Local popsters MunkyDust formed back in 1997, and are perhaps best known as the guys who play out at Udall Park. The band consisting of Matt Carpenter (bass), Matt Kennedy (drums), Ryan Tripp (guitar), and Brady Willard (guitar), has made one recording, "Music From The Meatwagon," which sold out at five bucks a tape. A CD release, called "The Sentimental Album," is currently in the works which will include the songs from "Meatwagon," and six new songs. Currently out of commission while three of the four members fulfill their religious duties as missionaries for the Mormon church, I was able to speak with drummer Matt Kennedy who promised the bands return to Tucson's music scene!
Q: How did your band, MunkyDust, originally come together?
It all started in the fall of 1995. Ryan Tripp and I were in Human Biology at Sabino High School and Ryan was asking around for musicians in our class. Turns out I was a drummer and he kept this knowledge for a while. The following year, my sophomore year and his junior year, he approached me about joining his band. I was reluctant to join and basically I wrote them off until the summer after that year. It was about August and I told Ryan to get in touch with me then and we formed in the beginning of the 1997-1998 school year with Brady Willard and Matt Carpenter, who were very close friends of Ryan already. I was the outsider being a year younger and the only member of the band who was Catholic, and not Mormon.
Q: Where did the idea for the name, MunkyDust, come from?
Ryan came up with the name when he was playing basketball with Brian, a manager at Golf N Stuff. They were playing basketball and Brian would say "Monkey Dust" to Ryan to make him miss the shot because that meant "bad luck" supposedly. However the spelling MunkyDust came from when I was getting ready to make our web page and AOL already had a member named MonkeyDust so we decided on that spelling. We did not know of Korn's use of the word Munky even though many people may not believe that because we are not big Korn fans at all.
Q: What are your primary influences?
My influences are Led Zeppelin, Green Day and the Beatles.
Ryan Tripp is influenced more so now by punk like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Lagwagon, Less Than Jake etc but still influenced by Pink Floyd and eighties music
Matt Carpenter is influenced also by Led Zep, Cake, and Matchbox 2O.
Brady Willard is influenced also by the Beatles, Led Zep, and other classic rock.
All of us are BIG Pearl Jam fans and Pink Floyd fans. Pearl Jam is a large influence.
Q: How would you describe your music?
Q: What was the songwriting process?
Brady and Ryan individually would write guitar parts and vocals for songs, I would add drums and Matt Carpenter would add bass parts. It mostly started from the two guitar players, Brady and Ryan, with exception to one song, "Macaroni and Cheese", which was made on the spot with me laying down a drum beat and the guitar part followed. It was basically a jam session that inspired an instumental song.
Q: When did you record your debut tape?
April 1998. Coincidentally the same day as Sabino's Prom, which was 1 hour inbetween the end of the studio and the start of prom. Much fun was had rushing back across town and back to prom.
Q: When recording your CD, did you try to achieve a live sound, or a more polished sound?
We record live, and if things need to be fixed, we fixed them in the latter process of the studio recording. In the case of our second studio recording on Halloween of 1998, we only had 3 of the 4 of us because Matt Carpenter had already left for his mission, so extra guitar parts had to be dubbed over also.
Q: What's the deal with Udall Park?
Well at the beginning of the band, Ryan and I were thinking of places we could go practice. We noticed that Udall was a central location for all of us so we looking around and found outlets under the ramadas for us to plug into. So we plugged in, just Ryan and I one time, and we jammed and that started it all. Later on in March of 1998 we had our first show there and we got quite a few people so we continued playing at Udall ever since. Since then, I've seen bands come in and play there now. You could say we were the pioneers of Udall Park playing cause I have never seen any bands before us play there. ALSO: We have set up in the front of Wal*Mart but got kicked out quite fast. As well as: Our practice right before going into the studio for Halloween 1998 was in the Petco Parking Lot at Wrightstown and Pantano at 1 AM. We did not get kicked out there.
Q: What other venues have you played?
We have played at Sabino High School 3 times:
The first time was December of 1997 when the school basically gave us all of the lunch hour to let people hear us play. We were definetly not ready for that show and we sounded as such.
The second time was the Sabino Talent Show. We played 2 songs and even though it was the Sabino Talent Show, this African Dancing group from Palo Verde High School came in and won. We're still a little bitter about that.
The third time was the Sabino 1998 Spring Assembly. We played filler music for when the assembly had down time and the Student Council said we did an excellent job.
Also we have played for a private Christmas party for Ryan's dad's company. The people there really liked it because we played a lot of swing/jazzy stuff along with Silent Night.
Q: What do you see in MunkyDust's future?
Dead end jobs and homelessness. Just kidding. Well I talk to Ryan and Matt C on just about a weekly basis through the mail because they are in England and Romania respectively) and they say that we are definetly going to get back together and play once the fall of 2000 comes around. Brady will be back in the beginning of the year 2001 to make everything complete but I am pretty sure we are going to play as a three piece band until Brady gets back. Ryan is playing guitar lots on his misson even though most mission president don't let the missionaries do that, and he has been actively singing alot with choirs which he has said has strengthened his singing voice. I'm supposed to take up guitar this summer to contribute more the song writing process. Brady has about 4 songs he hasn't showed us yet also.
Q: If you were to go out and see a local band play live, who would it be?
Pasta Rocket or Ear Candy
Q: Where would it be?
I'd like to see them play the next "Udallpalooza" but it'll be up to them if they want to show up or not.
Q: What advice would you pass on to someone who is just starting out, and wants to form a band?
Well first decide for yourself how serious you are going to be about your band. Make sure you and your band mates are on the same level about how serious you are going to take it. MunkyDust had problems very early in it because we all had different ideas of what we wanted to accomplish, etc. Luckily we were very good friends, which is dire to have a band, and we overcame it and continued playing. So I guess the key is communication. Very open communication, an open attitude and a willingness to be a friend. If you have those things, your band can last as long as you want it to.
Fans can check out the website at : http://members.aol.com/munkydust. Email for info on when tapes will be available to : firstname.lastname@example.org