Big Dopes #1 GRANDPA Rock // DENVER, CO

“Captivating indie-pop earworm vignettes of American malaise and hope.” – Tom Murphy, BIRDY MAGAZINE


photo by jake cox

Big Dopes recalls the loose, lighthearted feel of 90s alternative and indie, like Built to Spill and The Glands. Lead songwriter Eddie Schmid (also of Denver dream-pop band Oxeye Daisy) uses a playful, conversational baritone to sing through neuroses about long-distance relationships, being a houseguest, and wasting money on shitty headphones.

Veteran drummer Ricky Brewer lends a steady groove and harmonies, and Justin Catanzaro’s bass often takes the lead, playing energetic, melodic lines. Paul Simmons joined the band as a fourth member in 2019, playing guitar, synth, and violin.

In August 2019, the band released its debut album, Crimes Against Gratitude, produced by Simmons. The 10-song LP features contributions from a slew of Denver musicians. That shaggy camaraderie comes across distinctly in “Song of the Summer,” the album’s closer and first single. Lela Roy of Oxeye Daisy contributed vocals and birdcalls, Ilya Litoshik of Turvy Organ chipped in acoustic guitar, and Josh Fuson of Montropo played congas. In December that year, Crimes Against Gratitude was named one of the top albums of the year by Birdy Magazine, and one of the Top Colorado Albums of 2019 by Colorado Public Radio.

photo by jake cox


“Uniquely beautiful… a group of guys wearing ties, vests, and sometimes turtlenecks have delivered a shot of happiness straight to my gut. I’m not talking about that fake filtered happiness we often chase. No, I’m talking about the happiness that comes from taking it one day at a time and appreciating the small things. Which is just the feeling I get when listening to Big Dopes. … Crimes Against Gratitude is in the running for my top 5 albums of the year. It came out of nowhere for me, but hit at the right time and in the right way.” Robert Mayper, TASTE MUSIC

“You’ll find that the band’s creative output is clever instead of crass and assiduous instead of sloppy. They’re likelier to hit up a library over a frat house-style party — if their trademark turtlenecks and sweaters are anything to go by. This is not to say that vocalist and guitarist Eddie Schmid (who you might know from the Denver dream-pop band, Oxeye Daisy), bassist Justin Catanzaro and percussionist Ricky Brewer are starchy stiffs, either. The music video captures the band’s professional yet lighthearted personality, endearing the viewer to them even more than their name does (who can’t love a big dope?). – Josie Russell, 303 MAGAZINE [“Don’t Get Up” music video premiere]

“The trio’s songs combine a rich, moody low end courtesy Justin Catanzaro’s bass and Eddie Schmid’s rich vocals. Intricate melodies and dynamic rhythms with the band, including drummer Ricky Brewer, [give] the songs a rare expressiveness and vibrancy. Schmid’s lyrics seem to come from poignantly observational biographical snapshots. In telling these stories the band tells the story of a generation coming to terms with diminished future possibilities but refusing to give into despair yet finding a way to cope with creativity and empathy rather than callousness.” – Tom Murphy, QUEEN CITY SOUNDS AND ART

photo by Jake Cox

Eddie interviewed about the debut album by Evil Bubble Productions

Crimes Against Gratitude – one of the top 10 Colorado albums of 2019, COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO / INDIE 102.3

Colorado Public Radio – featured artist in October / November 2019 for the Local 303 on Indie 102.3


Contact bigdopesbooking@gmail.com for interviews, guest list additions, or zucchini bread recipes

header photo by Tylen Smith


Tylen Smith Jake Cox