Where did the band name come from?
Russell was performing a capabilities audit of printing equipment at an area university. At one of the printing locations, water had seeped into an area underneath a cabinet. Saturated, the contents of the shelves had become covered with such an amazing growth of mold that the items on the shelf were unrecognizable. Some of the items looked as if they might have been alive at one time.
During the subsequent toxic containment, these unidentifiable, possibly organic objects quickly became known as “mold monkeys.” In the end, everyone agreed about the most important thing: “Mold Monkeys” would be an awesome name for a band. Russell spelled “monkies” wrong because he liked the way it looked.
Other names discussed for the band included The Snits, The Snerts, The Shirts, The Shorts, The Snorts, The Shoes, The Shoes of Power, Hot Pink Hanky, and Floyd the Safety Sheep.
Where did the album title come from?
The album title “O Brave and Ignorant Swine” came to Nick in a dream, like Genesis’s “Supper’s Ready” and Sting’s “Dream of the Blue Turtles,” except for not being like them at all.
The title also refers to our noble porky friends who unknowingly sacrifice their lives daily to become future tenderloins and tasty slabs of bacon. It’s a reference to that centerpiece of American society known as the “Meat Culture.” Which is also what you get if you leave your pork butt out too long. “Meat Culture.” Heh.
That reminds me — what happened to that pork butt you were using for photo shoots? It isn’t still sitting in the garage, is it?
No, honey. I threw it out a couple of weeks ago.
Where did you get the CD cover photo?
The amazing photograph used on the cover of the CD is courtesy of the fine folks at the Emporia (Kansas) Gazette. Russell saw it on a web site a couple of years ago. Through intense research, he tracked down the photo and begged the newspaper’s publisher to allow us to use it. The lyrics of the Mold Monkies Theme are (very) loosely based on the incident itself, in which a pork-chop-hauling big rig overturned near the Kansas-Oklahoma border.
Speaking of that song, what’s a 16-wheeler? And what’s a “truckroad” of pork chops?
Yeah, yeah. We know. Trains have 16 wheels, but trucks don’t. We chalk up such things to artistic license, and songs whose tempos are faster than the tongue or brain of the vocalist.
Don’t you guys have real jobs?
Yes. Nick is a web developer at Yale University, and Russell is a partner in Quicksilver Communication, a Connecticut marketing, communications and graphic-design firm. Thad also works in computer systems at Yale, and all Paul will tell us is that he’s a “pharmacist.” And we know better than to ask any questions.
Is Nick really British, or is that accent some sort of affectation?
He’s really British. He’s from Northumberland, where ancient magic is graven deep into the stones, and mystical bands of druids will detail your Mini for a tenner. Northumberland is known for Hadrian’s Wall, the Berwick Ramparts, and various other unsuccessful English attempts to keep the Scots from just dropping by unannounced.
How do you write songs?
Very differently. Nick often has an astonishing range of backing tracks recorded before he has lyrics or even a melody. Russell writes words and music separately, and tries desperately to get them to meet in the middle. We both find the music easier to write than the words, though.
What kinds of music do you like?
Russell and Nick are fans of great songwriting wherever it may be. Not that any sign of their good taste shows up in the Mold Monkies. If you want, you can read all about the music we like.
Will there be a second Mold Monkies album?
Yes, we’re working on it now! We hope it will be finished this year.
What do Mold Monkies fans call themselves?
When we find some, we’ll let you know.
However, if you haven’t decided yet, we have some suggestions for names: FunGuys (or FunGals); Moldavians; Monkaloes; Flunkies; Wobblies; Jibblies; Brain Pastries.
Is it true that Russell did the actual singing on the “Serious Moonlight” tour while Bowie lip-synched?
Do you guys play live?
Yes! We now have a touring band together, and we played our first live gig November 12, 2005, at a multi-band benefit for New Orleans musicians. It went very well and the concert raised more than $7,000. We’re in the process of booking more gigs, and when we do, we’ll post the information here.
Would the Mold Monkies play my wedding, bar or bat mitzvah, or debutante ball?
Not unless you don’t want us to.
Hey, was that you in the red Tercel who cut me off at the I-91/95 interchange last week?
No, that was Nick.