Danny Tamberelli is known by many as Little Pete from the hit Nickelodeon series, The Adventures of Pete & Pete. However, he has done many exciting things since the show. He is the bassist and frontman for the band, Jounce. He is in a sketch comedy group called Manboobs Comedy. He also recently started a podcast with his on-screen big brother, Mike Marrona aka Big Pete. I had an engaging conversation with Danny to discuss Jounce, podcasting, various music topics, and more.
Alex Obert: So you recently started a podcast, The Adventures of Danny and Mike, with your on-screen brother, Pete. How did that start?
Danny Tamberelli: Well we had been doing some live reunion shows, five or six of them. We just had a good time doing it and we thought about how to keep it going. And the logical step was doing a podcast because we could do one once a month. The idea of the podcast is to go on some sort of adventure in some city and we record what we did. We’ll have a comedian guest for the second half and we just shoot the shit with them.
Alex Obert: Which has been your favorite episode so far?
Danny Tamberelli: There’s been a lot of good ones. The second one we did with Chris Gethard where we went ghost hunting was pretty amazing. We also did a fun one at Comikaze in Los Angeles. We had a bingo card where we’d find guys to go up to, such as going up to Poison Ivy and asking if I could trim her bush. Stupid shit like that. And there was a rap battle with Weird Al Yankovic. That was mostly just a photo op. (laughs)
Alex Obert: Which other podcasts do you listen to?
Danny Tamberelli: I listen to Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, Harmontown, The Indoor Kids, Pop My Culture and This American Life.
Alex Obert: As a companion to your podcast, there should be one hosted by Kenan and Kel.
Danny Tamberelli: (laughs) I’ll set up a group chat with them and tell them that they need to do that.
Alex Obert: It’s amazing how anyone can start a podcast and how big it has become over the past couple of years.
Danny Tamberelli: Yeah, it’s really cool. We’re a part of Feral Audio Group. They have Harmontown, they have Chelsea Peretti’s podcast, they have Steve Agee’s. It works out really well, they just let us do whatever we want. They publish it and put it out for us. It’s cool to have a distribution outlet, as opposed to putting it up on iTunes ourselves.
Alex Obert: When you were on The Adventures of Pete & Pete, what music were you listening to at the time? This was all during the nineties when a lot of great grunge and alternative bands were huge.
Danny Tamberelli: We started in ’89 and people were giving me music right in the beginning. I remember walking around with a My First Sony tape recorder with R.E.M.’s Green in it. Initially, it was that kind of music. When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I started getting into metal. I was a big metalhead during a point of Pete & Pete. I had two older sisters, but Mike was like a surrogate older brother to me. He got me into Pixies and the Ramones, bands that have become very influential to me. I play music now and a lot of that has to do with people giving me all sorts of music.
Alex Obert: What was the first concert that you ever attended?
Danny Tamberelli: Roxette in Minneapolis, Minnesota while we were filming The Mighty Ducks.
Alex Obert: And what would you say is the best concert you’ve seen?
Danny Tamberelli: I’ve seen the Stones twice, that was awesome. My dad took me to go see Cream at Madison Square Garden, that was pretty incredible. I got to see Spiritualized in Philadelphia.
Alex Obert: What are a couple of your all-time favorite albums?
Danny Tamberelli: I don’t like saying it anymore, but it’s still one of the most influential to me because I played with Richard Lloyd from the band Television. Marquee Moon is probably one of my favorite records. Let’s Go by Rancid is another one. Double Nickels on the Dime by Minutemen. There is a compilation called All Ages from Bad Religion, it contains a lot of good stuff from their records.
Alex Obert: With your band, Jounce, you have your annual holiday show coming up. How did that tradition start?
Danny Tamberelli: This will be our fourteenth one. We’ve been doing one every year at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, New Jersey. They were just a cool club that appreciated live music. And we always wanted to do a holiday show because at the time, we were all in college and everyone would come back home from school and we’d just have a big party.
And it’s turned into this annual event. Every year, we do it and people still come out and they’re very excited. It turns into a reunion party.
Alex Obert: Does the band perform covers every year?
Danny Tamberelli: Yeah, we usually play a set of our music and then we’ll play a set of covers. Sometimes they have a theme, sometimes they’re just random songs that we like. We did one a couple years ago that was like a nineties cassette mix, songs you might find on an old cassette. We covered bands like TLC, Pearl Jam and Soul Asylum.
Alex Obert: How do you feel being in Brooklyn has shaped the band?
Danny Tamberelli: I think it’s nice to be in a place where there’s a lot of music happening all the time and there’s a lot of creative people walking around. That definitely helps. But I don’t think our location reflects how we progress as a band, it’s more just the songwriting and just life in general. I’m in Los Angeles a few months out of the year every year. I take a break and I do a lot of writing out there. Some of our music comes from out there, not just from Brooklyn.
Alex Obert: What did you think of recently playing at The Space in Connecticut?
Danny Tamberelli: We love The Space. We’ve played there a few times with Jounce. Manic Productions runs the bookings there, and we love going there to place because there is a scene blossoming. They really care about the bands they put on at The Space.
Alex Obert: Which character from Pete & Pete do you feel should have gotten a spinoff show?
Danny Tamberelli: (laughs) Artie, for sure! Maybe it’d be like Better Call Saul where it’s before, during and after. It’d be about his life and how he grew up. Maybe he’ll be playing guitar and singing in a cruise-type band. Just cruising around, hanging out with fifty-somethings and playing shuffleboard.
Alex Obert: Which television shows are you currently watching?
Danny Tamberelli: I watch a lot of stuff that’s on Comedy Central. I watch Louie. I watch Game of Thrones. I watch True Detective. But I don’t have a normal TV, I just live on Netflix and Hulu Plus. I never catch it when it first airs, I’ll just binge all day on shows.
Alex Obert: Before we wrap up, can you fill in readers on the information for the upcoming holiday show?
Danny Tamberelli: It’s at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, New Jersey on 12/26. Waking Lights will be playing with us, they’re a really great band from Jersey. They had stopped playing and they’re having sort of a reunion show at our gig. And it’ll be Jounce and it will be undisclosed rock covers. And maybe a couple holiday jingles.
Alex Obert: What are your websites for readers to check out?
Danny Tamberelli: JOUNCE.org. DannyandMike.com for the podcast. And I have a sketch group at ManBoobsComedy.com.
Alex Obert: I’d love to thank you so much for your time.
Danny Tamberelli: Hey no worries, man. Thanks!