The Big Idea talks tour, new album

The Big Idea talks tour, new album

By Chase Myers

Acoustic folk-rock band The Big Idea has been on the music grind for the past five years, drawing their members from every corner of southeast Missouri, perfecting their groove every step of the way.

Based out of Cape Girardeau, Mo., the former acoustic duo gone four-piece combo consists of Tommy Main on acoustic guitar and vocals, Will Montgomery on banjo and vocals, Scott Welton on bass guitar and Dale Baker on drums and conga.

The band brings in various influences from their backgrounds, whether from bands like Nirvana, genres like ’70s and ’80s hair metal and ’90s rock, cultural influences such as traditional Cuban hand drums or personal experiences accrued since the band’s formation.


The Big Idea released their album “Nothing is What You’ll Get” on Dec. 2, and with a recording contract with MudStomp Records and Blisterfoot Productions, they are already conceptualizing another release.

THE DAILY EGYPTIAN spoke with Will Montgomery about how the band started and what they have been up to. The band plays Saturday at PK’s.

How did you guys get started as a full group?

Our main guy Tommy Main, he and I used to play in a folk/rock group several years ago in probably 2008 or so, and after that band folded he and I started playing kind of a duo. Then in the meantime, well of course the past several years, we’ve pretty much found people as we’ve went to fill it up.

How did your guys’ sound fill out as you added members?

The biggest thing in adding a bass and a drummer, it freed Tommy up to do more soloing and that kind of thing. He’s more of a soloist in the band as like a lead player. Tommy and I both play drums with our feet; Tommy plays bass drum with his foot and I play hi-hat symbol. We also added a conga player, so having a conga player now do the rhythm of our songs … it freed us up to do a little more as far as more fills now to keep the beat steady.

How would you describe your sound?


I always call us “rock and roll with a banjo,” but for the people who want to say bluegrass when they see a banjo, or folk rock, I always think of us more like Violent Sims or Modest Mouse more so than a band like The Avett Brothers or The Lumineers or Mumford & Sons. People tend to lump us in to those kind of people because they have the same look about us, but I always think that our sound would be more “rock and rolly.”

Have you guys been on the road quite a bit since the release on your self-titled album in 2011?

We did a big three-week tour in, I think it was last September where we went out for like three weeks. Other than that, we tend to stay pretty much on weekends that we’ll go out to like Kansas and Oklahoma or Tennessee or somewhere near Indiana. We’ll tend to go out three or four days at a time and come back home and work day jobs. We just got with an agency called Blisterfoot Productions and they might take over our booking in February, so we’re hoping after that starts getting going we’ll just do more stuff on the road.

And how has the response been from the new album?

Truth be told, we don’t have physical copies in our hands just yet and we haven’t really played much since [Dec. 2], so it’s kind of hard to tell just yet, but hopefully it gets there.

Have you guys played in southern Illinois often?

In Carbondale we’ve been doing PK’s, Hangar and Tres [Hombres] for about three years now.

And how’s the response up here?

Carbondale’s always been pretty great to us. Carbondale’s a neat town to play in because we can play at PK’s on Thursday and the place is always packed. In Cape Girardeau…  the students are more prone to listen to stuff different than Carbondale, but Carbondale’s always been great because no matter what day it is, they always tend to draw a crowd some place.