Band of the Week: Something Involving a Monkey

Meet the band: Joe P. (guitar, keyboards and vocals), BeZo (bass, keyboards vocals), Nick Ritz (drums, percussion, sampling)

Just Monkeying Around: Joe P. and original drummer Todd Ankrom played in the Family Riot. When that band imploded in 2010, they recruited bassist/kazoo player BeZo from Resist/Blood Runs Dry. "Me and drummer Todd Ankrom and BeZo wanted to do something creative and goofy and heavy and unique," says Joe P. "We started jamming and soon we were gigging all over the place. The name was BeZo's creation that came about from a search engine online. We thought we could do a lot with that image. Ultimately, the joke is that it leaves you with a question mark: What the hell is this?"

Proof is in the Pudding: In the music video for the noisy "I've Got Pudding," the band gets in a pudding fight while standing in Joe P.'s kitchen. "We wanted to have the most ridiculous thing to scream about on a grinding metal tune," says Joe P. "So we wrote a New Jersey-inspired, Dillinger Escape Plan type of tune, and we yelled about pudding."

A Long Shelf Life: Three years ago, Ankrom suffered a massive heart attack moments after a show and the band struggled to carry on without him. When the band did regroup and was finally set to release its debut, its record deal fell through. The debut, The Wasteland, finally comes out this week. "We do everything backward and wrong," says Joe P. "We're finally releasing it 400 days after it was supposed to be released."

Why You Should Hear Them: Songs like "I Was Hip Before You Were Born" feature thick bass lines and off-kilter vocals that suggest the band's wide range of musical influences. "It's other music," says Joe P. when asked to describe the band's sound. "Humor is really important. We get that from Frank Zappa and Gwar. You can't take yourself too seriously. I love metal but I like other genres as well. Our sound is if System of a Down was heading north up Route 1 in California and Primus was heading south, and they crashed and fell into the ocean. What emerged would be Something Involving a Monkey."

Where You Can Hear Them: reverbnation.com/somethinginvolvingamonkey

Where You Can See Them: Something Involving a Monkey performs with X-Members, Third World Leader, Bound By Fate, Infalling and Mr. Denton on Doomsday at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, at the Agora Ballroom.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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