On Sept. 8, I had the pleasure of interviewing the music group known as Slumberjack. I was lucky enough to interview both members, Morgan Then and Fletcher Ehlers. They performed at the Observatory North Park along with Troyboi. Here’s the conversation I had with them – topics ranging from the restaurant Tender Greens to DJing at birthday parties.
KCR: What was the song that you listened to when you were a child that made you want to play music?
FE: Oh wow. I think a heard a track called “Ghosts N Stuff,” by Deadmau5, on the radio. I was in the car with my dad and I was just so blown away by how a song can use so many crazy electronic sounds and be so amazingly catchy. That’s what got me into producing electronic music.
MT: It’s so cliche. It’s going to be “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” by Skrillex. It made me want to get into electronic music. It was too cool.
KCR: Slumberjack is also the name of an outdoor camping company. How many times have you been confused for it?
FE: We always get tagged in their sleeping bags sales on Instagram. Apart from that, we get confused for the artist, LUMBERJVCK, more often.
KCR: What can you tell me about Pockets and Squirrel?
MT: (Laughs) I think I got an old [phone] number from some guy called Pockets. I’m still looking for who he is, but I might have some clues. So, apparently, he is a DJ or a music producer or something because people have been sending me videos of their computers to show [me] their mixes. People would just call me, and I would pick up in the morning, and [they’d] go, “Yo Pockets! Is that you?”, and I’d say no and they’d hang up straight away. So, either he’s really famous or he’s really sketchy. It’s been happening for three weeks now. Ever since we got into the U.S. Every day, I get calls for Pockets.
KCR: Have you been to Tender Greens before?
FE: We just had lunch there.
KCR: Is it true that Tender Greens inspired one of your songs?
FE: Yeah. Last time we were in Los Angeles, we were working with Alison Wonderland. We took a break and we were stuck on this track we were working on, and we went to Tender Greens for lunch, had some good sustenance and came back into the studio and punched out the whole track.
KCR: Morgan, have anything else to say on this?
MT: Their shrimp is good.
KCR: What made the both of you decide to focus on music after graduating college?
MT: Fletcher and I had this fear of, “If we weren’t making music, what would we be doing?”. Probably waking up at 7 a.m., have your bagel by 7:15, at 7:30, you’re in the subway. It’s all that distilled into one fear, so we decided not to pursue a corporate job. It’s similar to the show, “The Office,” but it’s not funny. All the jokes are just dad jokes.
FE: It’s a deep fantasy.
MT: We can write a whole story on it.
KCR: Morgan, how did you get into rock climbing?
MT: I got into that to impress my girlfriend. We [had] just started dating and I wanted to show her I was into cool stuff. After the climbing session, this one guy who worked at the gym was going to quit. So, he came up to me and he said I was a natural and offered me his spot. I said yes and three years in, I was still climbing and doing competitions. Only when I met Fletcher did I switch my focus from rock climbing to music. We recently picked it up again and we climbed in Tuscon. Fletcher just got into it four months ago and he’s getting really good at it too.
KCR: Fletcher, do you still DJ at birthday parties?
FE: I do not DJ at birthday parties anymore. I do occasionally still get asked by my parents’ friends, or family friends who message me to see if I can DJ at their daughter’s 15th birthday and if I can bring some lighting, speakers, and DJ. However, I have to politely say that I don’t do that anymore. You got to start learning your tricks on the decks by doing kids parties or any other low pressure situations.
KCR: If you could replace yourself in Slumberjack with a celebrity, who would it be?
FE: Probably Thor.
MT: Now that we’re with the superhero vibe, I would go with Robert Downey Jr. He’s Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man. I would have him replace me. It would be his honor.