Christian Jacobs is lead singer for the California ska band The Aquabats! and is also the Co-Creator of the popular children’s television show “Yo Gabba Gabba!”. Season 1 of “The Aquabats! Super Show!” was recently released on DVD and season two of the show will kick off in June on The Hub Network. Media Mikes had a chance recently to speak with Christian aka “The MC Bat Commander” about the show and what we can expect from season 2.
Adam Lawton: What made you decide to take The Aquabats! from the stage to television?
Christian Jacobs: That was an idea we had early on. The band started in 1994 and by 1999 we had already shot a pilot for Disney/Buena Vista Television. I had grown up acting and being around television and when I wasn’t playing in the band I was doing production for music and skateboard videos. The whole idea behind the band was very organic and the idea for the show was something that just clicked in my head. I thought it would be cool if we were like a punk rock version of The Monkees. I didn’t want it to be a band that was put together by the studio and playing songs written by Neil Diamond. I wanted this to be about guys who were friends that played songs together in the garage. We were never trying to change the world or anything with this band we just wanted to have fun. We knew the days as a band would be numbered so taking it
to television was a way to keep things going. We have been around now for almost 20 years and the fact that this stuff is now just coming out is really weird. I think the main reason we stay together as a band is because of the television show. We don’t go on tour much anymore but we are always playing together. We just kept going hoping for the show to come along. I got a lot of questions from friends and family as to why I was still doing this band. Now that the show has finally happened I feel vindicated.
AL: Was it hard adapting the bands live show in to a television format?
CJ: For me that was the trickiest part. I was always a fan of shows like “Ultraman” and “Batman” so the tongue and cheek aspect of things was the easy part. The hard part was how we were going to build the music into the show. We didn’t want it to seemed force which tends to be the case with a lot of shows that evolve around music. We decided to skip over the band aspect of things and went right for a musical type approach. Yes we perform on the show but we don’t talk about it or glorify the fact that we are a band. It leaves a lot of things unanswered and I like it that way.
AL: How did working on this show compare to working on “Yo Gabba Gabba!”?
CJ: Scott the other co-creator of the show and I have been friends for a long time. We had both been trying to get “The Aquabats!” show off the ground for quite awhile. We decided to focus on this other idea we had and see what would happen with it. It seemed like with “Yo Gabba Gabba!” nothing could go wrong. “The Aquabats!” was totally the opposite. I have never had something move so quickly and organically as “Yo Gabba Gabba!”. This show was born like a magical unicorn and the “The Aquabats!” was like the hunchback with one eye. (Laughs) Working on “Yo Gabba Gabba” gave us a lot more energy to put towards “The Aquabats!”
AL: Can you give us any ideas as to what’s in store for season 2 of “The Aquabats! Super Show!”?
CJ: Season 2 of the show kicks off in June and we have some really cool stuff happening this season. We have pro skateboarders Tony Hawk and Eric Koston playing some roles n the first episode and they are not skateboarding which is pretty funny. Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo has a very pivotal role this season. Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance helped us write a couple episodes and he actually directed the last episode of the season which was really cool. I think the biggest thing for season 2 is that it deals with the back story of “The Aquabats!” Each separate member of the band has their own recollection of how the band came together and that’s fun because it ends up leaving more things unanswered. There’s going to be some new villains this season, some crazy chase scenes and a lot of stuff we weren’t able to do in season one. It’s a bigger season for sure.