We get emails from bands all the time asking us to listen to their music. One day we received an email from a band called the Oot n’ Oots and it sounded like so many others: “We are a rock / comedy / all-ages band from Kelowna, BC, Canada. We would love to send our soon-to-be-released album Electric Jellyfish Boogaloo for your review.” A rock / comedy band from Kelowna, BC, Canada? An album named Electric Jellyfish Boogaloo? We were skeptical to say the least. But, we always listen to anything an artist or band is willing to send us. And what did we hear? Sheer exuberant amazingness. If you’ve never listened to the Oot n’ Oots, you should.
Electric Jellyfish Boogaloo (as well as their earlier album) is the perfect blend of good-natured humor and masterful musicianship. We were so excited to learn about the Oot n’ Oots, we invited them to join us for an #8isEnoughQuestions interview so that everyone could learn a little more about them. For this #8isEnoughQuestions interview, each question was written and asked by one of our Full Van Fun family members and answered directly by members of the Oot n’ Oots.
1) Why are you called the Oot n’ Oots?
Ari: The Oot n’ Oots is an onomatopoeic name that came from us playing.
Ezra: We were singing our song Apple Tree, and instead of the words we were singing “oot‘n’oot doo doot‘n’oot doo doo”. It seemed to encapsulate the spirit of the band, and it stuck!
2) What’s your favorite cookie and have you ever eaten too many of them?
Ruth: Peanut butter cookies
Matthew: Oatmeal chocolate chunk
Gabe: Oatmeal spirulina
Ari: Is a macaroon a cookie or a pastry?
Ezra: I believe it is a cookie.
Ari: Well, Ruth, your mom’s homemade ginger snaps are my favorite, especially when they’re crispy on the edges and gooey in the middle, with a good dose of spice. And yes, I’ve eaten too many of them.
Ezra: I change my answer. Those are my favorite, too.
3) What is it like to be a family band?
Ruth: Playing in a band with my dad and uncles is so much fun. They’re hilarious. We’re always coming up with new songs and new ideas and joking around.
Ari: It’s great except Matt snores.
Matthew: I offered you ear plugs. But I will say, this is the best, most fun band I’ve ever played with.
4) Do you have a lot of brooms and dustpans?
Ari: We have more brooms than dustpans.
Ezra: The song Dust Pan was actually based on a true story. Our house was without a dustpan for a fateful period. My wife Rio, maker of ginger snaps, would sweep up and leave little piles of dust and debris in the middle of the floor. Dust Pan started out as a bluesy lament before Ari turned it into an Elton John / R & B type of thing.
5) Why is food an inspiration for so many of your songs?
Ruth: We write so many songs about food because we wouldn’t be able to write songs without food.
Ari: Food is love, and really all those songs about food are love songs.
Gabe: Food is our connection to the earth. We’re a part of everything and everything is a part of us. Our song Hands in the Ground was written in our garden, and we shot the video in our garden. It’s good to grow food and to compost.
6) We’ve never been to British Columbia – what are your favorite places?
Ezra: We live in a magical valley called the Okanagan. It is a little pocket of desert with a chain of beautiful lakes that run through it. Four hours west of us is the coastal rainforest and the gulf islands, which are amazing to explore, and a few hours east of us are the Kootenays and the rocky mountains, where there are incredible mineral hot springs. Road tripping in BC is fantastic and we haven’t stopped exploring. On our way back from a children’s festival in Alberta this spring we stopped in Mount Revelstoke National Park at the “Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail”, which takes you right into the valley bottom wetland habitat. It was otherworldly.
7) Why is Saturday so sad?
Ruth: I came up with that lyric “Saturday’s a sadder day” when I was, like, five years old, playing with words.
Ezra: We called Saturdays “Ruthie and Daddy Day” when Ruth was little and Rio would set up a table at the Farmers Market. We would go for a bike ride and have brunch, or play mini-golf.
Ruth: Saturday’s only a sadder day when I’m not with you. Otherwise it’s a great day.
Ezra: Best day of the week.
8) If you had the opportunity to perform at a concert anywhere in the world, where would you pick?
Ruth: The Portland Zoo
Matthew: Saturday Night Live!
Ezra: The Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail
Thank you Ezra, Ruth, Ari, Gabe, and Matthew for a sensationally saucy #8isEnoughQuestions interview and don’t forget to visit their store for more Oot n’ Oots music, coloring books, and more! Interested in more family friendly music that parents and children can both enjoy? Check out these artists like Amy Lee (Evanescence), Lisa Loeb, Andrew & Polly, Caspar Babypants (Presidents of the United States), Danny Weinkauf (They Might Be Giants), Bryan Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe), Rissi Palmer, and Jack Forman. Interested in travel stories about amazing destinations and adventures like the White House Easter Egg Roll, Santa Fe or Craters of the Moon? How about interviews with authors like Daniel Pinkwater or celebrity chefs like Fabio Viviani, Marc Murphy, and Robert Irvine? What about recipes, ranks, reviews, or other tips for families? We cover all of this and more at Full Van Fun!