Win Prize Packs from Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE & Michael Jackson ONE [ENDED]

Media Mikes is teaming up with Cirque de Soleil and giving away some amazing prize packs from their newest shows Michael Jackson One and The Beatles LOVE. If you want to win this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Cirque de Soleil show. This giveaway will remain open until December 26th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Here is what is included in the five prize packs, including a variation of:
– Michael Jackson One Hats
– Michael Jackson One Souvenir Programs
– The Beatles LOVE T-Shirts
– The Beatles LOVE Hats

This holiday season, head out to Las Vegas and experience two awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil shows featuring the music from two of the most iconic names in the Music Industry; Michael Jackson ONE and The Beatles LOVE. Log on to for a special ticket package now.


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The Revenant’s Trevor Jackson talks about band’s self-titled debut album

Trevor Jackson is the guitarist for the punk rock band The Revenant. The band which also includes former Unwritten Law members Derik Envy and Kevin Besignano along with Lit drummer Nathan Walker has just released their self titled debut album to rave reviews. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Trevor recently about the album, what it was like balancing multiple projects and the bands upcoming tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what led to you guys forming the band?
Trevor Jackson: We had all known each other from touring and we all had a common ground in that we wanted to do something that was our own. We have all had some great opportunities in the past but at the end of the day we wanted to see what could happen if we got together and wrote some songs. Derik and Kevin knew each other from playing together in Unwritten Law and I had toured with Nate so it really was probably the easiest way a band could come together. We never really did any auditioning or things like that just started writing music together. Things just worked.

AL: How did you go about deciding which direction to take the band in stylistically?
TJ: We all came from playing in other people’s band so we weren’t too sure which direction to go. When you get together with 4 new guys you have no idea what things will sound like. We pretty much went in completely open. We just started writing together and let things develop throughout the pre-production process. We all come from different music backgrounds and everybody in the band has a specific strong point. Writing wise we would all sit down together and work through the different ideas. No one really had any egos. An idea would get thrown out and we would all just start working on it together. A lot of times Kevin or Derik would come in with a song and we could hammer it out in 45 minutes or so. We all just worked really well together.

AL: Was it hard for you guys to balance your time between multiple projects?
TJ: Making the transition from one project to another came with some difficulty however it was something that we all really wanted to do. We really believed in what we were doing so anytime we had down time we went right in to the garage to demo songs or rehearse.

AL: Can you tell us about the first 4 songs you guys released?
TJ: The full album came out June 17th but to get people familiar with who we are prior to that we decided to release 4 songs from the album. These were songs that we really liked but it was a little weird only picking the 4. Our whole record is 10 songs that run just over 20 minutes. Those first few songs sort of showcase the albums variety.

AL: Have you guys started discussing tour plans yet?
TJ: That’s all we talk about. (Laughs) We have been putting the word out and talking about some different things but I think the biggest thing we wanted to do first was to get the record out. We want fans of music and punk rock to get the album and decide for themselves what they think of it. If we get a phone call today I am sure we would have the van packed and be on the road but right now we are shooting for towards the end of summer to back out on the road. This project was something that we have been pretty quiet about thus far. We wanted to get everything recorded and done before we really started telling anyone about it. This is something we are having great time doing it and we can’t wait for people to hear the album.

Blu-ray Review “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”

Actors: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Nathan Fillion, Douglas Smith
Directors: Thor Freudenthal
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Run Time: 106 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” arrived as the next “Harry Potter” but never really gathered much interest. When I heard that they were come with a sequel, I didn’t understand since the first film was not well-received. “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” promised to be much better than the first and it did deliver a more entertaining film for sure. The action is amped up and the visual effects are much better than the first film, plus it co-stars Nathan Fillion which is always great. Still has it problems and feel like a “Harry Potter wanna-be but overall, this film is worth checking out and a vast improvement from “The Lightning Thief”.

Official Premise: The magical, mythical adventures of teenager Percy Jackson — son of the Greek god Poseidon — continue in this heroic, action-packed thrill ride! Out to prove he’s not just a “one-quest wonder,” Percy and his demigod friends embark on an epic, cross-country journey into the treacherous Sea of Monsters, where they battle terrifying creatures, an army of zombies, and the ultimate evil. With time running out, Percy must find and bring home the fabled Golden Fleece, which has the power to save his world…and save us all

Fox delivered “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” as a combo pack release including Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD digital copy. The 1080p transfer is pretty much flawless and really takes advantage of the CGI effects and amazing visuals. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is also perfect and really captures the action so well. If you get nothing else from this film and this Blu-ray, you will be blown away with the audio/video presentation. If possible though, this film is much more enjoyable in 3D, so if you have that option but sure to take that route since the visual effects really shines there.

In terms of special features, “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” delivers some decent extras but nothing outstanding. To start we get a motion comic for the character Tyson, who is Percy’s cyclops half-brother. There are three featurettes included, the first is called “Back to Camp Half-Blood”, which features cast taking about coming back for the sequel. “It’s All in the Eye” and “Deconstructing a Demigod” focus on the visual effects in the film. I was really hoping for more depth on these extras since the film is so visual but these are still worth checking out if you enjoyed the film.

Bob Kulick talks about working with Kiss and “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson” album

Bob Kulick is a Grammy Award winning producer with credentials that read like a who’s who of music royalty. Bob is also the older brother of ex-KISS/ current Grand Funk Railroad guitarist Bruce Kulick, and has performed on stages around the world with groups such as Alice Cooper and Meatloaf. Bob’s newest production project “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson” was recently released via Cleopatra Records and Media Mikes was fortunate enough to speak with Bob recently about the release and his longtime relationship with KISS.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what initially sparked your interest in music?
Bob Kulick: My cousin played guitar and during family functions she would often play her acoustic guitar. My sarcastic, Brooklyn mother would always say things like “why can’t you do something like that”. It was sort of a dare on her part. My cousin started showing me the basics and when The Beatles came out the seed was planted. I do recall that even before that when I was a child in school we went on a trip to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The orchestra there performed Ravel’s “Bolero”. I remember sitting there with my mouth hanging open and I just started to cry. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. The gift I was given was announced that day. That was the birth of my gift and I just couldn’t recognize it initially. That was something special. I went on to college and did all that stuff but I still wasn’t happy. My gift was music and that is what I wanted to do. I knew if I applied myself and gave it the one thousand percent that it needs I would get the result I wanted.

AL: Having worked with everyone from Meatloaf to Alice Cooper at what point did you start to notice your transition from a performer to a producer?
BK: Being a studio musician afforded me the look see at people who I probably wouldn’t have ever gotten the chance to work with otherwise. The stuff I did with Diana Ross was one of those instances. She was dating Gene Simmons from Kiss at the time and he called me from the studio one day to ask if I would come in and play a solo. I went in and ended up playing the solo on her number one hit single “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”. Hanging around with people like that and utilizing my brain really helped. I got to watch guys like Eddie Kramer and Tony Bongiovi work so I just watched everything. I never was really interested in engineering as I was more interested in song creation. When I met my mentor Dick Wagner who worked with guys like Lou Reed and Alice Cooper I really got a firsthand look at somebody who was an arranger and a writer. Dick was also the guy who hired me to fill in for Steve Hunter on the Australia/New Zealand leg of the Alice Cooper tour and to play on Mark Farner’s solo record. I learned all the little tricks from him. It also became apparent to me at this time that the business was changing, as was the music. After being out on the road with Meat Loaf, Paul Stanley and Diana Ross my desire to be out on the road constantly had also started to die down. I said to myself that I wanted to try producing so that’s what I did. I met my first partner Billy Sherwood who had a studio here in Los Angeles and when he got the gig in Yes he handed me the keys and I started getting hired to work on projects which included a series of tribute records I did which included a Metallica tribute album that ultimately won me a Grammy. As of late I have started performing more regularly. I have been doing charity gigs as well as some Kiss tribute band gigs. I was part of the pre-Kiss Kruise kick-off party this year in Miami. I also jammed recently with Dick Wagner and Mark Farner at another event. It’s been nice to rekindle that fire and show myself that I can still dish it out. I even still look the same, as I haven’t lost any hair. (Laughs) It was like getting back on a bike after not riding for a while. It’s a blessing to be able to do both and to see and talk to the fans. I am very lucky, blessed and grateful.

AL: You have been working with KISS on and off almost since the bands inception. What do you think has been the biggest contributing factor to that ongoing relationship?
BK: My visibility with the band has been several fold. I have participated not only as a player on records and as part of Paul’s 1989 solo tour but I also have worked with the band as a writer. Even now I still get up and jam with the guys at various Kiss type events. Because of my visibility with the band I have been dubbed the 5th member of KISS. (Laughs) I have played on a number of KISS tracks like “Nowhere to Run”, “Rockin’ in the USA”, “Partners in Crime” “All American Man” and “Larger than Life”. There is quite a wealth of work there. The band has thought of me enough over the years that they even interviewed me recently as part of a new KISS documentary. It’s great that Gene and Paul acknowledge the times we had together. During the time of Paul’s solo album he was by best friend. People always ask me about that experience and what it was like working on that album. It was great! I got to hang out with my best friend. There was no pressure and it was fun. That’s why it came out so good. Paul would show us the songs and we would play them a couple times until we thought we had it and that was it. It was very organic. Everyone was really professional.

AL: Can you tell us about your work on the recently released album “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson”?
BK: Michael Jackson even after his death is still one of the biggest stars in the world. The second album I did with Diana Ross he wrote the song “Muscles”. I was always fascinated with him and would often ask Diana what was up with him. (Laughs) After the work I did on Dee Snider’s Broadway album and the Frank Sinatra album we decided to take that same attitude and idea and apply it to this record. We weren’t re-writing or changing any of the songs, as we wanted to remain faithful to the originals while at the same time being different. We came up with a tunings that worked and got some guys that could really dish it out. We got some classic metal guys like Chuck Billy and Paul Di’Anno along with Lajon Witherspoon, Corey Glover and Angelo Moore from Fishbone who did an awesome job! We were very lucky to have such a great group of musicians/singers be a part of this record.

AL: Were you involved with the song selection at all?
BK: We worked in conjunction with the label on that but all of the arrangements are my partners and mine. No one came to us with arrangements ahead of time, as these types of albums don’t generally work that way. We usually will cut the song as a template and then send it out to someone to see if they would be interested in doing it or not. By doing that the artist gets to see maybe not the finished product but they have the framework of what it is.

AL: Having done a number of tribute albums what is it that interests you in these types of projects?
BK: Some projects are harder to do than others. So the idea of putting together a track say for instance the Chuck Berry song “Run Rudolph Run” which we did for the Metal Christmas CD and getting guys like Lemmy, Billy Gibbons and Dave Grohl as the band is just crazy. No one but me is doing things like that. I am the guy who comes up with these creations. A lot of times the creations are what make the people want to show up and be a part of these projects. That’s how Tim “Ripper” Owens got connected with Yngwie Malmsteen. I put them on a track together and Yngwie loved it! For me it’s all about making exciting concepts of these songs through the arrangements and through the combination of people who play and sing on them. The word tribute really is just a title. People have been covering songs for years and I am a guy who likes to stir the pot. It’s just music which is about the fun and I like to push the envelope.

AL: Can you tell us about any other projects you are currently working on?
BK: I worked on a song for Dee Snider and Giuliana Rancic from the E! Channel which available now on ITunes. We did a very unique arrangement of “Silent Night”. This is a really cool version of the song as you don’t know what you are getting until you start listening. I also have a few other projects in the works however I can’t announce any of those just yet. I also have been working with my brother Bruce on some songs that we hope to have out early next year. The idea with these songs is to keep things within the boundaries of our audience. We want to make songs that people who enjoy our work will like.


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CD Review “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson”

Various Artists
“Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson”
Cleopatra Records
Producer: Bob Kulick
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When you think of heavy metal your probably not instantly thinking of Michael Jackson however, Cleopatra Records along with Grammy Award winning producer Bob Kulick and a laundry list of metal’s elite musicians are about to change that. “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson” features 13 reworked versions of some of Jackson’s most memorable songs heard as they never have been heard before.

Being a fan of music there is always room on my playlist for some Michael Jackson. Now I’m not saying I am a fan of everything he ever did however “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson” has shined a new light on the departed singers catalog. Producer Bob Kulick and a diverse cast of metal maniacs have put together a great sounding metalized pop album. The album hits the ground running or maybe in this case moon walking as it opens up with Testaments Chuck Billy’s grainy rendition of “Thriller” which gives way to Angelo Moore’s spot on performance of “The Way You make Me Feel”. As the album progresses we are treated to performances by everyone from Paul Di’Anno and Doug Pinnick to Phil Campbell and Corey Glover who team up for a great rendition of “Billy Jean”.

Now before all you MJ purists out there take to the message boards only to discredit the albums mere existence I strongly encourage you to take a listen before making any judgments. Yes this is a rather unconventional line up performing however Bob Kulick truly lets his genius as a producer shine as even with the songs being reworked and beefed up they still retain the charm and appeal of the original versions making this album a great listen whether you are a traditional MJ fan or a fan of the artists performing on the record.

Track Listing:
1.) Thriller – Chuck Billy (Testament)
2.) Man In The Mirror – Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria) & Billy Sheehan (Mr.Big)
3.) The Way You Make Me Feel – Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), Rudy Sarzo (Queensryche)
4.) Black Or White – Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust), Bruce Kulick (ex-Kiss),Tony Franklin (The Firm)
5.) Beat It – Priya Panda (Diemonds) & Ron Bumblefoot Thal (Guns n’ Roses)
6.) Billy Jean – Corey Glover (Living Colour) & Phil Campbell (Motorhead)
7.) Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – Elias Soriano (Nonpoint)
8.) Rock With You – Doug Pinnick (King’s X)
9.) Dirty Diana – Chris Jericho (Fozzy)
10.) Bad – Paul Di’Anno (ex-Iron Miaden) & Craig Goldy (Dio)
11.) They Don’t Care About Us – (Icarus Witch)
12.) Never Can Say Goodbye – Lonnie Jordan (WAR)
13.) Smooth Criminal – (Alien Ant Farm)

Film Review “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”

Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson and Alexandra Daddario
Directed By: Thor Fredenthal
Rated: PG
Running Time: 106 minutes
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 stars

*deep breath*

The demigod Percy Jackson (Lerman), the son of Poseidon, is back once again. He continues his training at Camp Half-Blood with his friends, Grover Underwood (Jackson), a satyr, and Annabeth Chase (Daddario), the daughter of Athena. The problem this time arises from the boundary around the camp that protects them. The magic boundary that sprung years ago from the deceased body of Thalia Grace (Paloma Kwiatkowski), the daughter of Zeus, has been poisoned. Now the only chance to restore the boundary and keep Thalia’s spirit alive is the Golden Fleece. But Luke Castellan (Jake Abel), the son of Hermes, also wants the Fleece for his own motivations. He hopes to resurrect an ancient evil and once again attempt to bring destruction to Mount Olympus. Things are even more complicated when Percy discovers he has a half brother, Tyson (Douglas Smith), who is part cyclops and tags along for their journey into the Sea of Monsters.


If you’re a little confused, you may need to watch the first movie or take some Cliff notes with you. However, the Cliff notes are probably a lot more entertaining than this movie. I myself had never seen the first “Percy Jackson” until literally hours before the screening of “Sea of Monsters”. This movie is an improvement upon the first, but that might be because the movie is shorter. We’re once again treated to a barrage of computer animated creatures and uninteresting action sequences. We’re not invested enough to be concerned about a character’s well being. It doesn’t help that there isn’t even the slightest sense of peril. Even when our heroes are fighting from being swallowed whole by a whirlpool sized creature in the middle of the ocean, I found myself fighting a yawn.

It’s been six years since the last “Harry Potter” book and just two since the last movie, but Percy Jackson is still creeping in its shadow. The movie has plenty of similar ideas, but that’s not the problem. Everyone borrows from everyone. I get that. The problem arises when the movie uses quirks as a crutch instead of building up this fantastic new world around its inhabitants. The characters aren’t given room to breathe with an ADHD script and smothering CGI. Instead of character driven scenes and diving into the why’s and how’s of the story, the actors are expected to just “ooh” and “ahh” at the newest monster or helpful item given to them by the Gods. I don’t fault any of the actors. They’ve managed to work well with the hollow script they were handed. I fault the studio for selecting Thor Freudenthal, who directed the forgettable “Hotel for Dogs”, to helm this flick. I fault the studio for thinking Marc Guggenheim, the man who helped pen the disaster-piece “Green Lantern”, would be able to bring life into this series. This shows a huge lack of trust in the books original content and the hope that people will be filling the theater for eye candy and tongue-in-cheek one liners. From what a book fan told me at the screening, the movies even changed major plot points.

Greek mythology and literature in its own respect has lived for thousands of years and still captivates people like any good soap opera. “Sea of Monsters” is automatically forgettable and another abusive adaptation of a beloved book series. However, younger audiences who probably haven’t read the books will eat up this newest adventure. Someone in Hollywood needs to go on a search. Find a screenwriter that truly loves these novels and characters. Someone who can’t wait to get their hands on a copy of the latest “Percy Jackson” book. It wouldn’t even hurt to have a huge input by the book’s author, Rick Riordan. With millions of copies sold and a rabid fan base that’s willing to put up with another poorly adapted movie, I think he knows what he’s doing. Not to sound like the end to a PBS show, but I think it’s time for me to learn more by going to my local library.

Jackson Publick & Doc Hammer talk about the 5th season of “The Venture Brothers”

Debuting in 2003, The Venture Brothers follows the animated misadventures of super scientist and former “boy adventurer,” Dr. Thaddeus ‘Rusty’ Venture, his Hardy-Boy-like teen sons Hank and Dean, and their self-proclaimed arch nemesis, The Monarch. The show has created an amazing universe of heroes, villains and henchmen throughout its first four seasons while sending up everything from Johnny Quest to Hunter S. Thompson. Leading up to this Sunday’s fifth season premiere on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, creators, co-writers and stars, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer got on the phone to discuss the show’s diverse roster of characters, super science, and the challenges of animating convincing tin foil jokes.

Lauren Damon: Your show revolves around a lot of Super Scientists, is there anything in actual modern science that’s freaked you out or sounded like something from the show?
Doc Hammer:  I’m personally not that educated. So I’m personally not up on actual scientific discovery.
Jackson Publick: I have recently subscribed to Popular Science.
Doc: So he knows all the things that are popular.
Jackson: I’m super excited that they might be figuring out warp speed and when they grew a human ear on a mouse’s, I’ve never forgotten that.

LD: How about the 3D printers?
Jackson: I’m not that excited by the 3D printer—Somebody showed me a Green Lantern ring they made with a 3D printer the other night. Actually it was a White Lantern ring, calling it a “White Power” ring, which is weird!
Doc: Do you have to wear glasses for the 3D printer?
Jackson: No, it’s a printer that makes a 3D object for you. Out of like, resin or something, it just carves this thing for you.
Doc: Oh yes. You know what? Those are more like 3D fax machines than they are 3D printers.

LD: You have so many characters on the show, do you find that you have favorites to write or watch interactions between?
Doc: Oh yeah, you can tell just by watching the show.
Jackson: Yeah, you can tell who we’ve turned into pairs, we like those guys.
Doc: And you’ll start seeing pairings that are not appropriate. Like Hank and 21 for some reason are weird pairing…
Jackson: Yeah, yeah.
Doc: They’ve been together and we kind of keep throwing them together because they interact well. Because they both have this kind of love and exuberance. And then there are just classic pairs. I mean 21 and 24. Even though we murdered one…
Jackson: I like when we put 21 and the Monarch together.
Doc: 21 and the Monarch is another…I think when we put them with The Monarch, he was trying to hang out with them…That’s when we realized these guys will interact well because they’re so different.
Jackson: And the power dynamics of their relationship—
Doc: Yea.
Jackson: ‘The creepy boss is trying to be my friend now…I don’t know what to say, he shoots guys sometimes when he doesn’t like what they say.’
Doc: Yeah, and weird combinations show up. Billy and Doc are funny because Billy dresses Doc down a lot. It’s an odd combination—
Jackson: Also he lifts him up a little bit.
Doc: He does! He does, because he fanboys on him. But at the same time he—
Jackson: Yea he’s like ‘I can’t believe that’s what a fucking mess the thing I’m fanboying about has become!’
Doc: Yeah, it’s a weird thing. It’s a weird thing because he loves Rusty Venture but I think he can barely tolerate Dr. Venture.
Jackson: ‘Please try once try to be what you used to be!’
Doc: [In Billy Quizboy’s voice] “I used to love you and you’re nobody! You’re a horrible person!”

LD: Last season, with the death of Henchman 24, Henchman 21 went through so many changes, did you anticipate such an arc when you singled out these henchmen at the beginning?
Doc: Oh no, those two guys were anonymous henchmen!
Jackson:Yeah, we just got sick of them being anonymous. And we liked two voices we did.
Doc: Yeah they were made up on the spot. I mean it was just two voices that we used to do while reading people’s emails. [Both laugh] So we just put them in the show. I mean, I remember when it first happened, you know Jackson was trying to do that every time we would get a nerdy e-mail. He would get like 21 and then he did that weird Ray Romano voice. We just did it not knowing that these characters would be around for ten years.

LD: What type of e-mail would instigate the Romano voice?
Jackson: It was just him. I think we would just pick on him because we had like watched like past episodes—
Doc: We would pick on him and we would use his use his voice for just being not us but not being a character on the show. But now we can’t.
Jackson: Right. To express the opinion of someone—usually a negative one. [in Henchman 24’s Romano voice] ‘HEY WAY TO GOOOOO’
Doc: ‘GOOD JOB.’ That kind of crap.

LD: And, as opposed to 21, which character do you think has changed the least over the course of the show?
Doc: Has changed the least? Doc, actually.
Jackson: Yeah.
Doc: He’s gone through a lot of revelations but his basic character has not changed so much. Even Brock has had more changes than Doc has and Brock is rock steady.
Jackson: Even Hank has had more changes.
Doc: Hank, the boys, have had a lot of changed.

LD: Your characters have such great names, working on this for ten years are you  just constantly thinking of new potential characters?
Doc: It’s like a bi-annual thing.
Jackson: Yeah, I forget the good ones…
Doc: I think both of us have notebooks filled with idiot names and then there are actual documents of names of episodes that don’t exist. Like “Return to Spider Skull Island” was just a bad episode name that we wrote around.

LD: Does that happen often?
Doc: More than it should. I don’t know about often.
Jackson: Probably yeah, like two episodes out of every season we like, just have a working title the whole time we’re making it and then when we’re making the credits, we have an argument about what to name it and then we both make a list of about forty things and try to hone in on one.
Doc: Oh yeah. The amount—just like the season premiere, we both probably wrote forty different titles for. All of them would have been fine in anybody else’s book, and of these eighty, of the eighty titles that we came up with “What Color is Your Cleansuit?” was the one that we liked. Which is insane. That was just a good one for us.

LD: Any names from season five that you’re particularly excited about that you can share?
Doc: We’re very particularly excited about season five, but we can’t give out any spoilers because season five is coming and the episodes themselves—
Jackson: Oh! You can drop a name out, can’t you?
Doc: What? Titles? Characters?
Jackson: Or name.
Doc: Go ahead! I’m not gonna do it. I have a firm line on spoilers. But you can do it.
Jackson: We’ve already told people that there is an Augustus St. Cloud. Which we were excited about him this season. He exists. What’s the best episode title do you think?
Doc: Best episode title?! Pick yours…Mine are awful.
Jackson: [laughing]
Doc:  I have awful episode titles. They’re always awful. Name one of yours. One of yours that isn’t clever or just stupid. Those are my favorites.
Jackson: Right.
Doc: “O. S. I Love You” is a good title.
Jackson: There ya go.
Doc: That’s not bad.

LD: You’ve had a lot of gross stuff on the show—half-formed clones and skinsuits are jumping to mind—has there been anything that’s made you as grateful as I am that it’s all animated?
Doc: Like disgusting things that happened? Well nobody wants to see anybody turn into a caterpillar, we did that in episode three.
Jackson: Oh that would look so much better if we did it in episode five.
Doc: Oh, right? Yeah…
Jackson: It really just kind of looked like he was wearing a caterpillar costume, it was very just flat and stiff back then.
Doc: Some of the things that we do are bad ideas. Like we make a lot of jokes that really don’t work as well in cartoons as we think. Like we made a terry cloth joke. And you can’t animate terry cloth. It looks just like color.
Jackson: Right, or tin foil. We did eventually get good tin foil though…
Doc: We kept asking for tin foil and eventually we got tin foil.
Jackson: We did the worst tin foil hats for season one and then we did like amazing ones last season that the Korean studio even called us and went ‘Hey, can you simplify the tin foil design please?’ It was like five hundred facets of tin foil…
Doc: And you couldn’t really move it. You could only draw it once and then have tin foil floating. The first season just looked like a gray hat—
Jackson: Like a gray walnut shell is what it looked like.
Doc: Yeah, you knew it was tin foil. But you can’t make tinfoil jokes, you can’t make terry cloth jokes—
Jackson: My god, I want to make corduroy jokes so bad!
Doc: And you can’t show corduroy because you can’t really animate corduroy…
Jackson: I know!
Doc: We can barely get a car to turn the corner nicely. We’re never gonna get corduroy on that screen.

Venture Brothers premieres Sunday, June 2nd on Cartoon Network. Also making a return this year is the show’s exclusive weekly Shirt Club, not seen since season three. More info can be found, here

In the meantime, Adult Swim has released a full four-season recap video hosted by Henchman 21 to get you all ready for the new season!

Eddie Jackson talks about the future of Queensrÿche and their new album

Eddie Jackson is the bassist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Queensrÿche. In the past year, the group parted ways with original singer Geoff Tate and brought in former Crimson Glory front man Todd La Torre to fill the vacant spot. The band sounds better than ever and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Eddie recently about the split and the group’s upcoming album.

Adam Lawton: Can you clear up any misconceptions from the past year about the two different versions of Queensrÿche going around?
Eddie Jackson: There are currently two bands out there. Geoff has his version of the band and Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and I have our own version of the band. We are just focusing on us and moving forward. We want to keep doing what we are doing and that is playing music and performing live. The transition away from Geoff as the lead singer was something that Michael, Scotty and I felt needed to happen.

AL: How has the band been received since the change was made?
EJ: Fans have been enjoying it and have really embraced Todd. We have enjoyed welcoming him in to our family. Fans have been very receptive and have enjoyed hearing some of the older material that we are now able to perform. With Todd’s vocal style he is able to sing and perform stuff from albums like “Rage For Order” and “Operation Mind Crime”. Things are going really great. We think it’s been great having fans connect with Todd.

AL: What has it been like revisiting that older material in a live setting?
EJ: It’s interesting. One of Todd’s favorite albums is “The Warning”. Going back and playing some of that stuff has been really fun. It may have taken us a few practices to relearn some of that older material but it’s refreshing. We have been having a lot of fun with everything.

AL:Can you give us an update on the new album?AL: What led to the band signing recently with Century Media Records?
EJ: It was kind of a mutual thing between the band and Century Media. We collectively sat down and we both wanted to create a new relationship. So far they have been a class act and we are very happy to be working with them.

EJ: The new album will be released on June 11th. We are all looking forward to having the fans check it out. Things are pretty much completed but we are still tweaking some things here and there. It has been nice working with James “Jimbo” Barton again. We have a great relationship with him from the past and we wanted to put out an album that captured the style of our previous albums. James was a blast and our first day back together was like no time had passed.

AL: What type of creative process did you take towards the new album?
EJ: We all sort of came in with our own pieces. There may have been a song or two that was already written but for the most part it was a collective effort. Todd is a great musician that not only sings but he plays drums and guitar. We all just threw out ideas and began working on the ones that we thought were the best and fit our style the most. When you can sit down and talk through what you are going to be working on it makes things a lot easier. We haven’t been able to do something like that in quite awhile.

AL: Can you tell us about the first single off the album?
EJ: The song is titled “Redemption” and it was released a few weeks ago. Stylistically this felt like the first song that we should release. This song was the one that we all thought would most identify with what the band is doing now.

AL: What types of tour plans are in the works to support the new album?
EJ: We have some US dates in the works right now. We also will be performing over in Europe and are working to get to a few other countries. We are going to be very busy this year and we are looking forward to it.

Donald Trump, Bret Michaels and La Toya Jackson talk about NBC’s "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"

Donald Trump returns with the first ever “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on Sunday, March 3, 2013. This is the sixth installment of “The Celebrity Apprentice” and the thirteenth season of “The Apprentice” series. This season, fourteen of your favorite business-savvy celebrity contestants return for a second chance to raise money and awareness for their charity of choice. The last person standing will be chosen as the Celebrity Apprentice and have the honor of delivering a $250,000 bonus check to their designated charity. The show’s executive producer and star Donald J. Trump along with entertainment icon La Toya Jackson, Poison front man Bret Michaels, also winner of the third season of Celebrity Apprentice took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about this season, their charities and what we can expect.

We all know that drama sells in this TV reality. Is this the most dramatic season yet?
Donald Trump: Well I’ll speak first. I think it’s certainly one of the most dramatic seasons. We have tremendous interest in the season and including Bret and La Toya, we have brought back some of the people that everybody really likes because it’s an All Star season. And I think yes, it’s a very dramatic season, amazing things happen. La Toya and Bret, go ahead.
La Toya Jackson: You have no idea, it’s very dramatic, it’s very exciting. There is so much going on. And you will see a lot of confrontations. It’s going to be a blast, you’ll love it. You will simply love it, everyone will.
Bret Michaels: I have found that as being there the first time it was something I really wanted to do. I had an absolutely great time and coming back obviously it is extremely dramatic and you’ll just have to watch because it will keep you riveted.

Bret, after winning Celebrity Apprentice in season three, did you feel like you had an advantage going into this one? What was your approach?
BM: The truth is here is the absolute truth. I actually felt like I had probably a major disadvantage because I feel like it’s like you want to call it the Super Bowl Syndrome — when a team comes back that has won it everyone is gunning for them. But I loved everyone who was on it and listen, as a lifelong diabetic, it’s a great opportunity for charity. I wanted to do it. But no doubt when you’re coming back they’re going to firing for you and you’ve just got to be strong and do the best you can.

Mr. Trump, What do you find so appealing about still doing the show?
DT: Well more than anything – yes I think more than anything else it’s the success of the show. It has just been amazing, you know, how well it has done and it took people by storm. As you know it became the number one show in many evenings over the years and it has been just a great success and it continues to be a phenomenal success for NBC and for me and for us. It has been an amazing success and I think maybe that’s why I keep doing it. It’s just that old thing. I could talk about many, many other shows that have tried to copy The Apprentice and they failed. They failed very quickly and miserably. And, you know, 15 of them now and I think more than anything else it’s really the success of the show. I enjoy doing it. As long as it continues to be successful I enjoy it.

After your experience on the show, what did you learn and plan for this season?
LTJ: Well first of all it’s such a fascinating show and I love the fact that he has given us this opportunity to promote our networks and what we’re doing as far as our charities are concerned. But I think I learned that personalities are individuals and you have to really be strong and steadfast no matter what happens, what you go through, stand by what you truly believe in and don’t let anyone deviate and you go into that road of deviation.

Were you expecting more out of the contestants since they have been through the show before? Were you a bit tougher on them?
DT: No I think they became a lot smarter, they understand the system better. We have a couple that did very, very well that frankly I wasn’t expecting as much from and I think they have learned the system a little bit. So it wasn’t that I was expecting more, I think they have become much smarter. I actually think that it made for an exciting show, very exciting show. I think it’s almost every one of them really have learned so much and it has become very, very exciting. It’s really a strong show, amazing show.

Bret and La Toya, did you have any hesitation about going back on the show or did you immediately think yes, I want to do this again.
LTJ: Well, I wanted to do it in the very beginning but the second time around I was a bit hesitant because I knew what I was faced with the first time. And I said you know what, you never give up, you always have to keep believing, you have to believe that you’re going to be the winner, you’re going to come through this really straightforward and strong. And I went for it, I went for it. Because if I have learned anything I have learned what Trump has taught us all that we need to put our best foot forward and don’t let anybody, anybody block us from anything that we wish to do or want to do. I felt it was very, very important to bring awareness as well to my charity which was National Network to End Domestic Violence. Because this show is so big and so wonderful, he has given us this opportunity to bring this awareness to our charities where everybody sees it and that interest goes there and then they start giving to the charity which is incredible. And it’s wonderful all the people who need it.
BM: No hesitation on my part at all. I was excited to do it, I wanted to do it the first time I did it and again I wasn’t – when I actually did it the first time I wasn’t at the peak of my best health. So this time getting the opportunity with All Stars and with La Toya and everyone that was there and Trace and Penn. I mean, these guys are all of them successful at what they do. There is a reason Mr. Trump and his show is a success. He’s a success in real life, in life life. And to be able to learn from that, I went in with no hesitation and realizing that the competition was going to be fierce. We all know each other, we all know the way each other plays, and for me I just went in headstrong and had a great time going there, zero hesitation. I would do it again.

Mr. Trump, why do you think the time was right to do the current All Stars edition?
DT: Well it just seemed good. You know, we’ve had so many people that have done so well on the show. They didn’t win but they did really well and they were really liked by the audience because ultimately it is about them being liked by the audience. And, you know, we have Trace Adkins coming back, we have so many people that did so well and just really were liked. I have such respect for Bret, you know, going on the show and because he could have sat to my side and it wouldn’t have been the same risk. But I really – I think you’ll see that Bret comes out amazingly, he comes out amazingly. But there was so much like and love for some of these contestants that we wanted to do an All Star version and bring back some of the, you know, whether it’s Gary Busey or Dennis Rodman, we have some – just some great people coming back.

Bret and La Toya, who do you guys think is your biggest competitor on the show and who surprised you the most?
LTJ: I think that in the beginning of the show I thought the biggest competitor, I knew it would be probably Penn. I just felt that. I don’t know why but I did of course and Trace of course. However, I felt that I would have a lot of problems with Omarosa and that was just a feeling. Because you can tell in the beginning when you see the people sort of sizing you out and saying little things to you but you’re still polite to them at the same time you’re going oh my God, it’s going to be war at some point. And you know it’s going to happen, you know it’s going to come. And yes of course it’s going to be an interesting season, let’s put it that way.
BM: Yes and I can add to this. There are – I look at everybody as massive competition on that show because everyone wants to win. They didn’t go there to lose. And, you know, you’ve got to just bring what is your game and pray that it works and bring your A game and pray that it works. And no doubt, La Toya said it best, everybody is competitive. And some of them are — I won’t mention any names — are pretty good TV professional villains. And as much as I think I’ve got nerves of steel they can rattle you, they can rattle you no doubt.
LTJ: And Bret you were a threat because as we all know Bret has already won so at this point you’re thinking oh no, Bret’s here, what are we going to do. So yes, it’s very competitive. And that’s one thing that you have to really, really mentally get yourself prepared for because people will do anything, and I do mean anything as Bret knows to win.
DT: And I’ll speak for Bret. He is very tough and he’s very, very smart.

Lastly, since you are playing for charity I’d like to give you the opportunity to tell us what is the name of your charity, what does it do, and why is that charity important to you personally?
LTJ: Well my charity that I was playing for was National Network to End Domestic Violence and that basically is a charity, as you all know domestic violence occurs all over the world and as we’re speaking now there are women and of course men that are just going through abuse at this very single moment. And they have no shelter, they feel that they have no lobby, they have nowhere to go. So I’m here to let them know that we are doing something about it and there are shelters, there is an 800 number that’s right there for you to call and get help. But this year – this charity that I’m playing for, National Network to End Domestic Violence was actually formed by the people themselves. So they went out and they got together and said we need a charity, we need a place to stay, something to do and have people come and donate for us. I thought that was very commendable of these little kids and women who were basically really suffering to get together and do something and say this is what our charity is going to be about and this is what it is. And it needs awareness. And people are just watching and just donating and I’m so happy. You can never, ever, ever have enough. And I truly believe that no one charity is better than the other but just bringing awareness to it is what I’m here for and I am very proud and pleased to be happy working with Mr. Trump to bring that awareness to it.
BM: My charity is simply called Life Rocks Foundation and I’ve had it for a really long time and it is – being a lifelong diabetic myself obviously a big part of it goes to diabetes. A big huge part of it which works also with ETF is St. Jude’s and childhood cancer and in Wounded Warriors and pet adoption. It’s got a variety of different things that we work. But it’s called Life Rocks Foundation Faces and Places and you just go to and you see the thousands of faces and the money every penny has been donated over the years.

Win Code to Watch "Inescapable" starring Marisa Tomei & Joshua Jackson on SundanceNOW [ENDED]


In conjunction with the theatrical release of “Inescapable”, Media Mikes is excited to to give two readers a chance to win a code to watch “Inescapable” starring Marisa Tomei & Joshua Jackson right now on SundanceNOW. All you have to do is let us know, in a few sentences, your favorite way to watch films on demand. The giveaway will be open until March 8th. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email. The film is currently in theaters and is also available on the platform at:

INESCAPABLE is now playing in select theaters and also available on IFC Films Video on Demand, and digital outlets: iTunes, Amazon Streaming, PS3 Playstation Unlimited, XBOX Zune, Google PLAY and YouTube.

Written and Directed by:
Ruba Nadda

Alexander Siddig, Marisa Tomei, Joshua Jackson, Oded Fehr, Danny Keogh, Saad Siddiqui, Hrant Alianak

Adib Abdel Kareem (Siddig) had made the perfect life for himself in Toronto: beautiful wife, two grown daughters, great job. He is a confident man, at ease in any setting – his Syrian background betrayed only by a slight accent and his daughters’ names, Muna and Leila. Adib is a man who has successfully built a life from scratch – a man who had left his past behind. Until his daughter, Muna, disappears in Damascus and his past catches up to him all at once.

Twenty-five years ago, Adib, a promising young officer in the Syrian military police, suddenly left Damascus under suspicious circumstances. He left his entire life behind, including the love of his life, Fatima (Tomei). He made his way to Canada and wiped the slate clean. He never told anyone about his past.

In order to find his daughter, he must confront the past that he left behind. INESCAPABLE is both a tense mystery and a character drama held together by the universal theme of undying and uncompromising love between a father and a daughter.

Blu-ray Review "Jackson 5ive: The Completed Animated Series"

Actors: Joel Cooper, Donald Fullilove, Mike Martinez, Edmund Sylvers, Craig Grandy, Paul Frees
Directors: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Classic Media
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Run Time: 506 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I can’t say that I was around for the original broadcast of the Saturday morning cartoon series “Jackson 5ive” but I do remember it from its re-broadcast in mid 80’s. Who doesn’t love the songs of Jackson Five. They are timeless and still resonate and entertain throughout the years. This series was a blend of music with the classic animation from the team of Rankin/Bass. It is not the “animagic” puppet style like Rankin/Bass’ other projects but still hold their charm. This series always reminds me of “The Beatles: Yellow Submarine”, since it has that trippy feel and does not include the original band members voices. I did love hearing legendary voice actor Paul Frees take on various roles through the episodes. Overall, the show is presented beautiful thanks to Classic Media and for the first time ever on DVD or Blu-ray. It is must purchase for sure!

Here is the track listing for each of the 46 songs through the complete 23 episodes:
Episode 1: ABC, Goin’ Back to Indiana; Episode 2: I’ll be There, The Young Folks; Episode 3: I Want You Back, 2-4-6-8; Episode 4: I’ll Bet You, Sixteen Candles; Episode 5: My Little Baby, It’s Great to be Here; Episode 6: The Love You Save, How Funky is Your Chicken; Episode 7: Reach In, Can I See You in the Morning?; Episode 8: The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage, Oh How Happy; Episode 9: The Wall, I Will Find a Way; Episode 10: Maybe Tomorrow, Nobody; Episode 11: (Come `Round Here) I’m the One You Need, (We’ve Got) Blue Skies; Episode 12: My Cherie Amour, Honey Chile

Episode 13: Ready or Not (Here I Come), La La (Means I Love You); Episode 14: Darling Dear, Don’t Know Why (I Love You); Episode 15: Petals, She’s Good; Episode 16: One More Chance, I Found that Girl; Episode: 17: Never Can Say Goodbye, Mama’s Pearl; Episode 18: Sugar Daddy, I Wanna Be Where You Are; Episode 20: I’m So Happy, In Our Small Way; Episode 21: Got to be There, Maria; Episode 22: Love is Here, Girl Don’t Take Your Love From Me; Episode 23: Little Bitty Pretty One, If I have to Move a Mountain

The 46 songs included throughout this series have been remastered songs but only delivers a Dolby Digital 2.0 track on the episodes. This is a little bit disappointing to be honest. The 1080p transfers of the episodes look good and deliver the classic animation feel. The animated though is little dated but still looks very impressive for a show that is over 40 years old. My two issues with the release is the box art, it is very focuses a lot on the 46 remastered songs and less on the show itself and zero mention of Rankin/Bass on the front or back. The second thing is that there are no special features included for this, I would have loved to seen included retro TV spots from the series. Though fans of Rankin/Bass and Jackson Five, should still enjoy the chance to finally own this complete series at home.

Strand Releasing releases “Girlfriend” with Jackson Rathbone on VOD and DVD

GIRLFRIEND is the first North American feature film to star a man with Down Syndrome in the lead role, Evan Sneider. After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival to outstanding reviews, the film screened theatrically and recently won the prestigious Audience Award at the 2011 Gotham Independent Film Awards, an honor previously bestowed upon WAITING FOR SUPERMAN.

As a result of this tremendous support by the public, the film was recently picked up for distribution and will be released by Strand Releasing on DVD, VOD in 90 million homes (Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Dish Network, Direct TV), Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and Vudu.

More information about the film:
Official Film Stills for Download:

Official Selection at:
2010 Toronto International Film Festival (World Premiere)
2011 Festroia International Film Festival
2011 Moscow International Film Festival
2011 Galway Film Fleadh
2011 Woods Hole Film Festival
2011 White Sands International Film Festival
2011 Ghent International Film Festival
2011 Mill Valley Film Festival
2011 Sao Paolo International Film Festival
2012 New York Disabilities Film Festival
2012 San Francisco Independent Film Festival

Best Narrative Film (Jury Prize) – 2011 Woods Hole Film Festival
Best Film of the Festival (Audience Award) – 2011 Woods Hole Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize – 2011 White Sands Int’l Film Festival
Best Director – 2011 White Sands Int’l Film Festival
Audience Award – 2011 Mill Valley Film Festival
Audience Award – 2011 Gotham Independent Film Awards





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“Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]


To celebrate the release of “Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway EIGHT copies of the film on DVD. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite Michael Jackson song. This giveaway will be open until Monday November 14th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Movie Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

See Michael Jackson, one of the most recognizable and popular entertainers of all time, like never before in the feature-length tribute Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon. Known to millions of fans worldwide for his record-breaking albums, groundbreaking music videos, mesmerizing dance moves and humanitarian efforts, his true story has never really been told…until now. This unprecedented look into the King of Pop’s fascinating life includes all-new interviews with his mother Katherine Jackson as well as siblings Tito and Rebbie Jackson, family, friends and music legends such as Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick and many more.

Bonus Features:
Katherine Jackson Additional Interview Footage
Tito Jackson Additional Interview Footage
Rebbie Jackson Additional Interview Footage
Additional Contributors Interview Footage

“Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon” Hits Stores November 1st


 Michael Jackson:
The Life of an Icon




Universal City, CA, September 6, 2011 – Prepare to go behind the headlines as Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine, brother Tito, sister Rebbie and more than fifty friends, peers and associates share intimate and fascinating stories about the singer’s illustrious life.  Directed by Andrew Eastel and produced by television star David Gest, Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon is not only a celebration of Michael’s life, but also a powerful behind-the-scenes account of the star’s early years with the Jackson 5, his rise to global solo-stardom through to the final moments before his sudden death in 2009.  Available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on November 1st 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, the release also features performance footage as well as never-before-seen family photography.

Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon features multiple interviews with Katherine Jackson as she shares her memories about Michael’s upbringing in Gary, Indiana, provides insight into his relationship with father Joe, shows her support for her son during the court cases he challenged and gives her thoughts on the life he faced afterwards.  Rebbie Jackson recounts the star’s childhood, his extraordinary bond with mother Katherine and his decline in later years and Tito Jackson provides an in-depth look into Jackson’s history and what his family went through during Jackson’s sensational trial in 2005. 


  • ADDITIONAL INTERVIEW FOOTAGE: Katherine Jackson, Tito Jackson, Rebbie Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Jimmy Ruffin, Peabo Bryson and many more!


Producer David Gest has pieced together the most important facts about Jackson’s life based on unseen first-hand accounts he has recently recorded with an important group of people who knew the star well.  In addition to celebrating his many achievements as the biggest selling artist of all-time, the film will finally answer some of the speculation surrounding Jackson’s life.

Also included in the show is rare, in-studio and live television performance footage of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 as well as unforgettable original music from the Motown period by Michael, the Jackson 5 and other artists who Jackson respected and was influenced by. The soundtrack includes more than twenty-one classic tunes.


Street Date:  November 1, 2011

Copyright:  Film © 2011 David Gest Production, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Packaging © 2011 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Selection Number: 61120339

Picture Format: Widescreen

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Rating: Not Rated

Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish & Swedish

Layers: BD-50

Audio:              English Dolby Digital 5.1

Run Time: 157 mins



Street Date: November 1, 2011

Copyright: Film © 2011 David Gest Production, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Packaging © 2011 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Selection Number: 61120341

Picture Format: Widescreen

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Rating: Not Rated

Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French & Spanish

Layers: DVD-9

Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Run Time: 157 mins


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Interview with 100 Monkeys

100 Monkeys is a funk rock band featuring its members Ben Graupner, Ben Johnson, Jackson Rathbone (“The Twilight Saga”), Jerad Anderson and Lawrence Abrams. What is unique about this band is that they each do not have a set role in the band and each member switches instruments and roles titled the “Monkey Switcheroo”. This band is not like any other band I have ever seen live. They explode with inspiration and experimentation when they perform live. They recently just released their second studio album titled “Liquid Zoo”. Media Mikes got to hang out with the band during their House of Blues Orlando, FL tour stop and chatted with them about their music and their unique concert experience.

Click here for a chance to WIN a SIGNED CD, “Liquid Zoo” from the band!!

Mike Gencarelli: Your first album, Monster De Lux was all improvised, how do you feel that you have evolved in “Liquid Zoo”?
Ben Graupner: Well “Liquid Zoo” is our second studio album like “Grape,” where we went in with a bunch of pre-written songs and really worked them out with a studio style of recording. It has a lot of influence from the Louisiana area because we traveled that album from Van Nuys, California to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. So that’s probably responsible for the brass, the gospel choir, and sort of just the general tone of the album. We are always looking to do something new and something crazy.

Patty Gencarell: You’ve been compared to bands such as The Beatles and Iggy Pop, who have you been inspired by musically?
Lawrence Abrams: Each other. I would say, each other.
Jackson Rathbone: Yea, there’s so many different inspirations. We all come from different walks of life, from different areas of the country, from different planets in the solar system [laughs].
PG: Yea, I read Mars, right?
Jerad Anderson: [laughs] Good looking out. Good looking out.
Ben Johnson: Yea, we’ve got Mars over here [motions to Uncle Larry].
JR: I think we carry that with us. Ben Johnson, Ben Graupner and myself all went to high school with an amazing artist named Spencer Bell. Johnson played in a band called, The Stevedores, with Spence. They released one album before Spencer passed away. He’s still, honestly, a really big inspiration for us, especially as song writers. What we do after we write a song is we’ll bring it to the group. We write in really different varied forms. Sometimes one of us will have a song pre-written and bring it to the group and it will change drastically. Or sometimes we’ll just be jamming and then we’ll write a song during a jam and then we’ll perform it that night. It’s very eclectic the way we write our music and how we perform it. At the end of the day, a lot of our song writing is influenced by the song writing of Spencer Bell. If you check out his albums, I think you’ll see it. If you look at his,[asks the group] is it “Live and Wasted” that has “The Monkey Song” on it?
BJ: Yea well “Live and Wasted” and “Live Art Fleetwood” have “The Monkey Song” on them.
JR: And if you look at Spencer’s version of “The Monkey Song” and our version of “The Monkey Song,” it’s very different but it’s kind of like the way we write. We might write a song one way but then, because we all mix up instruments, we might just rearrange the orchestration and just kind of make it 100 Monkeys.
PG: For the track “Ugly Girl”, what or who was your inspiration? Was it a type of person or a specific person?
JR: “Ugly Girl” was definitely inspired by a type of person not one in particular. It was interesting because it was one of those songs that we were kind of like separately writing, while we were in different parts of the world, literally. “LDF,” the song off of “Grape” and “Ugly Girl” were both kind of partially written in London and in Los Angeles. The part of the lyrics that I wrote in London, were really inspired by the different attitudes that I felt whenever I would travel over there and then when I went back to Los Angeles. It was like, ‘Oh, okay, yea that’s definitely one of the vainest cities that I’ve ever been to in my life.’

MG: In your videos for “Wandering Minds” and “Ugly Girl”, you certainly aren’t afraid of getting dirty, do you enjoy the video making process?
BG: Oh yea, definitely, it’s a lot of fun. William Schmidt directed both of those videos so it’s always fun to work with Will. We like to have a goodtime in our videos and we’ve got a new video coming soon that we’re really excited about. I think people are really going to like it.
MG: What song is it for?
BG: It’s for “Modern Times.”
PG: The pink nail polish in the video was a really nice touch.
UL: Well you never want to give monkeys makeup!
BG: You see what happens, it doesn’t work out well. [laughs]
JR:My favorite is still in the “Wandering Minds” video when something hits you for the first time, [motions to Ben Johnson] you just go right thru it and something bangs this object right like ‘bonk’ [laughs] and you just keep going, you just keep playing.

PG: From video making to movie making, Jerad, you produced the film “Girlfriend” co-starring yourself and Jackson and also scored by the band, what is next up for your production company?
JA: We’ve got something in the works that’s a high school wrestling comedy. It’s supposed to shoot October 17, and the band will be scoring that as well. So that’s what’s next on our closest horizon.

MG: Do you guys find a major difference between making music and creating a score?
BG: Yea it’s a totally different process. When you are making a score, I think that the major aspect is trying to make the music disappear rather than have the music stand out on its own. You’re looking for something that you almost don’t notice is there. You can tell when it starts working because the movie and the images pop off the screen. And when you take the music away, they don’t. It’s a night and day difference; two different worlds.

PG: Any possibility about appearing on the “Breaking Dawn Part 1 or 2” soundtrack?
JR: Honestly, we are not allowed to talk about it.

PG: Jackson, when you are on stage, how does it compare for you to working on films like “The Twilight Saga”? Do you have a preference?
JR: Do you have parents?
PG: Yes.
JR: Which do you like better? Do you have a favorite?
PG: Um, no. [laughs]
JR: Exactly.
PG: Not in written word. [band laughs] I’m a teacher so you know, ‘we have no favorites.’
UL: That’s exactly what he’s saying.
JR: I think it was the first time I ever got up on stage and I was singing, acting and I was dancing. And it’s just all about entertainment. I think all of us are entertainers, and that’s the greatest feeling in the world to allow someone to escapes for an hour and a half whether it be at a rock show or at a film, and get outside of their own lives. Hopefully, maybe it makes you think about something different. “Girlfriend,” the movie that Jerad produced and we scored, and I also co-produced with my company, PatchMo Entertainment, that’s a really important film for us. That was a really passionate project for us because it stars a young man with Downs Syndrome, an incredible actor by the name of Evan Sneider. And it’s just touched the lives of so many people. A lot of people have this preconceived notion about Downs Syndrome and people with Downs Syndrome. Then you watch that film and you’re like, well this actor is one of the best actors that I’ve ever worked with. Amanda Plummer, a seasoned veteran, said that he’s the best actor she’s ever worked with.His performance has inspired people all around the world and it’s just incredible to be able to have that effect. That’s what entertainment does, it either makes you laugh or makes you cry; makes you think about your life and that’s amazing. The power of any piece of art, it’s what it does.

PG: Jerad, just touching on Downs Syndrome. I’ve worked in special education for the past five years, with Deaf children and children who are hard of hearing.
JA: I understand Sign Language. [Using American Sign Language]
PG: Yes, exactly, I do too.
JR: [They’re speaking in sign language right now.]
PG: Where did you learn ASL?
JA: Actually it was something that I got into and took as a foreign language for school. Then I worked retail and met a bunch of Deaf people while working there and I made friends with them. I sort of struggled and tried to use what I was learning and then it just started becoming a part of me. I ended up having and making good friends with one Deaf person and lived with as a roommate for one year. Then I was a TA (teacher’s assistant), for the Sign Language Department just because I liked it.
PG: I was sort of thrown into it myself, having been excessed to a Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. I loved working in it.
JA: Yea, it’s a different culture. They have their own culture. We actually have Deaf people who come to our shows and have a good time, because they can feel the vibration of the music. They enjoy what we do on stage, the spectacle.

MG: Tell us about performing, what do you like most about touring, getting to improvise every concert and performing the “Monkey Switcheroo”?
JR: There are so many different aspects of touring that really makes us happy. One is the stage show, the switching, that’s just what we do. That’s what makes 100 Monkeys special. However, I think one of the favorite aspects of touring for all of us has been being able to meet new bands. For instance, are y’all local here? (Orlando)
PG & MG: Yea.
JR: If you were able to check out Beebs and Her Money Makers, they were fantastic. And you know, it’s being able to meet new bands like them, that being inspired by them to either up the ante or try something different. When we were in Nashville, Tennessee, we met the bassist for Darius Rucker, this guy named John Mason. He was great, we took him out for a beer afterwards and really just pried into his brain about what about our stage show that maybe even we can perfect. I think that’s what we really love about touring. It’s getting to meet the fans, face to face, and getting to meet new bands that are doing new cool things. We get toys all the time [motioning to the 100 Monkeys’ monkey given to Ben Graupner] which keeps us entertained because we all have ADHD, which really showcases in our music and our instrumentation. [laughs]

PG: Tell us about the Spencer Bell Memorial Project?
JR: It’s one of those things that’s really near and dear to our hearts. We’ve been doing it for a long time.
BG: It’s evolved recently and we now do The Spencer Bell Legacy concerts. The most recent one was put on at Mohawks in Austin, Texas. It wasn’t even put on by one of us or Spencer’s family. It was just a couple of fans of his music who took it upon themselves to contact all the bands and put on the show. We think that’s really cool, that people are inspired by his music. They love his music and his writing. They are just taking it upon themselves to bring people together to celebrate it. Also there has been, what was the name of that drug that they did the research for?
JR: I’m not sure of the exact name of the drug. But due to the money that has been raised by the fans over the course of a couple of years doing the SBLs, they actually changed the adrenal cancer drug for the first time since 1965. Dr. Gary Hammer was finally able to persuade the pharmaceutical companies. Literally the 100 Monkey Effect is about the collective consciousness and about raising an awareness for something. Because we were able to raise such an awareness for it, he finally was able to convince the pharmaceutical companies to create a new drug since 1965, which is extremely, extremely hard to do because there’s no money in it. Pharmaceutical companies only focus on what will make them money. If its orphan cancers like that, there’s not enough people out there with that specific cancer. The interesting thing about adrenal cancer, and other orphan cancers like it that kill a lot of people all over the world, is that it is one mutation of a chromosome. Which hopefully if you can find a cure for that, then you can really get deeper into being able to find a cure for breast cancer which has 30 different mutations and prostate cancer which also has about 30 different mutations. So hopefully if we focus on orphan cancer awareness, we can get doctors to discover what one mutation takes. Because one mutation is what starts it all; and that’s the hardest thing to find and that’s really exactly what we are trying to figure out with orphan cancer.

All photos taken by and are Copyright © Patty Gencarelli