Some years ago, a temp company assigned a worker to a “filing job.” The worker showed up at a warehouse where they sat him down at a desk. A supervisor cracked open a crate with a crowbar and pulled out a small box with a metal plumbing screw inside of it. The supervisor pointed to the screw and said, “You see where the little metal shavings are on these screws? We need you to FILE those,” and he handed the worker a metal file. “Ha! ‘Filing…’ A well trained monkey could do this job,” thought the worker.
Fortunately for this office drone, bigger things were on the horizon, and he began utilizing his skills as a composer, producer and instrumentalist to develop a one man band. Taking inspiration from his dubious experiences as a temp worker in the “filing” job and others, he called his act Well Trained Monkey, and began working up an array of songs.
Having been strongly influenced by the instrumental prowess of progressive rock and fusion musicians including Frank Zappa, Rush, Al DiMeola and Jeff Beck in his earlier years, Well Trained Monkey got instrumental, learning to play guitar and alto saxophone in high school. During college he further developed his skills as a musician, forming bands with friends he still calls to the stage at live shows today.
Through the influence of these broad minded friends Well Trained Monkey became increasingly intrigued by the worlds of electronica, hip-hop, and DJ culture through artists such as The Chemical Brothers, Mu-Ziq, and Amon Tobin. He concluded that live instrumental jazz fusion and loopy sampling electronica could be combined. He began experimenting with beats, loops, samplers and synthesizers to further develop his compositions.
Finally, a growing collection of classic tiki mugs and a healthy interest in ‘50s and ‘60s cocktail culture would convince the composer to add a dash of island exotica from artists like Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Les Baxter for a finishing touch to the musical recipe. A list of cover songs done live in this style would grow to include the classics “Tequila,” “Misirlou,” “Caravan,” and “Yellow Bird.”
Today, his energetic one-man band performances featuring funky sax, live looped bass parts over electro-Calypso beats, hot blues harmonica and screaming wah-wah bass solos in a flashy track suit and Vegas shades are gaining Well Trained Monkey a reputation as an excellent funk fusion musician, while his work as a composer and producer is gaining online attention from artists and fans worldwide.
In fact, gentle reader, it’s quite likely you too have become enchanted with the exotic rhythms, mysterious moods, and quirky compositions of Well Trained Monkey and would like to spend some time in the “Electro-Funk Tiki Lounge” yourself. The debut album is available now.