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Queenie4Ever Interview (April 2011)

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JACKSON RATHBONE”S TOP FAVORITES LIST

Favorite color – red or green
Favorite poet – TS Eliot
Favorite artist. Andy Warhol
Favorite hairstyle – just woke up
Favorite midnight snack – roast beef on cold cheese pizza
Favorite acting role – the one I haven’t done yet
Greatest concert you’ve attended or played
Pixies reunion tour, first concert back… Amazing.
How do you describe the color of your eyes
I don’t… because my driver’s license expired… and that said what color my eyes are… so now I don’t know.
Favorite motto/quote to live by
Give respect to get respect, give love to get love – my dad

JACKSON RATHBONE: “Trying to let others in on your inner passion. To inspire someone with how much you love, I believe is the goal of the artist.”

1. Please describe your sense of style such as clothing brands you like to wear or accessories.

I like the southern gentleman look, with a bit of whatever-I’m-feeling thrown in. I don’t like sneakers… on my feet.

2. Jackson I really like your entrepreneurial spirit which apparently began at a young age. You mentioned a DJ gig you used to do as a teenager can you tell us about that and how you came up with that idea? Did you have a cool DJ nickname? You even DJ’d your high school dance. How’d you coordinate dancing with your date and DJing? What did you do with the money you earned from DJ gigs? Would you ever consider DJing events in the future?

Started DJing when I was 13 at friends parties. My buddy Jon and I had access to his older brother’s old, unused DJ gear ( a mixer and some speakers) , we decided to bring the gear to our friend Monica’s birthday party. That was my first gig… by the time we were 16 we were using turntables and making $150 an hour at big events, and charging friends $50 a show whenever they wanted. I think I went by DJ Joyride…. kinda lame now, but I liked it then. DJing prom was difficult… but my date was understanding… (Katie! Wherever you are, thank you for being so understanding!) As per money made, I mostly just saved it, or bought my girlfriends stuff, like corny engraved bracelets and “fancy” Olive Garden dinners. I would definitely love to DJ again… I did a year ago at a bar in Vegas, it did feel good. Shall DJ Joyride ride again? Probably, not… but I might consider it.

3. Where did you learn to tap dance? You are pretty good. If I had known you were gonna ask me to tap with you, I would have brought my tap shoes. Tapping in high heels is hard! My shoes kept slipping off. lol! Which brings me to the subject that got us on tap dancing in the first place. You were talking about a female artist that tap dances instead of using a drum or percussion section. That’s so innovative, almost tribal like, such as hand clapping or using your body to make the beats. Who is the artist, and how did you discover her?

I learned to tap dance in Texas, along with ballroom, jazz, and musical theatre. Thanks to the lovely Judy of the Pickwick Players of Midland, Texas, and Ruth Cole of the Midland Community Theatre. I just enjoy doing a little soft shoe every once in awhile, now.

4. You are definitely a person that knows how to keep themselves busy. What do you do when you have down time?

Interviews.

5. You mentioned that you may be releasing paintings and a book of poetry. Do you have any more information on that? Can you share a short sample of your work?

That’s still in the works… However, I just did my first painting project in a long time, and I feel it came out successful. Will Schmidt, director of several 100 Monkeys music vids (Ugly Girl, Kolpix), shot the painting process on video and is editing the footage into a new music video as we speak. That should be coming out soon on 100MonkeysMusic.com
Plus, the 100 Monkeys book is available for pre-sale now as well…

6. You also mentioned that you are planning on producing a bunch of bands and creating an internet based venue to showcase bands. Can you tell us more about that project?

It’s called Awesome Sauce Radio, it will be on the internet, more information will be available in the coming months. I like to keep people in suspense.

7. You talked about the music biz going back to the times of the 1960s where it was all about the song. Can you explain what you mean?
How about the 100 Monkeys? Are you guys trying to break a song? If yes which song?

I believe History is cyclical and time wraps around itself. A new Bohemia of the arts is just on the precipice, artists are finding their audiences directly, thanks to new media outlets and the fall of the giants. Over at 100 Monkeys, we aren’t trying to lead the charge, but we know that the coming time for music will be a New Bohemia for rock-n-roll and the people that love the music. It’s not just about a song, it’s about the public’s connection to that song.
You asked me if I watched Dylan’s performance at the Grammy’s. Yes of course! I never miss Grammy night, since I am a music lover as well part of a music biz family.

8. What did you love most about Dylan’s performance?

He teased us with that harmonica the entire song. When he finally played it, he was holding it upside down. Amazing. A. May. Zing.

9. What’s your educational background? How did you learn to play so many instruments? How many do you know how to play? Do you collect instruments? What is your favorite instrument?

Uhhh… I graduated High School from Interlochen Arts Academy. I learned to play different instruments out of a need to create my own band in Garageband when I was 18 and first moved out to LA on my own. I didn’t know any other musicians, and I was shy about my songs and recordings, so I just played all of the parts. Now, I play nearly ten different instruments confidently. I’m no prodigy, but I do collect instruments… I have too many, but my favorite is named Aurora, and she’s a Blonde ’57 Gibson semi-hollow body. I love her.

10. Explain the creation of the 100 Monkeys band? How did you guys meet and form the band? Can you give a short intro of each band member such as their name and instruments and what you love about them the best or what you feel they contribute to make your band complete?

We’ve all been friends for some time, and we always played music, together or separately. As 100 Monkeys, we started an open mic jam night on Tuesdays at a local bar, after we had an accidental show there the night before. By accidental, I mean we were jamming in the bar because we knew the owner and the bar was off that night, so we could jam without the police showing up at my apartment again. During that jam session, a couple walked in off the street, as the bar-owner had forgotten to lock-up, and they started dancing to the music. The bar owner, a friendly guy, poured them free drinks when they asked, and soon more people walked in, and we just kept playing. 100 Monkeys is the five friends who started jamming at a closed bar, and packed the place. The band is the five of us. Check out the website for info on the band members, everybody plays too many instruments for me to try and list. 100monkeysmusic.com

11. How did you guys come up with the name of the band 100 Monkeys? What’s the meaning behind it?

The name derived from a certain scientific theory of the collective conscious, as well as the 100 Monkeys Infinite Theory. I suppose we are kinda geeky, but cuddly as well, therefore the name works great. A greater meaning behind it is the Collective Consciousness ideal… but I like to pretend it’s because we each have 20 monkeys living in our heads.

12. I really want to know more about your involvement with the 100 Monkeys. I was blown away at your live show last October. You guys are amazing live! The entertainment and interactive with the audience is refreshing versus just watching a visual choreographed music video, because you guys actually get the audience involved. I like the songs you make up on the spot. That takes a lot of guts and talent. Whose idea was that?

The improv songs are part of our history. As I said before, our first show was accidental, so we played an entire jazz-rock set that we made up as we went along. We also recorded our first album as a concept of that, having one take for the final vocals, and only using one take of the base instrumentation. We love to play with our audience, as opposed to playing to them. Now we save one song a night as an improv song that the audiences chooses.

13. Who are your musical idols? What kind of music did you grow up listening to? How would you describe the 100 Monkeys style of music? What genre do you feel you guys fit in?

Spencer Bell is a huge idol. Check him out. Then there’s the popular artists: Ween, David Bowie, Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jack White, Daniel Johnston… the list goes on and on. Our eclectic taste in music fuels our eclectic set of genre-hopping songs, we have rock, funk, soul, jazz, country, ballads, and punk all within our set. As per genre we fit? I don’t really know… I guess at record stores you would look under “Indie” music.

14. I know you wish more people from this generation understood the history of music. In fact, it surprised you that you had to give a VH1 interviewer a lesson on the history of the Blues. Can you repeat that lesson, because I think it’s really vital that we know where our musical roots came from, so we can appreciate music on a deeper level not just something to bop our heads to but to really make us sit back and think.

That was a long time ago… But it basically goes along the idea of tracing your idols. Who do you love? Mine goes back to Robert Johnson… and then Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters, to Rolling Stones, to The Who, to the Ramones, to the Pixies, to Jack White. I love music.

15. Do you guys write all your own songs? How about you? How do you get inspired to write? What’s your creative songwriting process like?

100 Monkeys perform all originals, but occasionally we throw in a cover song by Spencer Bell. Whenever I get the feeling, I take out the black moleskin notebook I always carry and scrawl something out. Everyday I wake up is an inspiration. I mostly do my writing between three to five AM.

16. What’s the most rewarding thing for you about being a professional musician/recording artist?

An audience singing back words you scrawled down to describe some feeling at some un-Godly hour of the night, and suddenly realizing that you don’t own those words or feelings any longer, the audience now does.

17. Can you share some of your fondest moments while on tour with the 100 Monkeys? What’s it like traveling in a van/bus together? How do you guys keep from getting on each others nerves on the road?

The road is awesome… it’s also rough on the ole’ voice box. We’ve begun to drink more tea and less whiskey in the morning… though the whiskey helps not to get on each others nerves… joking. Mostly. Boardgames are also fun.

18. What is going on with your movie “Girlfriends”? You are fundraising thru a very innovative internet campaign. That’s really cool. Can you explain how we can get involved in helping you get your movie distributed? Are the 100 Monkeys songs used in the movie?

Go check out indegogo.com and type in “Girlfriend” to the search bar. All the information is right there.

19. Any favorite, memorable, and/or crazy fan stories you want to tell us about?

I forgot my ID before going to a bar, and once I got there, the hostess convinced the manager to let me in without the ID because it said my birthday on my IMDB page. Thanks nice lady hostess and thanks IMDB!

20. Jack White’s name popped up in a conversation you were having with my Dad. He got to attend an L.A. show featuring Wanda Jackson and Jack White which you missed, because you were out of town. But, Dad showed you photos from the show on my new camera that Ashton Kutcher convinced me I just had to have. Is Jack White someone you would like to collaborate with? Didn’t you mention you would grow your hair out long and you, Jack White, and someone else you mentioned named Jack could form a trio called Jack the Ripper? I think that would be awesome! Did you think of this concept off the top of your head because, you seem to do that a lot or was it already a thought in the back of your mind. You are really creative, and you have a knack for coming up with cool ideas on the spot. Where does all this talent come from? Were you just born that way or how’d you develop it? Anyone in your family musically inclined? What does your family think about what you do?

Jack White is very much someone I’m inspired by and would love to collaborate with… I think the band was Jack White, Jack Black, and Jack(son) Rathbone… That would be funny at least… I don’t really remember because I do come up with a lot of ideas at once, which is why I’m always busy, I suppose.

21. If you could have a jam session with any famous person living or dead who would that be and why? What songs would be on the set list?

Robert Johnson. I’d just watch his hands and learn.

22. You are such an inspiration to young people all over the world who admire all your successes and enjoy watching you follow and fulfill your dreams with such an intense passion and love for what you are doing. You really seem to have a positive outlook on life and are extremely driven to succeed. What advice can you share with them about following their own dreams and passions?

Passion is the greatest gift of all. To pursue a craft in the arts is noble, but to pursue passion for passion’s sake is the destination. If you love something, practicing should be no chore, the smallest gig could be the biggest, and others will love it too. Love inspires love. Happiness comes from within and goes without. Trying to let others in on your inner passion, to inspire someone with how much you love, I believe, is the goal of the artist. As Keith Richards said, “every artist wants ‘He Passed It On’ on his gravestone.” (paraphrased there a tad bit from an old Rolling Stone interview)

23. Thank you so much Jackson for hanging out with me and my parents at the M Bar. It made it a very special Valentine’s Day! I wish you the best of luck in all your upcoming projects. I highly recommend your band 100 Monkeys as a must see! Where can my fans find out more information about the 100 Monkeys?

Thanks very much for you and your family coming out to M Bar for the Word Theatre fundraiser, that was very sweet of y’all to support such a great cause. www.wordtheatre.com

As per 100 Monkeys, just go check out 100MonkeysMusic.com for more info.

Thanks again!

much love,

-jackson

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