An Interview with Bryan of Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Rylee Hedberg

Photo: Contributed.
Photo: Contributed.

What do you get when you mix two mics, an iPod, gold sneakers, and rainbows? You get Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Minneapolis-based duo Bryan Atchison and Neil Olstad are bringing their blend of rap, melody, and sassy humor to the Seven Rivers Region on January 20.

How did Koo Koo Kanga Roo get together?  

We were college roommates and were in another band together. Koo Koo was a project for a battle of the bands to try something new and experiment with crowd interaction.  

Did you know Koo Koo is what you always wanted to do performance-wise? Or was there a different genre of music, or even a different career path you thought you would take?  

Koo Koo has always just morphed into what works. We roll with what we think will make the best experience for a live show and push that as far as we can. Our main goal is inclusion, so that’s the path we like to take.  

What audience do you both like performing for the most?  

Adults are always the best because they pick up on the participation part the quickest, but it’s fun to show kids that music can be so much more than just sitting back and watching.  

What has been your favorite performance so far and why?  

Too many. Probably some weird house show in some random town that we thought was going to be a bust and ended up making the whole tour happy.  

Where do you see the group going in the next few years? Any goals for the group?  

Just hope more people come out to our live shows. Kids know about us through school, but they think we are CGI or some created Disney band. Tough to get the word out but we’re trying. So tell your friends. Most important thing is growing the live show. Always. Everything is created to get people to the live show.  

Will this be your first time performing in La Crosse?  

No way, [we’ve] been to La Crosse a bunch. This is our third time playing the Warehouse as Koo Koo. Can’t wait to get back. Steve is awesome, and we love all-ages spots like that.  

What is your favorite thing about performing or being in the group?  

Sweating, driving, and listening to podcasts.  

What do you hope your audience gets most from your performances?  

Some joy and the idea that it’s ok to be really weird.  

Go   Koo Koo Kanga Roo LIVE  

Two Shows on Sat., Jan. 20

2:00 p.m.: The Warehouse, La Crosse with Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship $10. All ages.  

8:00 p.m.: Ed’s No Name Bar, Winona with General B and the Wiz, Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, and Karate Chop Silence $10. 21+

Koo Koo Kangaroo Website

Ocooch Mountain Music Sessions Website

Rylee Hedberg  author

Rylee Hedberg is a senior at UW-La Crosse majoring in communications and international studies. She enjoys reading, running, nature, dogs, friends, travel, and good beer. You can find her pouring beer and slinging coffee at the Root Note and Bean Juice in La Crosse.