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100 Monkeys

100 Monkeys

Article by Victoria Laurey

Short link: http://bit.ly/jWMB3v   

By “Curious George” I think we’ve got it! Los Angeles bound, 100 Monkeys, will rock the stage of your hometowns’ local nightclub in the near future. With a funk-rock like sound that would surely electrify the inner species in you; this band knows how to put on a show. Coming from all sorts of jungles, this group of guys had emerged to bring music to a new stance. They are spontaneous in all that they do, from improvising songs due to the audiences’ request, to switching up the roles a bit playing a variety of instruments and vocals.  

If you enjoy the sounds of Iggy Pop mixed with the Raconteurs, then this quintet exudes rock-n-roll of the 60’s in all aspects. Besides singing along to their lyrics, you may have seen these guys in action in other projects such as: Jackson Rathbone (who appears in such movies as “The Last Airbender,” and the “Twilight” saga), Ben Graupner (Trapped in the 5150, Devolved), Jerad Anderson (Wayne/Lauren Film Company), Lawrence Abrams (of the great Willie Bobo, Bob Hope U.S.O. tour, and The Artist Consortium), and Ben Johnson (of the Stevedores and music producer of Spencer Bell’s “Brain”). After getting a taste from the rise of 100 Monkeys’ second album, “Liquid Zoo” I can assure that it won’t disappoint.

Coinciding with the “Liquid Zoo” album release, 100 Monkeys kicks off a 40+ city US tour starting in Cincinnati on June 28 and will also include dates in Dallas, Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco and other major cities.  The guys were also selected as one of LG’s “One’s to watch” this summer. They promise the biggest and best tour yet and of course the usual surprises along the way that only 100 Monkeys can deliver.  The band logged a quick eight day tour over the winter holiday playing to sold out venues in several cities across the southern U.S. and they are more than eager to get back to what they love...playing for their fans.



What was it about the supposed phenomenon, "The Hundredth Monkey Effect” that inspired the name for the band?

We believe that The Hundredth Monkey effect is very real, not just supposed.  It's the way of art to spread through the cultural mind in an exponential way, especially in this modern age of internet and social networking.  The population of the world is more connected than it has ever been, and we are very lucky to be living in a time when a simple idea or creation can be spread beyond its community of origin and be appreciated by so many.


At what age did you guys pick up your first musical instrument? Which instrument was the hardest to learn?

It was different for all of us.  Lawrence Abrams was playing the conga drums almost before he could talk, and has been ever since.  We suppose the hardest instrument to learn is the one you play the least. Time and energy equal experience and ultimately skill.



In a MTV interview, Jackson expressed how he and Ben G. first started the band off as a duo, improv piece. What motivated the two to pursue the idea of the band further? How did the other members come to be?

The duo became a three piece when we convinced Ben Johnson to move out to Los Angeles.  Jackson and Jerad had been jamming together for years, and when we met Lawrence, it was only a matter of time before it all came together.


Your music is said to be based on; drinking, the devil, death and women who cheat and steal. From those particular genres, would you say your music comes from personal experiences?



On your upcoming album, "Liquid Zoo", you have anomalous song titles such as; Shywater, Black Diamond, Invisible Monsters, and Devil Man. What new sound can your fans expect to hear?

The inspirations for the sound of the songs on Liquid Zoo comes from many different genres and styles of music, so the listener can expect variety throughout the album.  At the same time, we are one band with five members, and we think there is a consistency to how we play the music together.


" Every Monkey Dookies" is the title from the band's book. What inspired the book? Do you intend on making it into a book series?

We wanted to convey a universal message to the people of the world, something that everyone can relate to and learn from.  And there is a lot of room for sequels.


A lot of bands have that one thing that separates them from the rest. What other trademarks does the band have besides improving at live shows?

We switch instruments many times during our set.  An audience member can expect to see each of us playing every instrument on stage throughout the show, as well as taking a turn at lead vocals on different songs.


On an episode of " When I Was 17", you called yourselves the "Prank-war Gods" - have you ever played pranks on the other band mates? What was the best prank you two have done on one other?

Given the close quarters and living situation of a tour bus, we have kept an armistice.  It is always a temptation though...


After, starting off as a host for Disney's 411, Jackson, have you ever considered creating your own show?



In the movie "Girlfriend" Jerad, you and Jackson get into this huge brawl over "Raising Hope" star Shannon Woodward. Jerad, was it a challenge for you to become vulnerable within that character when it's your friend attacking you?

It was easy to feel vulnerable in that situation because he was lunging at me, fist first, at full speed.


What's the craziest thing that has happened while on tour?

We hired a clown for Jerad's birthday on tour.  We hid on the bus with the clown and had party poppers at the ready.  When Jerad opened the door we set off the party poppers, but also accidentally set the clown's hair on fire.  Needless to say, Jerad was very confused.
Luckily no one was hurt and there was no damage to the bus.


Do you guys partake in any special hobbies besides music?

The members of our band are involved in a wide variety of artistic endeavors.  You never know when inspiration will strike, and what form it might take.


There are many myths when it comes to superstitions. Do you guys have any? If so, what are they?

It's not really a superstition, but we always make our set list for a show within an hour of going on stage.


You guys are set to hit some major cities on tour. Which places are you most excited to visit?

The places we haven't been yet, to play for our fans there and meet the new people.  And many cities we have been to before, every place has its own feeling and way about it. It's one of the best things about being on the road to get to experience that in a new place every few days.


The band's sound is said to be a mixture of "Iggy Pop with the Raconteurs" Who are your strongest, musical influences? Is there a possibility of future collaborations?

Our musical influences are as varied as our individual members' backgrounds and upbringings.  From jazz, blues, top 40, southern rock, folk and traditional music, even surfer rock, we have a wide range of influences we draw from.  We're always looking to collaborate with other artists and bands.  Look out for an upcoming debut album by The Bleeding Horse Express in August, it was produced by Jackson, mixed by Scott Coslett, and The Bleeding Horse Express will be playing shows with us on this upcoming tour.


After current and new fans come from seeing you perform live, is there a message within your music you would want for them to obtain?

We're all going to die, so have a good time!



1032354755 says...

May 18, 2011

Great article.  Thanks for writing and sharing.  Thanks also for profiling the guys.  We as fans sure do appreciate it.  Keep up the great work.  Nice article guys!!!!

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