Artist Q&A

@JamminJavaMei's Q&A With Gustafer Yellowgold


Did you know Jammin Java is home to one of the country's best children's music concert series in a club? Gustafer Yellowgold is one of the most unique acts we have here. The shows are a unique blend of live music and moving image. Minimally animated illustrations are accompanied by illustrator/songwriter Morgan Taylor's catchy and original story-songs for a truly different multimedia experience that is entrancing children and adults alike. He's supported acts such as Wilco and The Polyphonic Spree. Gustafer is here Saturday April 12.

Where and when was your first show? 

Strangely enough, Seoul, Korea.  Summer of 2005.  I was there on tour as a guitarist for Rachel Loshak, and on the final day of the week-long visit, showed our presenters the prototype of the first Gustafer Yellowgold DVD.  I was surprised when they asked me to play a couple of songs in the final concert’s intermission.  The theater’s projectionist ran the karaoke version for me to play and sing to and the entire crowd of 400+ adults laughed, smiled and clapped excitedly through the whole thing. That’s when we knew we were on to something new, fun and exciting.

What band/artist would you consider to be your main influence?

Well, it’s hard not reference the Beatles in some way when asked this, but really I think it was even more the wave of bands that came out of their influence.  All the great melodic pop rock of the 1970’s.  ELO,  Supertramp, Cheap Trick, Fleetwood Mac, Bread, 10cc…the list is long!

What is one of your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experiences?

I played a benefit show with a really bad allergy cold, next to a loud bouncy-castle in an indoor kids’ playland place, trying to sing, be heard and do my humorous between-song story-telling bits while a giant Elmo mascot danced around nearby, completely distracting the audience.  I thought maybe if I smashed my guitar over his back I could have at least gotten some good publicity out of it...

Favorite Food:

Vietnamese pho soup.  Whenever I’m on tour I always try to find the best one in every town.  I’ve made it at home a couple of times and it’s a pretty involved process with great aromatic spices. Makes me appreciate it even more when I find a good one out on the road.

Favorite Drink:

Cold-pressed iced coffee.  I could go on forever talking about cold-pressed coffee, and after drinking some, I usually do. The process brings out the natural sweetness of the coffee beans and it’s really smooth and never bitter, even using a dark roast. And it’s like rocket-fuel-caffeinated, hence the talking a lot.

If you were to have a film/movie based on your career, which actors or band would you select to portray yourself?

It would be a Wes Andreson movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch about a kid who gets in trouble for drawing and singing in class instead of paying attention, then somehow in adulthood makes a career out of a combination of those exact two things...

What two words would best describe your music?

Suess McCartney.