Who is Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits?
Dan Abbott: We are Corbett Redford on vocals, and Dan Abbott on guitar & vocals. We have lots of talented friends who join us in the studio and occasionally on stage, but usually it's just the two of us.
Punk Globe: Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
is an unusual and very funny name for a band. How did you come up with that name?
Dan Abbott: Well, it was wayyy back in '95... In that year there was a terrible outbreak of the ebola virus in what was then called Zaire. We thought ebola was one of the most awful things we'd ever heard of, and a couple of days before our first show we got really stoned in the parking lot of Burger King in our hometown. We needed to call ourselves something, and we didn't really expect to play more than just the one show. But we liked both the idea of an ebola outbreak in our hometown, and of unhealthy snacks made from fat little American children. I wish I could say it was some insightful political commentary. I dunno, I blame drugs.
Punk Globe: What are Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggets
doing right now? Is there any new music on the agenda?
Dan Abbott: Right now we're getting ready to go into the studio to record about 30 songs. Some are covers, for a forthcoming album called "Theft". We're also putting the finishing touches on a release called "Meal Deal With The Devil", which will include an illustrated read-along storybook that works with the songs. There will also be a bunch of split releases with our musical pals.
Meanwhile, we're raising funds to make music videos for each song on our latest album, so that we can release a DVD version of the album with sketches and live performances and so forth.. We've started an IndieGoGo project for our next effort: http://www.indiegogo.com/lifeisexcellentvideo
When was the last release from Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggets
Dan Abbott: The last musical release was our album F, which came out in Fall 2010. Since then, we've been filming a lot of music videos, many of which are already up online.
Punk Globe: Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
has an unusual twist to the lyrics kinda like Tenacious D Do you ever write any normal non funny songs?
Dan Abbott: We have both tried to be normal in various ways. It never seems to work out. There's something deeply bent about us both, and we don't really even try to fake it anymore. In high school I wrote a lot of angsty love songs. But even those were a bit off somehow, apparently, because the ladies were not impressed.
Both of us developed good senses of humor as a survival strategy, growing up poor and weird, and it comes out in our songs. We write the songs primarily for ourselves; you can call it therapy or sonic terrorism or catharsis. The real world is so brutal and full of cruelty and dashed hopes, the only appropriate responses are laughter or screaming. In this band, we get to do both.
Punk Globe: Tell us about more about your past releases?
Dan Abbott: We started in 1995 because Corbett wanted to woo this girl who needed a band for her party. It didn't work, but we kept writing songs together. At first, people dismissed us because we were acoustic and wrote funny songs; other bands would tune their instruments during our sets. 924 Gilman wouldn't book us because we looked and sounded too different from them. Underground magazines like MRR wouldn't take our ads. Which sucked, because we looked up to the East Bay punk scene. Members of Green Day, Blatz, Isocracy and others had gone to our high school, so even though we weren't exactly punk, it was a big influence on us in many ways.
But we took the lessons of DIY and started doing things on our own. We self-released our first CD, the Two Cats EP, in 1996. With our friends, we started putting on free outdoor festivals called Geekfest, which somehow became something of its own scene. In the meantime we started a DIY label collective called S.P.A.M. (Smarmy Post Angst Musicians) to put out our releases and those of our friends' bands.
Our next release was the full-length At One With The Dumb, in 1997. We started touring, at first just going up the coast, but then all around the U.S. It took us a while to get back into the studio, but in 2000 we released Carmelita Sings!: Visions of a Rock Apocalypse, which was really like three albums in one. We broke up shortly after this record came out, but in 2009 we got back together and released F the next year, as well as a digital only EP for our rap song, Freaky Baby. The big difference with these releases is that we were picked up by a local label, Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club. Since then, we've been in constant motion, like sharks. But with more singing. Sleepless, ferocious hunter-killers of underground music, that's us.
Punk Globe: Have Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
Toured Europe yet??
Dan Abbott: Funny you should ask. We haven't toured Europe yet, but are currently inspecting our battle maps to plan out our Spring 2012 tour through North America and Europe. The Old Country will be ours!
Punk Globe: Favorite gigs you have played ?
Dan Abbott: We once played a big party thrown by a diabetic lingerie tycoon who was about to get his arm amputated. There were hot tubs and porn stars and a giant slide, and tons of free booze. It was a bit overwhelming, but the old guy really liked our music.
Punk Globe: Do you play mainly with any other bands?
Dan Abbott: It's not always with bands. We play a lot of different kinds of shows, everything from punk shows to stand up comedy gigs. Our buddy Alex Koll is a standup comedian; we perform with him a lot and we both make appearances on each others' records. Somehow we're able to make what we do work in a lot of different environments, but it's the same idea as with bands; a bunch of friends getting together and collaborating on a fun show. There's no rule, though. We'll play anywhere and everywhere, another benefit of being acoustic.
When we go to certain towns, we have old friends who set up shows with their bands and ours. In Sacramento, for example, we often play with The Secretions. In the Midwest, we usually end up playing at least one show with Hard Feelings, who we toured with last winter. There are a few really good local bands that we've played with a lot. Emily's Army, who jumped on part of our US tour in June.
Punk Globe: Do you have any funny Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
stories to tell the readers and fans?
Dan Abbott: In Texas we were stopped by a sheriff who threatened to anally probe us if we didn't show him some heroin. He looked in our trunk and told us our merchandise looked like Satan, but we assured him it was just a bunch of CDs. I don't know how we convinced him to let us go without finding our weed, but he apparently put out an all points bulletin on us and we kept getting pulled over. Finally, in Dodge City, Kansas, we were stopped twice and told to "get outta Dodge". Which we did, promptly.
Are you on tour right now or playing local shows? Or do you have any planned?
Dan Abbott: We've been on two 30+ date US tours this year, as well as several regional tours. In February we did a West Coast stint with The Frustrators, - Mike Dirnt from Green Day's side project.
We're mostly doing local shows right now, although next week (Nov. 15-21) we're racing up the West Coast for shows in Washington and Oregon. The plan is to stay close to home recording and making music videos until our big Spring tour. But with us, you never really know. For all I know, we could be touring the Moon next month.
You can find out where we're playing at any particular time and place on our web site's Upcoming Shows section: http://bobbyjoeebola.com/?page_id=13
Punk Globe: Who writes The Lyrics and music for the Songs,
Dan Abbott: We both do quite a bit of the songwriting. I write a bit more of the music on guitar, but even then, a lot of time Corbett will have a style or a feel in mind or a scrap of melody and we bounce it off each other. The lyrics we often write separately and then bring to each other and hammer away at it until it works for both of us. We both have very different styles of lyricism, but there's enough collaboration and cross-pollination that I think a lot of times it's hard to tell who wrote what.
Punk Globe: Do you have a certain producer that you use or is the band self produced?
Dan Abbott: Our latest album and EP were done in the same sessions, at Dutch Oven Studios. The incomparable Craig Billmeier was our studio wizard, and we were so pleased with the results that we have already begun the next round of recordings with him. We do a lot of the producing, but his input is invaluable. He has actually joined the band as our second guitarist, for our occasional full-band performances. As one of the world's top-ranked air guitarists (under the name "Hot Lixx Hulahan"), he is well-equipped for the job.
Who are your influences with the music you write?
Dan Abbott: We're both influenced a lot by social satirists, everyone from Tom Lehrer and Lenny Bruce to George Carlin and Bill Hicks. Ween and They Might Be Giants both made a big impact on both of us as well. Bruce Springsteen got played a lot in my house growing up, so that's in there. I'd say we've probably been influenced more by local bands that we know or knew personally. Hickey was an amazing band from San Francisco. Dory Tourette and the Skirtheads.
Punk Globe: If your bored and fancy some tunes. Who do you like to listen alot too ?
Dan Abbott: I don't listen to a whole lot of music, honestly. When I had a vehicle, I had three tapes. One was Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss, which was great for traffic jams. Isaac Hayes' Soundtrack from Shaft. And then I had this mix tape with a Sam Cooke live performance, N.W.A. and old G.G. Allin. I listened to those a lot, but then the police towed it away with all my friend's drugs in it so I never asked for my tapes back.
Punk Globe: Can you recommend any other local band in the East Bay?
Dan Abbott: We just got off a month-long tour with our label mates, Tornado Rider, who tour even more than we do. Those guys are amazing.
Punk Globe: Do you have any side projects or are you just with Bobby Joe Ebola And the Children MacNuggits,?
Dan Abbott: I play with another band sometimes called Thee Hobo Gobbelins, but Bobby Joe Ebola takes up the bulk of our time these days. I also occasionally do this rock opera called Day of the Zombie, but that's like once a year at most.
Punk Globe: Who does your art work for your albums, single sleeves and tee shirts??
Dan Abbott: We have really been lucky, as our circle of longtime friends includes some extraordinarily talented artists. Jon Carling, Janelle Hessig, Jason Chandler, Chris Murdoch, and so many others have really come up with some amazing designs. The baby goat on the cover of F is actually a photograph taken by Corbett's grandfather during WWII.
Punk Globe: Where can The Readers find Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
on the Internet?
Punk Globe: Can they buy your tunes online anywhere?
Punk Globe: Where can The fans buy your Merch?
I would like to thank Dan Abbott for this great interview. Go and check out BOBBY JOE EBOLA AND THE CHILDREN MACNUGGETS LIVE:
Friday, December 16
ALAMEDA, CA @ 1400 BAR
Friday, January 6, 2012
BERKELEY, CA @ 924 GILMAN W/ EMILY'S ARMY, KEVIN SECONDS, TORNADO RIDER AND THE SMELL!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO @ RICKSHAW STOP W/ EMILY'S ARMY and TORNADO RIDER!
Sunday, January 8, 2012
SAN JOSE, CA @ SLG ART BOUTIKI W/ EMILY'S ARMY,