#Synthfam Interview: Frisky Monkey (Juan + Douglas)

Updated on September 30, 2019
KPM2017 profile image

Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

Frisky Monkey (Photo by ML Hobby Photo)
Frisky Monkey (Photo by ML Hobby Photo)

Frisky Monkey is the Atlanta synthpop duo of Juan Cezar and Douglas Pettus. They create a "heady blend of swirling synths, moody guitars and entrancing vocals with a pop sensibility." In an emailed interview, I asked them about their origin story, their approach to music and their latest album, which is titled Misadventures of a Mixed Up Monkey.

Karl Magi: How did Frisky Monkey get its start as a project?

Juan: After my last band broke up in 2011 I decided that I wanted to get away from the four person rock band idea and create music closer to my heart: synthpop. I put an ad on Craigslist and after many interviews I met the original founding member, John Miklaucic. I instantly knew that we could create something wonderful. After four years, John decided to move away from Atlanta in 2015 but encouraged me to continue building on the Frisky Monkey legacy with someone new. Many months later, I met Douglas through Reverbnation and knew I’d found the next band member with whom to continue the Frisky Monkey journey.

KM: Who are (both of) your artistic inspirations?

Juan: For me it’s always been music, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure, Tears for Fears, Pat Benatar, Pet Shop Boys, Bright Light Bright Light, Madonna and Patsy Cline are some of the artists that I always go back to.

Douglas: Book: On The Origin of Species (Darwinism),

Music: Pet Shop Boys, The Monkees, Gorillaz, and Fishbone's Give a Monkey a Brain and He'll Swear He's the Center of the Universe

Movies: Planet of the Apes, King Kong (I couldn't resist).

KM: What are the ideas and elements that drew (both of) you to creating synth-based music?

Juan: I have always loved the sound of vocal synth music (it was the soundtrack of my teens). When you pair that with the unique vocals that so many of my favorites have, it is a magical combination that makes me want to create this kind of music.

Douglas: For me it's the combination of musical elements and technology.

KM: Give me your thoughts on the Twitter #synthfam.

Juan: We love the Twitter #synthfam, they’ve made us feel very welcome and have been extremely supportive. I have discovered so many talented artists through the #synthfam and met some amazing people as well. I feel like it has been instrumental in helping people discover our music and I cannot be more appreciative.

KM: Tell me about how you create music as a group.

Juan: I work in two very different ways. Sometimes I start with lyric ideas, then work them out on guitar, do a rough electronic demo on Logic to help flesh it out then send my crazy ideas to Douglas for him to make his musical magic with it. The other way I work is that Douglas will send me an idea of a song he is working on and it sparks lyrics and vocal melody ideas for me. I’ll do a demo vocal of it and send back. Then we go back and forth collaborating until it becomes a finished song.

Douglas: When Juan sends me ideas basically, since I'm pretty much preoccupied dealing with the other creatures in my tribe/troop!

KM: Talk to me about the Misadventures of a Mixed Up Monkey remix album that you just dropped and its genesis.

Juan: The album Misadventures of A Misguided Monkey that this album is based on is my personal favorite of our albums. Last November, while watching the amazing artists perform at Echosynthetic Fest, the idea for this remix album was born, and by the end of the weekend Skeleton Beach and Ethereal Delusions had agreed to be a part of this project. As the months went by and we reached out to other artists we admired, the album began to take shape. Each artist chose the song that they remixed. As special bonus tracks, we also included a remix of Insignificant Other off Crave and a brand-new song Night Flight, a collaboration with Ethereal Delusions. Everyone’s interpretations of the songs made this so much more than a remix album as they all became unique versions of the songs. I have so much love, respect, and gratitude for all the artists involved. Little known fact, DiPettius is Douglas’ remixing moniker.

KM: Where do you want to take Frisky Monkey in the future as a project?

Juan: I want to keep making music I love, which hopefully also touches people. If you look at our albums you’ll notice we love having guest vocalists on our songs and collaborating with other artists so I want to do more of that. We currently have several collaborations in the works, one with my personal local favorite Seersha, one with Cat Temper, and one with Stereospread. Dream duets/collaborations for me would be with NINA, Bright Light Bright Light, Megan McDuffee, Bunny X, Kay Burden, and Michael Oakley. I also love doing live shows and plan on doing more in the future. There is nothing like the energy of being onstage and interacting with the audience.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)