It isn't often that bands list writers as their influences. But most bands don't go by the name Telekinetic Walrus. "We're a mix of JRR Tolkien and Douglas Adams. It's Lord of the Rings meets intergalactic space travel," explained the Telekinetic Walrus singer who goes by Time-Zoo Keeper onstage, but Jake Fletcher offstage. "Most bands only do EPs these days, we didn't just do a concept album that had 16 tracks, we're also a concept band."
In terms of musical influences, Telekinetic Walrus sort of remind one of Frank Zappa or George Clinton with their need to tell outlandish science-fiction stories to the beats of bonafide musicianship. Time-Zoo Keeper had nothing to say about Zappa, but about Clinton he said, "I didn't know who he was until we played Ultra in 2011. The blog Consequence of Sound compared us to him, and when I heard him after that I could see why."
At that point in the conversation band producer Y Diz chimed in to play the contrarian, "I always compared us to a new age P-Funk [Clinton's band]. Outkast has always been my favorite artist and George Clinton is a longstanding influence on them."
But music is only one slice of the Telekinetic Walrus pie. There are comic books Time-Zoo Keeper plans to write with bandmate Corinne Stevie as illustrator. There are also big budget feature films they hope to make one day. In the more immediate future, they will embark on a tour opening for Afrobeta that sees them playing sixteen shows in 20 days up and down the East Coast starting with Saturday night at the North Beach bandshell.
Just yesterday, the band had a video release party at Wynwood Brewing. The video, directed by Iris Beatrix, is for their song "Cristal On The Moon." It has a Yo MTV Raps kind of feel to it mixed with classic '80's videogame aesthetics.
The video and the tour will be showcasing a new fabric the band has invented. Their use of the word fabric isn't a metaphor for a new musical style, Time-Zoo Keeper explained.
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"We have an in-depth live performance with lots of costumery. It's reminiscent of Louis Vuitton except it's an accumulation of symbols that represents every character in the band. The price per yard will be $888,888,888.88, so let everyone know if they want to buy a couple yards off us."
Maybe then they will have enough money to make that Telekinetic Walrus movie we've all been waiting for.
Afrobeta & Friends Mooncake Jam With Telekinetic Walrus, Chantil Dukart, and others. 6 p.m. Saturday, October 17, at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-5202. Admission is free with RSVP via Eventbrite.com.