Tuesday, November 6

inspired by locals: tim from the donkeys

One of my favorite parts of living in North Park is that no matter what local business you frequent, you always seem to meet the coolest people. On a few particular occasions, I crossed paths with Tim from The Donkeys at our favorite coffee stand... ever... and after casually chatting with him and listening to  his bands' amazing music (on repeat), I knew we needed to be friends. Embarrassingly enough, I hadn't heard of The Donkeys until I met Tim. I wish I had. But in all honesty, they're my perfect band: a mix of chill and relaxing sounds with an oldies kind of vibe. In one word, their music is timeless.

How did The Donkeys come to be?
We've all known each other from high school. We're from Orange County and Sam and I went to the same high school. We were all in bands for years and shared a practice space. Eventually all the bands broke up and so the people who were left kept jamming and The Donkeys were formed.

What has been your proudest moment thus far in your career with The Donkeys?
When we got a song on Lost. The producer contacted us; there's a ficticous band throughout the series and he heard one of our songs and he loved it. So we rerecorded it to make it more "Lost-centric" and it was really exciting! It felt really cool. Also, last summer we were on tour with the Hold Steady. They were a lot bigger than us and the crowd was great in DC. It was cool to have a room that full of people excited to see us. And it made me realize that I want that crowd.

What artists do you look up to?
I was raised on David Bowie; he was a big influence on me. Same with the Rolling Stones. And I love Brian Eno; I spent a lot of time buying records that he was on or that he made.

What's the biggest struggle you and the band have faced as musicians?
I'd love to make a living making music but I'm still forced to have a day job. It's hard. I work every night on the weekends when I'm not playing a show and I work two jobs to support the one job that doesn’t make any money. I told myself I'd do it until it didn’t make sense anymore but it still makes sense because each record has been better than the last. The new record has some of my favorite songs thus far. I like the direction that it's going on.

As a band, we weirdly didn’t have to struggle with the usual touring troubles. A friend needed a backup and opening band so he took us with him and it opened doors for us. Since we were touring, we could get to everyone and play for them. Everything fell into place. But there are four of us, all creatively in control and trying to make decisions and we're always 50/50. I can see how a solo career might be easier though I've never thought of going solo. I like collaborating; I like making music with these guys.

How would you say The Donkeys' music has progressed?
When you listen, there's a bit of a progression from the previous albums but right now, it's going in the same direction. It has a little more of a cohesive vibe and energy throughout. It feels “beachy” and we sound like southern California. 

Your album art is pretty awesome. Tell us about it!
This is one of the things that we "fight" over! The four of us trying make a decision on the art for our albums. Anthony is a graphic artist and we're all aesthetically inclined and want our own say. But anyways! We hired someone this time named Tony Millionaire who's done some comic strips and graphic novels .

What are your (and The Donkeys) long term goals?
I really want to get to Europe on the next record; it's gotta happen. We have label representation over there so we'd hopefully start in London or somewhere in Spain. 

What can we look forward to from The Donkeys in the future?
We're almost done with the newest record. I'd say we're 99.9 percent done recording it. We just need to finish some tracking and mix it.

If you had 24 hours to show an out-of-towner around San Diego, where would you take them?
Definitely coffee at Roast Coach or Coffee & Tea Collective. I go to Influx a lot… they make all their own pastries, so maybe there too. Mitch's Seafood in Point Loma for lunch... Whistle Stop for some drinks and depending on who is visiting, I'd take them to Hamilton's... though I'm kind of into cider right now. If someone cool is playing at the Casbah, I'd take them there; it's quintessential San Diego. Finally, I'd take them to see the Star of India (a ship) and then we'd stop at Mona Lisa for an eggplant parmesan sandwich or a caprese sandwich… those are some of my favorite past times.

"Like" them on Facebook.
Listen to their music (which is also on Spotify).
Do whatever you have to do... but The Donkeys will be your new favorite band!


Caitie said...

just bought the album! so so good!

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

Ohhhh I'm excited to check them out!

The Egg said...

so fun that you just happened to run into them!

xo the egg out west.

Kaeli said...

I love how graphic their album art is. Can't wait to check them out!

The Broadcloth