By Charlotte Lascelles
IN THE world of children’s music there is the sickly mixture of Disney, nursery rhymes and watered-down pop singles – but an Australian musician is vowing to change that.
Andy Walker, from Byron Bay, has created an online rock music web-series for children called Bunny Racket aimed at inspiring and teaching children how to create music and rock out with the whole family.
It is about King Bunny, a rabbit looking for some good rock ‘n’ roll, and the project is described as “AC/DC, KISS, and The Ramones teaming up with The Cat in the Hat.”
Andy is currently in the UK filming more material for videos and has been promoting the record by signing copies.
The idea originated when his musician colleagues brought their children over to his house whenever they recorded music together.
Andy, 39, who has been a touring musician since the 90s, said: “Instead of having the kids locked away in another room I’d always take the time to sit down and start trying to make songs with the children, like bring out the guitar and teach them a few things and record little songs.
“That’s how the idea originated, but the idea of it being a band of bunnies came when I had a chat with my friend’s son who is six years old. I said, ‘I’ve got a band I’m putting together, what’s the best band name that you can think of?’ And he said, ‘Bunny Racket!’”
After the idea came together, and with help from Robby Krieger, guitarist of The Doors, and Brant Bjork, drummer of Kyuss, Andy recorded the Rock ‘n’ Roll Animals album in California and began to film some of the videos for the project, such as their first music video, Chicken Is Not A Fruit.
His wife, 38-year-old Poppy Walker, is a director-producer and is involved with the visual aspects of the project, although is more of a supporting role as she spends more time looking after their two-year-old son, Wolfgang.
She said: “Andy often goes over his concepts with me and I love chatting about his different creative ideas.
“When we are filming, I can help with anything from looking after our toddler, to catering, to pitching in with direction, or operating a second camera.”
Bunny Racket was successfully kick-started in Australia with $50,000 and more episodes of the web-series will be made in January 2017.
The record was released in the UK through Dock Ellis Records, an independent label founded by Mark Lascelles and Alan Kovan.
Mark said: “We gave him full artistic control over all the music, the sleeve design, vinyl colour – everything.
“There’s been no huge rush of volumes sold so far but this is early days.”
For more information on Bunny Racket check out their website.