The many faces of Todd Horn

Every Rose has it’s Todd Marshall Horn

by Ariel Thomas

What does it take to be the front man to three different bands? It takes Todd Horn, who introduces himself as the “Illustrious Thorny Rose,” Royalty from Prom Kings and of course, himself.

If you’ve heard of any of these alter egos, you’re probably familiar with the cover band Prom Kings, or the widely popular hair band called Papercutt. If neither of those ring a bell, you’ll probably recognize Horn from the band Hornit, or at least his once touring band Spider Monkey.

Horn’s early life reads like a book. He tells stories of opening for Run DMC and James Brown, plus having openers for Spider Monkey’s own sold-out shows like Matchbox 20, Creed, Zac Brown, and Kings of Leon before they were big. He’s got tales of touring and record deals, like one that didn’t go through because his then-manager called the producer by his ex-wife’s last name.

Spider Monkey took Horn far and wide, with showcases from New York to Los Angeles. It took him to Capitol Records where he got to meet Rage Against the Machine, who just happened to be recording their album in the booth next door. Horn describes Spider Monkey as having crazy chemistry that led to wild shows, which isn’t too far off from the vibe of his bands now. “I love making people crazy,” Horn says.

He’s tried to get away from music plenty of times, to make it just a hobby, and has failed. He says that there’s always something cool that pulls him back again. But music isn’t all that keeps his head afloat. Horn has owned a quarantine fumigations export company for the past twelve years, after buying it from his previous boss who was running the business to the ground. “Compared to being a broke musician, it’s been good,” Horn says.

Fast forward to his audition for Papercutt, where he plays the Illustrious Thorny Rose. He says the hair band approached him after losing their lead singer, who chose to leave the band to pursue his dream in professional wrestling. The band members knew Horn from Spider Monkey, and begged him to audition based on the fact that Horn can sound just like Bon Jovi when performing. All the members must wear wigs, being a hair band, and one of the first Horn tried on was long, brown and curly.

“I looked just like my mom,” Horn laughs. “I said, ‘I can’t do it.’ It’s gotta be platinum blonde and ultra-obnoxious. That’s how it’s been ever since.”

Papercutt does really well in St. Augustine. They’ve played at the Beach Bash on New Year’s Eve, and once played a show at Colonial Quarter where 750 people paid to see them. He says there was a line down the street for people that couldn’t get in. Papercutt also recently headlined a sold out show for 80’s night at Prohibition Kitchen. “People eat it up,” Horn says of the hair band.

As far as his other projects, Horn has an EP for Prom Kings that strays from their normal covers with cheesy, lovable original music. He also says that there’s been some things on the back burner for Hornit, and they’ve been recording songs.

“We’re the self-proclaimed light heavyweight champions of rock and roll,” he says. “Not heavyweight. I think people would challenge me for the heavyweight.”

dave kosciolek