The People of Animal Town began in 2008 when Roman Tobias Pettigrew, a recent Berklee music school graduate hailing from London met Mongo Jones, a New Mexican transplant to LA who had just started his Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Caltech. Although extreme opposites in many ways, their love for music and creativity pulled them together in a tight friendship.
The two began writing songs, but hung up on perfection, had difficulty putting together the right band
Little did they know that this was a blessing in disguise. Over the next year they wrote over 80 songs together, as their songwriting and musicianship grew to levels never seen before.
In the meantime, in February of 2009 they started a side project, their own religion: The People's Church of Animal Town. The Church meets one Sunday a month, with Mongo Jones as the head preacher. Its ultimate goal is to inspire intellect in its members, bring joy to their lives through live music, and promote unconventional ways of community service. A typical sermon consists of an in depth philosophical look at an issue (such as the co-evolution of cats and dogs with humans) interspersed with live music (diverse originals and covers, ranging from Dr. Dre to Queen), and a strong grassroots community service message. As of November 2009, typical services see roughly 50-60 people, with a trend of growth.
It wasn't until one week in July of 2009 that out of nowhere the band they had hoped for would form. Dan Gross, a Berklee graduate and film scorer living in LA, caught Pettigrew and Jones's attention at a barbecue where it appeared he could play any instrument really well. This turned out to be true. Then came along local singer/songwriter Jon Sundeen, an excellent guitarist, bassist, and vocalist with a diverse musical background, encapsulated by his charm and creativity. Concomitantly, Jones had heard about a bright young physicist at Caltech who played the drums. Little did they know that the physicist, Michael Ferrara, would turn out to be a much better drummer than they ever could have imagined, and instant best friends with the entire band to top that off.
All highly experienced performers, the band played their first show in late August at The Cat Club in West Hollywood. Since then, the band has been playing shows at a variety of venues around LA. With a growing fan base, they recently earned a spot to headline a night of music at The Junction Block near downtown Los Angeles on November 6th. All of their current recordings were made in Pettigrew's bedroom, but they began recording their first EP at a proper studio on November 1st, 2009.
Now with the ball rolling, the band has big plans for early 2010 including the release of their EP in February and an abundance of live shows at larger venues throughout California.
For late 2010, they hope for something bigger.
Mongo Jones- Guitar, Vocals, Synths, Sitar, Accordion
Roman Tobias Pettigrew- Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Dan Gross- Keyboards, Guitar, Theremin, Glockenspiel, Vocals
Jonathan Sundeen- Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Michael Ferrara- Drums, Vocals
Began recording their debut EP in November 2009, with a planned release in February 2010.
If I were a girl
When We Were Young
I'll See You in Albuquerque
We Wait Too Long
Set list for Nov. 6th at Junction Block (although highly variable)
I am the Real He-Man
Sex, Drugs, and Second Rate Literateurs
The Beauty of Biological Sorrows
There's something wrong with Mr. Chips
Existentialism is for Lovers
The Little Man with the Large Head
Westside (TQ cover)
If I was a girl
There are no upcoming dates at this time.