Bob Forrest is, especially for those familiar with alternative rock music made at the beginning of the 1990s, a figure like no other. Earning success with his band Thelonious Monster and famous for his charisma and his penchant for self-destructive behavior, Forrest later became a family man, a stanchion for those looking to rehabilitate themselves, and a raconteur.
This interview is part of a new Alt77 project, a Youtube channel. We plan for it to contain interviews, reviews and commentary related to alternative music. If we know ourselves, we’ll also be rambling a fair bit along the way. We’re very glad that our first talk, in what we hope will become a series, was with Mr. Forrest.
Thelonious Monster was a force to be reckoned with, especially in a live setting. Their music, much like Forrest’s record collection, which he gave us a glimpse into when we spoke, is a mixture of 60s pop, alternative rock, punk and funk. It was always delivered with incredible intensity, that sometimes bordered on frightening.
They have a just released a new album, their first in 16 years. It’s called Oh That Monster and we think it’s great. This is not just us buttering up an interview participant. We are shocked by the commitment of the band members, the sharp production, and the variety of the ideas included in the songwriting. We sincerely hope that it’s not a tail end to their career. It does, however, sound like music the group needed to have in their lengthy discography.
Our interview with Bob Forrest includes stories about the album’s recording to which Josh Klinghoffer contributed by providing the studio facilities. This allowed also The Monster’s singer to recall the collaboration between himself and a very young Klinghoffer in the band The Bicycle Thief.
The musician also talked about his lifelong friendship with Flea and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as well John Frusciante’s audition for Thelonious Monster, followed by the friendly poaching of the guitarist by the RHCP themselves. Forrest also goes on to mention his enduring love for Bob Dylan, the Replacements, and the Gun Club.
Mr. Forrest’s stories are priceless and so is his good-nature. In a world of rock n’ roll casualties, he’s not merely a survivor, he’s become a wise man.