These Sublime rockers are now jamming with Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm
If you have a young family, you may have to pass on events like Coachella, but this year you can brag about going to Woodstock’s Musical Festival.
That’s where, as the sun goes down on, the lights come up on the Calico Mine Stage at Knott’s Berry Farm for a special show starring the Jelly of the Month Club band with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy.
Long Beach-based Jelly of the Month Club is a family-friendly band that draws its sound from swing, punk, rock and pop and features saxophonist Todd Forman, who played with Sublime and its later incarnation, Sublime with Rome. He got the idea for Jelly of the Month Club while on the road with the latter group in 2010.
“I was sharing a tour bus with Bud Gaugh, the [Sublime] drummer, and his daughter Chloe,” Forman said. “We were watching ‘Princess and the Frog,’ and I was so struck by how awesome the music was in that particular Disney movie.”
As well as being a musician, Forman is a family physician, and he had been trying out living a full-time musician lifestyle, which he soon discovered was a poor fit. He desperately missed his family while touring so he came up with the idea of a family-friendly band that could gig close to home. When the tour ended, he built a home studio and began jamming and recording with other area musicians, gradually finding the right players for his project.
Jelly of the Month Club’s lineup has gone through a few changes and currently consists of Forman on saxophone, clarinet and organ, Mike “Mic Dangerously” de la Torre on vocals, lead guitar and bass and drummer Scott Wittenberg and Chris “Mr. Crumb” Caplan handling vocals, piano, organ, ukulele, accordion, spoons and guitar. Bert Susanka of The Ziggens and Astronaut Love Triangle also writes for the group and contributes vocals and guitar to its recordings, but is not touring at this time.
Performing at Knott’s has also brought another dream full circle for Forman. He recalls spotting a sign for a swing band night at the park when he was 12; he had just started playing saxophone so his mother was happy to take him.
“We went and saw all these big swing bands and I saw Count Basie that night. It changed my life. I couldn’t believe how powerful it was and I was enamored with jazz music from that point forward,” Forman said. “One thing we wanted for the band, we wanted to be the ‘first handshake’ for music for young kids, and to be that first handshake, that first introduction, we wanted to set the bar very high. We didn’t want it to be rehashed, reproduced, electronic beats, fake instruments, auto-tuned voices. We didn’t want it to be a cartoon where the music was secondary.”
Fellow Jelly of the Month Club members Caplan and De la Torre are pretty fond of the fans, too.
“I love (the fans) very much,” Caplan said. “The best part is to see them dancing their hearts out and also enjoying something that the parents like. That’s more important, because when I was growing up I feel like I was forced to listen to a lot of stuff I didn’t like and I really wanted to make music that didn’t drive adults crazy. There’s got to be a way that everybody wins.”
Jelly of the Month Club wants to make it clear that they are not your typical kids band.
“We’re the bad boys of kid rock,” Caplan said. “We try to bring that punk mentality to it. Bending the rules in a very wholesome way.”
Jelly of the Month Club will be at Knott’s as part of the Peanuts Celebration weekends through Feb. 25. The band is releasing its second album, “Enjoy the Show,” April 1.
If you want to go to the Peanuts Celebration
When: Open 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday through Feb. 25 and Presidents’ Day, Feb. 19.
Where: Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park.
Information: 714-220-5200, www.knotts.com.
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