A 1999 graduate of Wapakoneta High School and former homecoming king has made it a long way from home.
Todd Brown, who has been living in Hollywood, Calif., since 2001, is returning home in September with his band, Sons of Jack, to share what he has been up to with family and friends.
“Our family and friends are our biggest fans and thus far have given us the most support,” said Brown, the lead singer with the band, which also features Shawn Howard on rhythm, Eric Whipple on drums, Dee Dee Vox on bass, and Kit Bateman on lead. “So, before we embark on conquering the rest of a world that doesn’t even know who we are, we wanted to first say thanks to those who helped bring us to the point we are now.”
The Wapakoneta show is one of several scheduled on the band’s first tour, with other shows planned in the hometowns of bandmates in New York, Iowa and California.
Brown described the band’s mostly original music as “old-fashioned style rock and roll with some definite punk, blues and country influences.”
“We’re like The Rolling Stones meets The Pixes,” Brown said.
Sons of Jack also has been compared to Talking Heads and Elvis Costello.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint how I got into music,” said Todd Brown, whose father, Bill Brown sang and played keyboards in bands in the 1960s and 1970s. “While I never got to see him perform, I always felt that it was in my blood to be a part of music in some way.”
While Todd Brown was in choir his senior year at Wapakoneta High School, he credits his musical experience with really beginning as the lead “singer” of the heavy metal band, Lockdown, from which two members went on to form one of the most popular area bands, The Staples.
Brown is quick to point out that the music he plays now is quite a departure from his beginnings in the business.
“I think some people who come to the show may be expecting a lot of that same hardcore sound, so I hope they’re not too disappointed when their ears aren’t bleeding at the show,” Brown said.
He said performing live is the single greatest rush he’s ever experienced.
“Being at the front of a band can be nerve-wracking, as it’s my responsibility to ensure people have an emotional connection to the show,” Brown said. “That’s my job, and when I do it well, it’s an immensely satisfying experience.”
While Brown also finds himself dabbling at the keys, he said he likes to stay at the mic and “let the real musicians in the band handle the hard stuff.”
Referring to the nine years after high school graduation as “the lost years,” Brown said he moved out to California, made a lot of friends and had a great time, but didn’t he really accomplish any great feats.
“In general, I just tried to not succumb to the many demons that usually prod a directionless man in his 20s,” Brown said. “Now, here I am at 30, and ready for the next chapter, which will purportedly have a clearer narrative thrust than the last.