A brief mention in the May issue of Spin provided San Diego band the Donkeys with some national exposure, but the A&R reps at the major labels have not come a-knockin’ just yet. The band recently completed a U.S. tour and is now taking a summer break.
While on tour, “For some reason I had dreams that I was on stage playing guitar with Iron Maiden,” says guitarist Jessie. “All I remember is that I was really nervous.” Anthony was plagued by different gig-related dreams: “Lions ate my hands, and my hands ate lions.”
Antenna Farm recently released a seven-inch record with a few of the band’s new songs. It is a split album with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Owen Ashworth’s solo project, with whom the the Donkeys toured last spring. The Internet-TV site pacificnoise.com devotes episode 112 to the Donkeys’ performance at San Francisco’s Make Out Room.
After two years in the studio, the band will release their second CD in August. The Donkeys will then jump in their gig rig and head out on the road to play clubs and bars and basements again across America.
From a daytrotter.com review of the Donkeys’ debut CD: “I wonder how long it will be before everyone’s throwing their name around as a just-discovered diamond in the rough.” The Donkeys are Sam on drums and vocals, Tim on guitar and bass, Jessie on guitar, and Anthony on keys.
Tim: “I am currently in full support of Fender-made guitars. I have a ’96 American Strat and a ’79 P Bass. But my first love is my blond Gibson RD, also made in 1979.”
Jessie: “1977 Gibson SG Special. It’s my baby. I’ve traveled around with it since 2003.”
SEXIEST LOCAL PERFORMER?
Tim: “Derek Papa. I have a thing for fathers-to-be.”
Anthony: “Jessie Precious.”
TOP THREE WORST JOBS YOU’VE HAD?
1. Sandwich maker
3. Smoothie maker — “They told me I wasn’t enthusiastic enough.”
NUMBER-ONE HARDEST THING ABOUT PERFORMING LIVE?
Tim: “Maintaining that ‘sweet spot’ between sober and soused.”
Jessie: “Being able to hear ourselves like we do at practice.”
Anthony: “Trying to get people to go.”
Tim: “Metallica’s ...And Justice for All. God bless ’90s metal.”
Jessie: “Sunil Ganguly, Swinging Hits. He is one of my favorite steel-guitar players.”
Anthony: “Listening to Nick Lowe now. Pure Pop for Now People is a Communist-island disc.”
Tim: “Best, 2005 Halloween house party dressed as mummies, rockin’ a sicky cover set. Worst, a Whistle Stop show where a friend sitting in failed to maintain the aforementioned sweet spot.”
Jessie: “Worst, Nashville. Awesome city, but not one person showed up to the show. The good news was that we were able to have a 25-minute freakout jam.”
Anthony: “Lawrence, Kansas. Everyone should play there. The people are so nice. No ‘worst’ show. Just bad ones not to be talked about again.”
EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
Tim: “Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video came on the TV at my uncle’s house, and I hightailed it to the other room because it looked super scary. When I reentered the room, after being assured the coast was now clear, I looked at the TV, and what was looking back? A bunch of freaky zombies. I cried for days.”
Jessie: “Yoga camp!”
BEST SAN DIEGO HANGOUT?
Jessie: “Chula Vista.”
Anthony: “Salazar’s, downtown. Fifteenth and Market. Best jukebox and chips in the world.”
Tim: “After being raised in Orange County I found I loved Southern California and hated Orange County. L.A. didn’t seem any better, so San Diego it was. I couldn’t have made a better choice. Favorite hangout is the I.B. drive-in theater. Drive in, swerve out.”
Tim: “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no ‘try.’” — Yoda