Wookiefoot - 2013

An Interview with Wookiefoot Founding Band Member, Mark Murphy
by Andrew Frey
November 2013

Wookiefoot is a conduit of evolving consciousness. “When JoJo and I started WookieFoot fifteen years ago, we weren’t exactly sure what we were creating,” begins Mark Murphy, vocalist, visionary, and guitarist for Wookiefoot. “All we knew is that we wanted to be a large community of people doing ridiculous things and sharing our philosophy.”

However, as they lived their music, their philosophy and message evolved and escalated with each of their recordings. Starting by getting Domesticated (2000) they went on to Make Belief (2001). Then they got Out of the Jar (2003). After leaving the jar, they had to Activate (2006) before they could Be Fearless and Play (2009). Most recently, they challenged us with being Ready Or Not… (2012).

One might say Wookiefoot has become a musical oracle that evolved in conjunction with the evolution of mass consciousness. Their deeply esoteric and philosophical lyrics channel overall cultural themes and archetypes of the awakening and expanding consciousnesses that humanity has been experiencing. Once your heart and mind are opened to this music, the honesty and intentions of their lyrics react with self-truths in your reality to create relevant spiritual lessons.

Murphy continues, “I’d say that over the years, as we have met more and more amazingly talented people, it just constantly blooms into other unexpected manifestations. It has been such a blessing to allow it to morph organically and at a sustainable pace. We went from band, to art commune, to festival community, to international non-profit… and it just seems to keep unfolding!”

In 2006, Wookiefoot created a nonprofit called, ‘Be The Change.’ This charity is the result of the many amazing people Wookiefoot encountered on their global travels that were making extraordinary differences in their communities, but lacked funding often sourced from large corporations. A win-win situation was struck by bridging the resources from the Wookiefoot community to theirs. Mark elaborates, “Be the Change Charities has really been cruising and we’re ready to take it to another level. As of this last Project Earth Festival, we have raised over $350,000 that has gone to international relief efforts. We sponsor everything from removing land mines in Cambodia, to stopping sex trafficking in Nepal, to building water wells in Central America. One of our largest beneficiaries is The American Refugee Committee based out of Minneapolis. They do amazing work, not just in helping people in crisis, but also creating sustainable models to allow them to lift themselves out of their difficult situations and rebuild communities. We are hoping to branch into more projects and also link in with more musicians. Nahko from Medicine for the People and Trevor Hall are a couple of examples of musicians that are linking in with this movement and becoming a part of Be The Change as well.”

Wookiefoot performances are legendary, and include wild costumes, fire spinners, and a bag piper. “We are constantly evolving as a group,” emphasizes Murphy. “We travel with a circus of up to 20 band members, performers, dancers, designers, and technicians. This year, we are experimenting more with our stage performance (lead by the amazingly talented and diverse Heather Zehr of enticingentertainment.com) as well pushing our own comfort zones musically by opening up some space for improvisation.”

Plus, Wookiefoot has a new bus. Murphy beams, “We have a new tour bus that runs on recycled vegetable oil! It makes me so happy! I can’t tell you how sad it has made me to get up and sing lyrics about environmental responsibility and then drive in our old bus getting 5 miles to the gallon. I know that Veggie Oil isn’t going to save the planet, but at least it’s a cleaner burning fuel and refreshing start to alternative approaches for transportation. It feels great to drive from one city to the next on what a fast food restaurant was about to throw away!”

In closing, Murphy sums up, “We just released a “Best of” for our 15-year anniversary. It’s available online at our website (wookiefoot.com) for free download and on our FaceBook page (facebook.com/wookiefoot). Feel free to download it and share it with people. I also encourage people to learn more about Be The Change as well as the festivals we throw at Harmony Park. Come be a part of this beautiful community!”

Wookiefoot’s followers, known as Bliss Junkies, will be converging when Wookiefoot appears with their full entourage on 11/22 at The Red Zone in Madison, WI and 11/23 at Reggies in Chicago. www.wookiefoot.com

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