Koo Koo Kanga Roo on their 30-song album, and the youth of today

Koo Koo Kanga Roo on their 30-song album, and the youth of today
Photo via Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Minneapolis pop group, Koo Koo Kanga Roo came up with the idea to release an album of 30 songs -- albeit each song is only a minute long -- a few years ago and have finally finished up their ambitious project. Critters represents a high watermark in many aspects: it's a culmination of wicked humor and the sound of pure joy condensed into one pop-culture bundle.

Gimme Noise spoke with Bryan (first names only) of Koo Koo Kanga Roo before his and Neil's album release at Cause on Friday evening.

Gimme Noise: Thirty tracks and all just one minute long. Who came up with this idea? And why have them be about critters?

We both came up with it about 3 years ago and have been talking about it since. We like to create boundaries for our songs and show, because we can create wilder stuff when we have rules that we make up.

We thought if we could create a decently catchy 30 song album with every song exactly one minute, people would talk about it. I have no idea why we picked animals, I cant stand animals, especially house pets. But we can write about anything, we're like jingle writers -- give us a topic and we will go.

I feel most people would think an animal record would focus on physical features, like, "Oooh this giraffe is tall, he has spots." We wanted to do things people wouldn't think about normally, like giraffes having a severe addiction to pizza, so severe he can't hold a job and keep a girlfriend.

Is it more difficult to come up with thirty different songs, or to have a 12-song album that contain longer songs?

Maybe not the 30 song aspect, but definitely keeping them exactly one minute long was extremely hard or more challenging.

One minute in most songs is just when the chorus is hitting, we had to think of different way to keep all the songs interesting and seem complete with in the minute. Some are verse, chorus, verse; two verses no chorus, only chorus, and others are just nonsense.

Seems like this album was geared towards a younger crowd. How do you feel about your young demographic?

I think the only reason it seems younger is because the songs are all so specific...any maybe because they are "sing-a-longy," but we always try to make songs that we love. When we make a song, we create it for a 26-year-old, not for a kid or anyone in particular. I guess we just hang with really goofy elementary 26-year-olds.

As far as how we feel about our younger demographic, we love them, we love all our fans and they come in every age. We just create our stuff for us so it was interesting when kids starter listening.  We never intended on it. 

Any plans on making a more "adult" album in the near future?

I think adult for us would be a club track about partying and teepeeing someones house, and yes, we are working on those songs. The next batch of tunes is a 10 song club record, along with a TV show pilot we are working on. We will have to see how that goes.

All of your music is "pay what you want." How does the tip jar method work for you guys? Why do you use this to get your music out to people?

It works pretty well. We use that method because we want people to fall in love with our band and get them to the shows, get them watching our video,s and dancing to our songs.

If they like what they hear, they can slip us some dough.  Because we are so hard to explain to your friends, I don't think anyone would listen to our songs if we charged at the get go.

Dance is a big part of Koo Koo Kanga Roo's music. Why is this?

Because Neil and I love to get our groove on.  We love to dance, it's the best way to get people into your live show, get them active, get them singing.

You know when a band has one hit song and everyone waits till that part of there set to go nuts and sing a long?  We try our hardest to make it so someone who has never seen us before can show up and scream a long and freakout right from the get go.

What artists are inspiring you lately in the creative realm?

Bieber, Hot Chip, Justin Pierre's Farewell Continental, Elliott from Sleeping in the Aviary's dancey songs, P.O.S.'s new tracks he's been playing live -- they are incredible.

But there is a ton of non musical stuff that has been inspiring the Koo Koo machine, like the City Museum in St. Louis with its 8 story welded together playground, and Comedy Bang Bang's new IFC show with Reggie Watts.

That weird creative stuff is really what gets us going. The band was started by thinking outside the box to create a different live experience and as we streamline and make poppier stuff, we are always looking for ways to hop back out of that box.

What's next for the band? Are you planning on doing a tour with this album?

We are playing a few shows, nothing huge like in the past yet. Most of Critters is really hard to play live, they don't fit like the rest of our songs do into a live setting.

We are working with a gentleman from FOX on creating a pilot episode for a Koo Koo Kanga Roo TV show. We really feel like that is the future for us, a Pee Wee Herman/Flight of the Concords type TV show, and then an amped up live show tour to follow.

What can we expect at the CD release show at Cause?

Crap tons of animals and confetti. If you are looking to have your friends experience the TRUE Koo Koo, this will be the show.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo will release Critters at Cause on Friday, August 10, 2012 with General B and The Wiz and Googly Guy.
21+, $5, 9 pm

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