawn. I did the show choir thing in high school and college and took many years of voice lessons to learn how to control my voice. I'm still learning and I'm never satisfied. As for musical instruments, I've dabbled in a lot and mastered none. I play a little drums, but I have taught myself to get by on rhythm guitar. Never really have totally accomplished an instrument. But I can sing :)
I do write and most of my CD is made up of songs that I have written or co-wrote. I write differently, so a lot of my writing style (according to my producer) is unique. I think people will enjoy it.
Clementine: What sort of music did you listen to growing up?
Big T: Everything from gospel to metal. There really isn't a genre I don't appreciate in some way.
Clementine: Did you dream of becoming a singer, or did that dream form during your years at Marietta College?
Big T: I have always dreamed of performing. I literally dreamed about it while growing up. According to my dreams, I have shared the stage with a lot of successful artists, including (but not limited to) Garth Brooks, Alabama, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, and more. Hey, if you don't dream, how do you determine your path in this life?
Clementine: Tell us about your journey as a musician, including your time in New England with Wolfcreek.
Big T: It's been a long road, and I don't know of any group or artist that would say different. There are tons of sacrifices along the way if you want to do this for a living. You have to take chances and risks. People have to believe in you. There are great times, and there are times you just want to freak out and throw in the towel. That's been my journey. It's been up and down, full of promise and then disappointment, but I wouldn't change anything because that's where all these songs come from. It's what makes you who you are.
Clementine: Who or what inspires your music?
Big T: Life! Life inspires my music. People associated with me, people not necessarily associated with me. Look around, there is a song to describe every situation you encounter, good or bad.
Clementine: How have you grown as an artist over the years? What’s your best memory with Wolfcreek?
Big T: Wolfcreek! Wolfcreek was every emotion in the English dictionary. It made me smile, it made me fight, it made me cry, it made me bleed. I enjoyed it immensely. My favorite memory? WOW! How long can this interview be? I would have to say that we played with a classic world- renowned band up in Maine one time. The best part was before they took the stage, we outsold them in merchandise and 1/3 of the crowd left. They came to see Wolfcreek! That was huge to me because this band has been making music since the year I was born. Our fans are so loyal up there.
Clementine: What made you decide to strike out on your own and go solo?
Big T: I would have taken my band with me in a heartbeat. They have been there for me for a decade, but the offer came to me as an individual. None of them gave me a hard time about it. They are very supportive of this move and have agreed to play for me any time I'm in striking distance. Trust me, Wolfcreek fans will see these guys out on the circuit. Music is in their soul.
Clementine: Tell us about your new album, “Put Some South in Yer Mouth” – what themes are at play, and how would you describe the soul, the sound?
Big T: First, let me say that to describe the soul and sound, the only way to do it is to think back to your favorite southern rock bands like Skynard, Charlie Daniels, The Marshal Tucker Band, The Outlaws, and The Allman Brothers. Then modernize it, give it some dirty guitar and slide, big drums, thunderous bass, keys and nice harmony. Think modern southern rock with all the flavor of yesterday, and you got a rowdy, good-time feel that makes you want to party. "Put Some South in Yer Mouth," "B.Y.O.B," "Boots, Buckles, and Butts," and "She Likes Pink" are all about this. I do have a ballad or two for the ladies out there.
Clementine: When people think “Todd Deming,” what three words do you want to pop into their mind?
Big T: Integrity, work ethic, honesty, passionate, dedicated, high energy, dependable, but most of all fun! Did you ask for three things?
Clementine: Who are some of your favorite artists?
Big T: Randy Owen from the band Alabama hands down! Love Lynard Skynard, especially their new stuff. Randy Houser and Montgomery Gentry, to name a few at the top of the list, but there are so many talented artists out there. It's such a hard question. Basically, anything that will kick your ass.
Clementine: When you’re not making music, what are some of your favorite things to do?
Big T: Spending time with my little girls, Journey and Kansas. Journey is six and Kansas is two. They have the ability to make me forget about everything. I also love shooting guns, hunting, and fishing. Anything fun or relaxing.
Clementine: For all the cowgirls out there who are dying to know: are you single, married, otherwise available?
Big T: I am in a relationship. :)
Clementine: You’re a fan of AJ’s Western Wear (which we totally love and appreciate!) – what are some of your favorites on our site?
Big T: I'm really digging your new one,Black Diamond. I also like Icy Hot,Born To Lose, and I own a Stern Cowboy Tonal in black and one in white. They are my favorites so far. I personally think you should start up that "Big T" line. Your embroidery is absolutely gorgeous, second to none! I would love to see a sleeveless cowboy tonal with a Big T embroidered on the back: one in black and one in white. Just sayin'.
More Fun with Big T:
- Favorite TV show: CMT Crossroads and Discovery Channel
- Favorite movie: Almost Famous, Rock Star
- Favorite actor/actress: Mark Wahlberg/Jennifer Aniston
- Favorite food: BEEF! I am a meat-eatin' son-of-a-gun
- Favorite sport/athlete: Football, without a doubt. Jack Lambert is my all-time favorite athlete because he was a rattlesnake! I mean, who plays two quarters of a Super Bowl as a linebacker with a broken fibula? Jack Lambert, that's who!
- Favorite vacation destination: Anywhere there are mountains, wildlife, and water together!
- iPhone, Blackberry, or Droid? Blackberry
- Your life’s philosophy/motto/words you live by: "A little bit of rust, but I'm still runnin." Thank you Johnnie Van Zant!
Clementine: Is there anything else you’d like us to know or wish I had asked?
Big T: Yes, one question in particular. "Big T, where can we send your custom sleeveless Scully shirts in every color cause we have made a bunch of them for you to wear on stage?" That would be the perfect question that I'd be happy to answer![Clementine: I'll see what we can do about that custom line, Big T!]