As you know... I am a mom. I have a five-year-old and a two-year-old. I am not the kind of mom that can sit and listen to RAFFI over and over every day. It would kill my soul. I know it. I was so excited to see that They Might Be Giants was doing kids stuff and we engorged ourselves on that. I'm also a fan of Dan Zanes. Thanks to Yo Gabba Gabba and Jack's Gig Music how my kids are finding more kid friendly music to listen to that I actually enjoy. It's easier than having to edit The Dead Milkmen (which my son LOVES).You have NO idea how very ecstatic I was when I found that my friend Jim Gyuro had formed his own kid friendly group, Mr. Mocos. I would listen to this even if I didn't have the little ones. He rocks. I am excited to share this interview I did with him as well as his links. Check him out. He's a fave in this house and I know he can become one in your abode to!
Me: How long have you been playing music?
Jim: I started playing music in the 1st grade, piano lessons. I took lessons through the 5th or 6th grade, then I discovered the guitar! I liked the guitar a lot more than the piano because I could move around. I kept up with the guitar over the years and formed my first band as a sophomore in high school with my friend Tom Alexander. We started out with just a keyboard and drum machine...Tom bought a guitar and I bought a bass. We recorded songs for years and played live all through college. After college I found myself in a few other rock bands, made a couple of self produced CDs and had a great time.
Me: What made you start playing kids music?
Jim: I started playing kids music because some of my friends that had children were going crazy with the selection of music available for kids. They would play some of my "grown-up" band songs to them and found that the kids liked that more than the "ABC, 123, blue, red, look at me" CDs. So I took the same type of music I was playing for adults and just made the lyrics kid-friendly. Mostly the song subject come from my own memories as a kid, my bikes, playing with bugs, being sick etc.
Me: What are your influences?
Jim: My influences include Reverend Horton Heat, They Might Be Giants, The Presidents of the United States, Elvis, The Beach Boys, and a few obscure 80s goth/alternative bands. I am mostly influenced by the gritty 50s R and B and 60s surf music.
Me: What are you working on now?
Jim: I have 1 CD in the can and currently on iTunes and CD Baby. I'm working on getting the next set of 10 songs for the 2nd album. I'm half way there. I've hooked up with the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ to play a couple of times per month so my catalogue of songs is growing. I have 5 new tunes that are not on the current CD, "You Can Pick Your Friends" but demos are available to listen to on the FaceBook page.
Me: What's your favorite kids' group that's not you?
Jim: My favorite kids group that is not me would be The Jimmies. First of all, cool name - (same as my real name), they spell Jimmie right and they RAWK! "Bedhead" has to be one of my all time faves and the video is super cool. And of course They Might Be Giants, be it their kids music or regular music. My daughter is currently in LOVE with Mickey Mouse and we have to watch The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse whenever we can. They Might Be Giants does the theme song and the "Hot Dog Dance" song as well. I find myself singing both tunes all the time and my daughter goes nuts when she hears the Hot Dog song, she dances all over the room.
Me: Any parenting advice? (Jim has a beautiful little toddler named PJ)
Jim: My parenting advice is love your kids, have fun with them, be firm but fair, give them rules and boundaries to start them off in the right path. You don't want them to grow up and just be your friend, we all know what trouble some of our friends have gotten us all into. We are the models they will follow when they grow up and have kids, keep the cycle healthy and loving.
Me: What's your favorite kids' book?
Jim: My favorite kids book is a toss up between Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Both have kept a hold on me throughout the years due to their influence of using your imagination. Kids without imaginations are a travesty, never let it happen. Imagination is what led me to create music and hopefully spread some joy in the world.
Me: Thanks Jim!