Here is an article I wrote for my school’s news paper about the band Koo Koo Kanga Roo. It was the first interview I’ve ever done and it was amazing to be able to do it with one of my favorite bands.
“A children’s band for adults” is not something you hear everyday, but when you listen to the musical duo from Minnesota known as Koo Koo Kanga Roo it’ll make perfect sense.
With 3 albums, 11 music videos, a workout tape, and 3 coloring books the dance-pop group that has been around since 2007 known as Koo Koo Kanga Roo has become more and more popular with people of all ages. Not only have they created a lot of material, but they have toured with bands such as Reel Big Fish, The Aquabats! and Streetlight Manifesto.
I had the opportunity to talk with Bryan Atchison from the band and asked him a few questions.
Who are your inspirations musically?
Musicals, Blink 182, Cartoon soundtracks, and weird club music.
How do you guys come up with the ideas for your songs? With songs like “Unicorns R Real” and “Fanny Pack” it’s pretty clear that you guys are extremely creative.
Just find topics that we think are funny. Mostly its starts with a dance move and goes from there.
How did you guys meet each other?
We were college roommates and haven’t split since.
Were either of you ever in bands before Koo Koo Kanga Roo?
We were in a band together. Neil played drums, I sang. Before that Neil was in a punk band at his high school and I was in a ‘70s cover band with my brother.
Did you expect to become as successful as you are when you began?
Didn’t ever think it would come this far. Just did stuff that was a bit different, but that our moms liked and it has turned out ok.
Where did the name Koo Koo Kanga Roo come from?
I think it was on a long brainstorm list we had going. We didn’t even know what the band was then. Could have been a metal band.
Did you expect to have a fanbase with such a large age range when you guys started?
Never thought about the kids side. All our first shows were for our college pals. The rest just tagged along.
How have the reactions to your newest album “Whoopty Whoop” been?
I think good? Do you like it? (Personally I love it) I only get reactions from people who like Koo Koo. The people who don’t like us are pretty respectful.
You have three albums, five EP’s, a compilation album, 11 music videos, a workout video, and three books. Do you guys have any plans for new projects in the upcoming future?
Working on a motivational cassette. Also trying to release a holiday album with a song for every holiday. But those kind of things take us a while.
What kind of reaction do you normally get from the crowd when touring with bands like Reel Big Fish?
Usually pretty positive. Whenever someone doesn’t like it, it rallies everyone else stronger.
When I saw you guys you were so energetic. How do you manage to play a whole show and have so much energy the whole time?
We like what we do, so that fuels it. We try to kind of keep in shape so we don’t kill ourselves, but that’s why we talk so much. We are gasping for air. And we like to entertain.
Do you think being a participating member of the audience will change the experience people have at your shows?
We like when they participate. It makes it more fun for us. But when people sit and watch from a far that works too. I’m usually the guy watching from afar.
I recently saw you perform with The Aquabats on their latest tour. What was it like touring with them? Do you enjoy touring?
Love touring. Love The Aquabats. They gave us our first shot ever on a national tour and can never repay them for what they have taught us.
Lastly, do you have any advice for people who want to start bands?
Just start. Don’t over think it. Be small. Small is good. Get a flexible part time job so you can play odd shows. Do expect to get paid. Be different. Be really, really nice to every single person you meet. Everyone.