December 6, 2019

Student band Big Tobacco to headline campus concert

After a year long hiatus, local indie band Big Tobacco has returned to the music scene. The band will play one of its first concerts back together at Webster’s Sunnen Lounge Dec. 6.

Band member Christopher Schweissguth said the band broke up after one of its four members transferred from Webster to the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Audio Engineering Society (AES) member Ben Wolz helped put together the concert as part of the Webster Concert Series.

“I’m really good buddies with them, so I just love the opportunity to see them myself,” Wolz said. The band first played at Webster in spring 2018. Schweissguth said the energy at that concert felt amazing.

He’s looking forward to playing at another concert organized by the AES. The AES organizes two

Big Tobacco member Daniel Young performs at the band’s first Webster concert on March 7, 2018 in Sunnen Lounge. Photo by Christine Tannous.

shows a semester. The concert’s four-band bill includes DJ UMAMI, rap group Jerei and Akeda Keyz, rapper KONG andBig Tobacco as the headliner. Schweissguth does not like to label the band’s sound, but the said the band derives a lot of influence from surf and indie rock.

Big Tobacco will be the only rock band to play at the gig. Wolz said the AES is trying to get more people to go the concerts the group throws.

“We’re trying to get more rock-y bands and stuff that the students would want to turn out to,” Wolz said. “It’s a shame to drag out all of that equipment and not have a good crowd of people. It’s kind of a waste.”

When Wolz first saw BigTobacco play, he was hooked. Six months later, he played with the band at their first Webster concert in 2018. The band’s hiatus did not affect its music, according to Schweissguth. “When they got back together for practice, it was like nothing had changed,” he said. What they gained, rather, was a new outlook of their music.

“It definitely gave us perspective,” Schweissguth said. “Once you play your songs so many times, you start to hear them a certain way and whenever you take a break from that, you hear your songs in a different way.” All four members of Big Tobacco play multiple instruments. Schweissguth plays mostly drums, but he also adds vocals to some tracks as well as guitar and bass.

Wolz said his favorite thing about Big Tobacco is how each member writes their own songs. They’ll sing and trade off instruments so they can each do their own thing for their section of the show. “Basically, everybody in the band has a chance to get in front of the room and get their song on the pedestal,” Wolz said. “It’s a diversity you don’t get with other bands since most only has one lead songwriter.”

Schweissguth said he looks forward to play a second show at Webster. “I think people got really into it last year,” Schweissguth said. “It was a lot of fun and we just want to do it again. We want to play in front of our friends and everything.” The concert at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 in the University Center’s Sunnen Lounge. Big Tobacco’s music is also available on Spotify and Soundcloud.

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