By Caitlin Young | Staff Writer
Best known for his role as bloodthirsty Jasper Hale in the hit film Twilight, Jackson Rathbone is also a member of a funk rock band called 100 Monkeys.
The band includes Rathbone, Ben Graupner, Ben Johnson, Jerad Anderson, and Lawrence Abrams. Each member can play every instrument involved in the performance, and frequently take turns on the different peripherals during their set to keep things interesting. Now, celebrating the release of singles “Ugly Girl” and “Future Radio”, Rathbone has a few inspirational words about his band’s legacy.
“We continue to grow as artists, and as individuals, and as a band. Today is always going to be better than yesterday; tomorrow is always going to be better than today. That’s how we like look at it,” Rathbone said.
The quartet was originally brought together by a mutual friend named Spencer Bell and a mutual love of the funk rock genre. Bell eventually passed away from adrenal cancer. 100 Monkeys formed to preserve his memory through music.
“In many different ways, we continue to involve him in songs,” Ben Johnson said. “Sometimes I just realize things; little puns, and jokes slipped into the lyrics that mean two different things. Songs of Spencer’s that I’ve listened to hundreds of times, and I just say ‘Man, he really got me.'”
The band has played San Antonio in addition to Austin and other local venues, and intends to keep things old school as they move on to bigger and better things.
“We’re trying to get an international tour going,” Rathbone said.
With the release of their new album, 100 Monkeys are setting their sights high.
“We would love to play arenas,” he said. “It’s sort of a fantasy of ours.”
It certainly wouldn’t be the strangest place that the band has found itself in the past.
“We’ve actually played at a bowling alley before,” Rathbone admitted
100 Monkeys parts with a few wise words to aspiring artists.
“Practice the passion. You have the passion for it- practice should be no issue, because you’re in love with it,” Rathbone said.
“Keep good company,” Graupner said. “You’re working as a team, so you’re only as good as the people standing next to you.”
“Just keep going, sometimes it gets hard and you may feel like maybe you shouldn’t be doing it but just keep going,” Johnson added. “Just keep doing it, because it will reward you.”
“Don’t stop. Do what you love and follow it with a great, great passion; then, once you do it, you can come out and share it with someone,” Abrams said.