Charitable Monsters

If you have ever seen Columbus’ favorite band of 2011 live in concert, it’s very likely your face was melted off your skull by their fiery electro-rock tunes.  The Town Monster is back and making plans to turn up the heat on 2012.  Their first mission of the year:  take a monster bite out of hunger.  How will they complete this mission? By throwing a rockin’, drunkin’, dancin’, boozin’, food collectin’, fundraisin’, party of epic proportions TOMORROW NIGHT (Friday, January 20) at Skully’s Music Diner.  This will make the 3rd Annual Full Belly Food Drive that The Town Monster has hosted with CD 101 at 102.5fm.  The line up also includes raucous rock n’ rollers, The George Elliot Underground, Karate CoyotePhil Cook, and C.J. TownsendSounds pretty amazing, right?  Well my friend, if you need more convincing, check out Spoonfeed Columbus' interview with The Town Monster's drummer and sex cymbal (see what I did there?), Matt Grady. 

Interview by Spoonfeed Columbus’ JULIAN SMITH follow him on twitter @DANGERSMITH

Julian Smith: Friday marks the third annual Full Belly Food Drive! Tell me a bit about its history. How did it originate and how has it progressed?

Matt Grady: Our manager, Zach Johnson, originally had the idea to host an annual food drive. Food drives and fundraisers are nothing new in the Columbus music scene, and many bands do a great job when it comes to giving back. The difference with this food drive is that we want to make it bigger each year in terms of how much food is raised and how many people and bands we can get involved with it. We reached out to CD101, now on 102.5 fm, our first year holding the event, and they donated a generous amount of airtime to promote the event and have been a huge help in making each year a success through their sponsorship. Last year we raised over 2,000 lbs of food and we are aiming for 3,000 lbs this year. All proceeds benefit the NNEMAP in the Short North. (It is the church with the butterfly doors on the corner of High St. and E. 3rd)

JS: The Town Monster was arguably Columbus’ most popular band in 2011. Certainly one of its most talked and written about. It seems like it’d be easy for you to blow out a show for the band’s financial gain, but you consistently play free and charitable shows. Why is it so important for TTM to give back to the city its thriving in?

MG: Well, it isn’t just The Town Monster that is giving back. It is everybody that comes out and donates, the bands that play for free, and the radio station donating their resources. As a band, we are simply in a unique situation to organize an event and make it work by bringing together the contacts we’ve made over the last few years.

JS: For those who are living under rocks, what can someone who’s never seen you expect from a Town Monster live set? Do you guys have anything special planned for this show in particular?

MG: You can expect a fair amount of drunkenness, dancing, a lot of energy, screaming. We have quite a few lights that we bring to most shows. Tony Stewart, our dude at Electraplay, has been running lights for us. He knows our music well, recording and producing our first album “Autumn People”. He was around for the Ohio Sessions that we recorded in 2010, and as a result he can sync up the lights to the music pretty well.

JS: What is next for The Town Monster? Any plans for new music or touring?

MG: We do have plans for 2012, but as anybody in a band can tell you, things don’t always work out as planned. With that being said, yes you can expect some new releases and tour dates, but I can’t comment on the details just yet. We think that 2012 will be a good year for us, though.

JS: Give me and all our readers all the important details on Friday’s show. Did you guys pick the line-up yourselves? Did you set a goal for the food drive?

MG: We organized the lineup. The lineup is pretty diverse with rock, hip-hop, electronic, dance. We are playing with our good friends, The George Elliot Underground. They’re a lot of fun and they love to party. I get drunk just watching them drink, it is pretty incredible. Also on the bill is Phil Cook, and Karate Coyote. We were going to have a DJ to close the night, but he had to drop off the bill. We’ve held the event at Skully’s every year. The space is big enough to hold all the people and the food, the sound system is awesome, and John who runs booking at the venue is great to work with. Admission to the event is three or more canned or nonperishable goods and doors open at 8:30 pm. Donors will receive raffle tickets upon entry and drawings will be made throughout the night. The more you donate, the more raffle tickets you receive. Our goal is to have a great time and raise a mountain of food for NNEMAP. — SPNFD

For more information on The Town Monster and the Full Belly Food Drive, please visit:

For tracks by The Town Monster, The George Elliot Underground, and Karate Coyote, check out the Spoonfeed Winter Compilation!