by Bryanne Marks
My (Interesting) Interview with Monkey Pudding Face
Recently I decide to turn the tables a little bit and interview one of my good friends bands: Monkey Pudding Face. Interesting name huh? Well they are a duo that now consists of Gennaro (Gerry) Marletta III and Kyle Marshall. The band has been around since 2009 and since then has made a name for themselves. You can easily Google them, and not because of their odd name, but because they are well known in the NYC area. So I took the chance to interview the guys and spread the word, and their voice, on my blog.
Zelda: What’s the name of your band?
Gerry: Monkey Pudding Face
Z: What’s the origin of that name?
Kyle: It was a nickname for my friend Henry.
Z: Have you changed the band’s name before?
G: Not for this band
Z: Please list the name, age, school, and respective instrument of each band member.
G: Gennaro Marletta III; 27.9 yrs old; Henry Hudson Regional; bass guitar, computer, vocals
K: Kyle Marshall, flirty thirty, Zukeran Elementary and guitar/throat sing
Z: What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
G: Alternative electronic rock
Z: Who are your major influences?
G: In no particular order; Nine Inch Nails, early Mudvayne, Pinback, Mudvayne, Thursday, Richard Devine, Richard Branson, the Chiodo brothers, Mare, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Freddy Got Fingered, anything lime flavored, David Bottrill, King Crimson, cats.
K: Newsradio (the television show) and The Dark Backward (the movie).
Z: How long have you known each other?
G: Since fall of 2004 I think, so about 9 years
Z: How did you meet?
G: We worked together in college, at probably one of the best jobs we’ll ever have had in terms of ease and pay
K: My band at the time was looking for a bass player and while we technically worked at the same place I don’t believe that we had met until another co-worker informed me that Gerry played bass.
Z: When did you form your band?
G: This band in its current incarnation started in 2009, but the idea existed with Kyle for a while and we had been playing in other bands together since 2005
K: MPF started as a Myspace page so that I could create theme songs and other wacky things for my own personal Myspace page and that’s the story of Myspace.
Z: What inspired you to make music together?
G: I joined another band Kyle was in when we were in college in ’05, and it just worked out that we complemented each other on a lot of levels in writing, producing, performing and whatnot. We kept it from there – MPF is in many ways a reaction to years of playing in a 4 piece then a 3 piece with other people, and trimming things down to the (mostly) ideal configuration.
Z: Do you have a record label?
G: Yes. No.
Z: How many albums do you have?
G: Two EPs “officially” released, but the concept of releases doesn’t really make sense to us right now. We just work on things one at a time and get them out there however we feel makes the most sense.
Z: Any music videos? Where can we find them?
G: Yes, lots of videos, some with music and some without. Youtube.com/MonkeyPuddingFace
Z: Where have you performed?
G: All over the east coast
Z: What are your favorite and least favorite venues?
G: Favorite for me was Siberia in NYC, then probably Knitting Factory. I’d rather not do the world a disservice and pin just one venue as the worst – there really are far too many venues and promoters out there.
K: Gus’ Cabin Lounge is my favorite.
Z: Do you have any upcoming shows?
G: Yes, we will be playing a show in Washington DC on August 15th at the Treehouse Lounge at 8pm.
Z: Which songs do you perform most frequently?
G: “When You Say It’s (Over) It’s (Over)”
Z: Do you ever play any covers?
G: Yes, we try and do our own spin on a handful of songs, a lot of which we have videos for as well.
Z: Who writes your songs?
G: Kyle and I.
Z: What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do these themes or topics change over time?
K: One of the original ideas was using reoccurring “horror” themes/concepts as metaphors for other crap. We still touch on this frequently but I’ve gotten back into singing about
My disappointment in the human race, specific people and myself.
G: Diseases of the aging, 4th world citizen uprisings, tales of banditry, gender issues, and horror movies.
Z: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
G: We tend to rehearse a lot on our own, and we meet a handful of times each week. Usually working on newer music or video ideas, and running thru older songs to work out the cobwebs when necessary. When a show is coming up, we’ll incorporate more of the stage aspects like programmed lights, dancing, and practicing saying the name of the city we’re in.
Z: How do you balance work/life/band?
G: We try and stay in communication with each as much as possible and just keep each other up to date on life. Always seems to work out with each of our availability.
K: We make it work but ideally I/we would work on music as much as we “worked”.
Z: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
G: I think the idea of this band was to do some things that were different than we had been in the other bands – writing in more of a “pop” mentality, but not necessarily pop music. There were more considerations given to a broader audience, rather than just doing it for ourselves. Over the past year or so, we’ve started to let some of our old ways leak back in, but I think that it’s just our way of finding a balance between it all.
K: The volume is much lower now and that allows us to play in more intimate settings. We have seriously advertised that we are willing to play things like baby showers, picnics and funerals.
Z: What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
G: Our biggest challenge is ourselves – we’re the worst businessmen and we hate self-promotion. We’re too modest.
K: In my eyes, the biggest challenge has been finding a reason to play live shows. We can put up a video on YouTube and have thousands of people see it. A typical show would only reach a fraction of that. We have begun playing out more because there’s something about playing a live show that filming a video will never recreate.
Z: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
G: I don’t think we’re looking for fortunes or massive fame. We aim to do things, with our music and videos, that we find entertaining and satisfying to ourselves, and we just want to get that out to other people who feel the same way.
K: At the end of the day I’d just like to know that there are people out there enjoying what we do. At the beginning of the day though I’d like to be able to support my families with my music.
Z: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
G: Evaluate everything you plan on putting out there for people to interact with – your music, videos, self-promotion – and make sure there’s something unique to your band stamped on it.
K: Find others who share a similar vision and learn to compromise. On the other hand, don’t compromise on the important crap and don’t try to look or sound hip because you will be too late and fail.
Z: Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?
G: All of our friends and family who have put up with our nonsense either gave us their time or accepted the times we couldn’t be with them, and otherwise made us feel good about our decisions.
K: My wife and cats only because they would be mad if I didn’t and because my cats have pretty much bankrolled this entire thing.
Z: Any last words?
You can follow the guys on Twitter @MonkyPuddinFace.
You can also check out their other random YouTube videos such as this one I find hilarious:
Don’t forget to check out their next live show in NYC on August 15. For more information please annoy them, again, on Twitter @MonkyPuddinFace.
That’s it from me now. Next topic we’ll talk to chimpanzees and see if we get the same responses just as we did with these two. What can I say? They sort of look the same…
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @bryisawesome.
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