100 Monkeys: Ben Johnson, Uncle Larry, Ben Graupner, Jerad Anderson and Jackson Rathbone.
100 Monkeys stopped in St. Louis recently on their tour in support of their latest CD Grape. 100 Monkeys, named after the “The Hundredth Monkey Effect,” is comprised of Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale in the “Twilight” series, The Last Airbender), Ben Graupner, Ben Johnson, and Jerad Anderson and Uncle Larry.
When I arrived at The Old Rock House to interview the band 100 Monkeys before their show, I was greeted at the door by a beautiful dog names Gus, a well-cared for, tour-savvy 15 year old rescue.
Jackson Rathbone: Scott “The Scientist“ Coslett. Scott is the man responsible for making our album “Grape.” He produced it, recorded a lot of is, mixed and mastered it with us. Scott’s a guy we’ve had on our team since our first singles. He’s been working with Ben Johnson to bring out Spencer Bell’s albums and restore them.
Ben Johnson: We do audio restoration on some of the low quality recordings. We just finished one that is called “Brain” and I’m really excited about it.
Lisa: How can we find “Brain”?
Ben J.: It will be available, hopefully by the Spencer Bell Legacy shows in late April in Dallas. It will be available on www.spencerbellmemorial.com and eventually on iTunes.
Lisa: Are you enjoying the tour?
Ben Graupner: It’s going amazingly. It’s the second leg of our tour. It’s the fifth show of the second leg. Number 33 out of 100.
Lisa: How are you enjoying “Grape”?
Jackson: Grapely! It’s been amazing. The response has just been wonderful. We hoped for the best and we are getting an amazing response from people hearing the album and really digging it. There’s a lot of work we put into it and I think it paid off. It’s something that we’re really proud of and we’re going to be promoting for the next year until we get our next album out at the end of the year.
Ben G.: That’s the plan.
Lisa: How did you get to know each other?
Ben G.: In the entire group it’s been every which way. Some of us went to school together and some of us helped each other learn new cities together and some of us met on the sets of movies.
Jackson: The Bens and I all went to the same high school. Ben Graupner and I were roommates together. When I moved out to Los Angeles I met Jared. Jared showed me the ropes of LA and then when Ben G moved out to LA we got together. Then, Ben Johnson moved out and around that same time is when Ben Graupner and I met Uncle Larry on the set of a movie called “DaZe: Vol. Too ” which will be coming out hopefully very soon. It’s an independent film directed by Doctor Jeff Dean. It’s going to be very exciting. Ask about the Mohawk!
Lisa to Jerad: OK, how about the Mohawk?
Jerad: The Mohawk is a symbol of a multi-dimensional lifestyle where I can be a bad ass at the same time while being….
Jackson: A bad ass.
Jerad: …a bad ass…in two different dimensions.
Jackson: It separates the two hemispheres of his brain.
Jerad: They both happen to be bad ass hemispheres.
Lisa: Is there anything you would like to add or to say to your fans?
Ben G.: Thank you!
Jackson: Thank you. I think it’s interesting that the band we’re playing with tonight is Tin Tin Can and two of the members of Tin Tin Can, Pierce and Chris, were in Spencer Bell’s first band Sheer Funk and Misery and the tie-in there is that Ben Johnson was the drummer in Spencer’s later band, The Stevedores which the album came out posthumously after Spencer passed. There is a great connection there between Tin Tin Can. and us we really love their music and support the guys. If our fans could give the time to listen to Tin Tin Can’s music as well, that would mean a lot to us, because they are just an incredible. I think their EP, “The Devil and The Mockingbird” is just incredible and people should really look it up.
Gen G.: They will be at the Spencer Bell Legacy shows in April in Dallas, too. We would love to encourage people to come out for it. It’s going to be an amazing event. The Stevedores are getting back together hopefully for it. The Kissing Club is going to be there. Drew and the Medicinal Pen will also be there. Its’ going to be an amazing time.
Lisa: Can you give us a bit of a background of the Spencer Bell Legacy shows?
Ben J.: We started doing them about nine months after Spencer passed away. It’s been an opportunity to play Spencer’s music and get the word out to people as much as we can. There is just this thing that happens at those concerts that’s really amazing. It feels like a community and it is just really wonderful. It is amazing to me how many people know Spencer’s music now and are coming to those shows and it really means a lot to all of us.
Lisa: It is great that you are able to do this in his memory.
Jackson: It’s a celebration of life.
For more information regarding the Spencer Bell Legacy shows visit http://spencerbellmemorial.com.
Grape is available on www.100monkeymusic.com.
100 Monkeys put on a fantastic show and as “professional make people feel-gooders” they do not disappoint! Check out all things 100 Monkeys at www.100monkeymusic.com.
Many thanks to Jackson, Jerad, Ben J., Ben G., Uncle Larry, Marty, Maggie and Gus!