Gustafer Yellowgold – The OWTK Interview

Morgan Taylor, the man who brings Gustafer Yellowgold to life on stage, DVD and CD recently spent a few minutes with OWTK talking about the kids’ music scene, how he got started writing tunes for younger ears, and what he thinks of the current “boom” in childrens’ music & media options. He also gives OWTK a sneak-peek of the next Gustafer Yellowgold release.

OWTK: Congratulations on the recent release of the DVD/CD on Little Monster – How did the relationship with Little Monster come about? Where you actively shopping the self-released DVD to labels?
Morgan Taylor: It was more organic – like through a friend of a friend, it ended up in the hands of the Little Monster folks. They immediately “got it” and wanted to talk turkey.

OWTK: Now, let’s go backwards a bit. How did you find yourself writing kids’ songs and where did the idea for a yellow fella from the sun originate?

MT: It was almost by accident that it all fell together. I had some “misfit” songs and also a cartoon character that I had no idea where to use him. It started as some picture-books, and then we crossed paths with an animator and it quickly turned into a DVD and a live show. They didn’t start as kid’s songs, I have always had a side to my writing that was more cartoon-y, and so those were the tunes that naturally fit with the project. The idea for a character from the Sun literally came about because I had written a song called “I’m From The Sun”.

OWTK: What drew you to the children’s genre? Do you feel you have a better chance of “making a living” in this arena as opposed to the very crowded indie/rock-n-roll space?

MT: I guess I was drawn to the children’s genre because it’s the most obvious place to market some funny songs with cartoon illustrations. It’s really that cut and dry. I never had an epiphany to enter the kid’s music market, but since I’ve ended up here naturally, it feels very right for someone like me, with the desire to make people laugh and play music with humor. It only seems more realistic for me to make a living now doing this, I feel like all of a sudden since I’ve added cartoons to my music, people are taking notice. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy about that!

OWTK: It would seem that, increasingly, much of the mainstream media aimed at the younger demographic (The Wiggles, most any blockbuster animated feature film, etc) exists primarily to sell related, “official” merchandise. What impact do you feel this trend is having on the way children view art, music and film going forward?

MT: I have no problem with marketing, merchandising and all that, as long as the thing it’s supporting is cool. I do think kids are being over-stimulated and bombarded. I guess we were too when we were little, but somehow every generation feels the next one isn’t getting substance. Somehow TV didn’t seem as manic and A.D.D. inspiring back then as today’s does. I’d like to think perhaps Gustafer is a mellower refuge for people who feel attacked by today kid’s stuff.

OWTK: What kind of impact do you think the current boom or renaissance, if you will, in children’s music is having/will have on the youth of today?

MT: I think the “boom” you’re talking about is only in quantity. Most of it isn’t filling any void that existed and it’s another example of today’s people in general having way more choices for entertainment than we seemed to have growing up. There are also a bunch of different ways to be exposed to stuff now too. And for me I mean growing up from 1975-1985.

OWTK: When are we going to be fortunate enough to receive additional Gustafer Yellowgold DVD/CDs? Please give the readers of Out With The Kids a sneak preview of some of the adventures or characters we might expect to see in future releases.

MT: The 2nd Gustafer DVD/CD is already near completion. Here are some sneak-peeks at some song titles:

Pinecone Lovely (about Gustafer’s favorite food)
The Bluebird Tree (Where Gus goes to think)
Punching Cheese (the counterpart to I Jump On Cake)
Aye Aphid (a new number for Asparagus the Dragon)
The Mustard Slugs (Evan, Kevin, Bevan and Paul)
and at least 4 more.
I can’t wait for folks to see the next batch. It’s way more detailed. I had a blast making it.


OWTK will be seeing Morgan and his band at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia this coming Saturday morning, 5/12/07.

Pics and a review next week.
Catch the band on tour this Spring/Summer.

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