Monkey Junkie Carsyn — What can fans expect from your upcoming album “Liquid Zoo”?
Jackson–More Monkey Music! It’s an album where the entire piece tells a story. We are excited about all the songs that are on it. A lot of them have been demanded by the fans, so we are really excited to get the song across and really out there…just to have a whole bunch of new content. We have some really really exciting surprises for people, songs that noone has ever heard before. Even a special guest star on the album which we’ll never tell who it is. You will have to wait to find out.
MJ–How did you come up with the album title?
Jerad–It has to do with the type of music, it is free flowing. Our styles and genres always change and so us being Monkeys and we live in a zoo just makes sense to have the liquid sound of our music mixed with the place where we live. Plus there is a bar right where we recorded the album called Liquid Zoo that we would go to after we recorded the album.
MJ–What were your impressions of each other when you each met for the first time?
Jackson–When I first met Ben Graupner he had an eyebrow ring, that was kinda ridiculous. When I first met Ben Johnson he was a break dancer. I got him to show me six step, which I have probably forgotten how to do. First time I met Uncle he walked in and was playing the flute and I was playing some guitar in the backroom. First time I met Jerad was with my old roommate back in LA. He was dating Jerad’s sister and we both didn’t like my roommate, so we bonded over hatred for that kid. Also cause we both liked playing guitars. First time we met each other I saw he had a guitar and I said let’s jam!
Ben G–We’re always changing. We will reorganize who plays what on each song. Jackson–Who sings each song…
Ben G–Who sings and how they deliver it. We do that to make sure that to make sure it doesn’t get stale or stagnant. When we get to feel that that might be happening we switch something up.
MJ–You have growing legions of fans that are star struck by you. Who makes you feel star struck?
Jerad–Does it have to be music related?
Jerad–I got star struck when I saw Muhammad Ali. He drove by me and he looked at me and he just waved at me for no reason and I was like yeahhh. That stuck with me, you know he’s a legend and a public figure. I don’t usually get star struck so that was it for me.
Uncle–Starstruck…that’s not what I’m about. I like to look at everyone like they have the potential to do just what they are star struck about. So, instead of being star struck just go and do/be it.
Jackson–Clint Eastwood hands down. I wish he was part of my family. I could fit in his pocket **pretends to be in Clint’s pocket and peek out to say “Hi Clint”**.
Ben Johnson–I really don’t know. Probably some of the more legendary musicians. I really don’t know.
Ben G–Keith (Richards)
Jackson–Elvis Presley too…I don’t think he is dead, I’m just throwin that out there.
MJ–Have you thought of doing a whole album of just Spencer Bell covers?
Jackson–Well not just ourselves, but a lot of the bands that play the Spencer Bell Legacy shows and other band from across the world, really, we’d love to get that going. As well as covering each other’s songs. Keep it all in the family and keep that family growing. It’s what we all love to do, supporting one another.
MJ–Beyond 100 Monkeys, what are your other goals in life? Is there anything specific you would like to accomplish?
Jerad–I hope to one day become successful to give back. To do good with whatever wealth I have accumulated, that’s my ultimate goal.
Uncle–Just to continue to play music.
MJ–This question is for Jackson…Do you have plans to, or ever considered, publishing your poetry and photography?
Jackson–You know, it make me nervous a little bit because I am fairly shy. I know it doesn’t really seem like it, but it is one of those things. Over the course of time I really want to come up with a really distinct idea of what I want to put out there in terms of my photography and my poetry. I really would love to. It might be a few more years for me before I work up the gall to do it, you know?
MJ–It is obvious to your fans that you are the Kings of the improv songs but when it comes to the initial album preparation process, what comes first–The music or the lyrics?
Ben G–It is different every time. Sometimes it’s a guitar, sometimes it’s your attitude with the world or who you meet on the street. Sometimes it’s driven by something that’s been written down. Sometimes it’s like Arizona, that actually happened. That bar exists, those waitresses did steal that money and the owner had a big black gun. He was like “They went to Arizona with my money” and we realized it has to be a song now!
MJ–If you could go back in time and relive any moment what would it be and would you do it?
Jackson–I’d go back to the prohibition era. I would totally be a sweet bootlegger. The flapper girls are really attractive. I think I would fit in really well in the 20’s, I honestly do. I could do vaudevilles, bootleg some really nice whiskey…two things I love to do!
MJ–What was it like playing the power outage at the SBL show in Dallas? From the audience point of view it was incredible. How was it for you on stage?
Ben G–I remember I was standing in the back of that theatre with Jake watching Dr. Hammer’s speech. Then the lights went off and Jay jumped up on stage and started helping Dr. Hammer out. I remember Jake and I kinda like looked at each other and we were like if this goes on any longer we are gonna have to go. Then we just ran, grabbed the guitars and jumped up on stage. That was one of the best little happenstances.
MJ–I personally think Spencer did it.
Jackson–**laughs** That is one of the things I heard as soon as the lights went out. You can hear Bill’s voice ring out “Spencer”. It was one of those things that to me that proved how much heart and soul that all those bands have. How we support one another and how the audience was so strong and supported us to.
Ben J–Everyone stayed…More people actually came in.
Ben G–It was insane, I remember playing percussion so hard that my entire palm and wrist were bruised.
Ben G--Yeah, the electric snake or whatever it is…that was cool.
Ben G–The worm…that’s what it is.
Jackson–It was really fun. That was one of those moments that swell your heart with so much love and respect for the people you work with and the people you do what you do for. It was amazing. It was one of the greatest moments of my life that I would defiantly go back and relive.
MJ–This question is for Jerad from a fan at Jerad Anderson Fans. How did the Mohawk come about?
Jerad–It came about from within it just happened. It started one day and evolved. It constantly sheds it’s skin and reinvents itself, like a lizard.
Jackson–One of Jerad’s nicknames is lizard man.
Jackson–On of the thousands. I call Jerad a lot of names.
MJ–What song would be your life’s theme song?
Jerad–How about, It’s a Small World. **laughing from group**
MJ–This question is from Carsyn. What was your best Christmas present ever? Either as a child or now.
Jackson–That’s a really hard question.
Ben G–I remember I came back to Madison one Christmas and I was already worried about Christmas shopping and they were like don’t worr about getting Johnson a gift, he’s not doing Christmas presents, **points at Ben J** which you had already been doing for a while right?
Ben G–I stopped asking for Christmas presents and giving Christmas presents. I can say that I enjoy my family so much more. I spend less time at Target. It has gotten really out of hand, it’s ridiculous. People are so concerned with things and stuff and Santa Claus and chocolate that they are literally wasting the most precious time with family, I’d say a Christmas present is a loving conversation, spending time with people. You should be happy…
MJ–One last question and I need an answer from each of you…If you were isolated in the wilderness, survivor style, who would get voted off the island first and why would you do it?
Jerad–Your gonna tear our band apart.
Ben G–Graupner, Graupner, Graupner, Graupner, Grapuner…because his feet smell.