We recently did an interview with Horn from ripple effect and sawtoothwave.com. It’s been a while since we had the chance to really express ourselves in words rather than music. We got the chance to talk about our influences, how the band formed, and even how we got our name. Check it out:
Pink Monkey are three cheeky, expert musicians who love irreverance and the musical manifestations of said attitude toward reverence in the form of musicianjs like The Ramones or Frank Zappa. Fortunately, for music in general and me specifically, they also just happen to play jazz. What follows, as perhaps the above lede suggested, is the Sawtoothwave.com Interview.*
Sawtoothwave.com: If you yourselves could interview one musician, who would it be, and why?
[All] Frank Zappa, he was one of the original musical smart asses.
Your music seems dangerous, like jazz seemingly hasn’t been in decades (to most modern listeners, particularly kids)– like Coltrane and Dolphy getting in shit with Downbeat magazine in 1961… do you ever consciously consider precedents like that? What do you think of more “extreme,” comparted to most jazz musicians anyway, musicians like John Zorn or Peter Brötzmann?
[TK-- Tim Koelling, Saxophone] A big reason why Pink Monkey is so simple and out is kind of a rebuttal to the modern jazz scene. I love going to jazz clubs, but eventually I get bored – there is no reason “jazz” has to be accessible to only other musicians who understand what’s going on, or as background music. We all want to be rock stars!
[MK- Mike Koelling, Bass] Like Tim said, a lot of modern jazz gets boring. It’s just so cerebral that the common guy at the bar doesn’t get it. We would much rather be playing to a crowd of smiles than a few heads nodding in appreciation. We listen to a lot of John Zorn – We’ve even covered a few of his tunes. The Bad Plus is also a huge influence. Most importantly though we try to have a good time and keep things accessible and interesting.
Why “Pink Monkey”?
[MK] We had been playing for a few months and as a band bonding exercise we headed to mayfest in Chicago. After a lot of german beer, I ended up buying Tim a Pink Monkey and told him he had to wear it around his neck for the rest of the festival. A few steins deep I proclaimed “Let’s name our band Pink Monkey until we think of something better.” Five years later, we still haven’t come up with a better name.