Somehow, through the many Muppets movies and TV series we’ve had, house band Dr Floyd and the Electric Mayhem has never produced a full-length album. Making their debut on The Muppet Show’s first episode back in 1975, the group has provided many, many funkadelic performances without ever laying their grooves down on some wax for fans to enjoy.
Finally, this audacious wrong has been rectified. Floyd, Animal, and their musical comrades Dr Teeth, Lips, Janice, and Zoot were convinced to enter the studio and immortalise their riffs and rhythms once and for all. Luckily for us, the whole process was captured for the Disney Plus show The Muppets Mayhem, a part-documentary, part-comedy series on the musicians and their legacy.
Overdue this may be, Floyd and Animal explained to The Digital Fix that it all came down to the same principles that drew the band together. “Every single moment was like a groovy dream come true,” Floyd, bassist and backing vocalist, tells us. “Honestly, my favourite part was just getting to make music with the best musicians and best friends anybody can have.”
We get to see them figure out how to condense their massive live sound onto audio tape, with rock icons such as Tommy Lee and Billy Corgan lending a hand or talking up the Electric Mayhem’s reputation. Wrangled by up-and-coming label representative Nora, played by Lilly Singh, the musical act gradually lays down the album of the century.
There are some challenges – Electric Mayhem aren’t too familiar with modern digital production – but just like everything else, they got through it together. “It’s our shared love of music that’s kept us together. We got the same vibes,” Floyd says. “We’re all in the same groove, you know, and plus, we’re like a family. And that’s really that’s really the big point right there, you know. We all love each other.”
Ever the unpredictable troubadour, Animal’s already left the interview once by this point, to retrieve a stapler (he returns with a bottle cap he then ingests). Animal has always been on his own wavelength, bringing thunder to his band’s symphony. Nonetheless, he’s firmly dedicated to his craft, taking any opportunity to rave about drums and making noise.
“Loud,” Animal responds, when I ask a question on technique. “Loud, loud, loud.”
He corrects me when I tell him he’s one of the best drummers going, proclaiming himself the best. But in the same answer, he tells me to keep the crux of his voracious abilities a secret, showing a softer, more self-conscious side. In my questioning, I continually throw to Floyd first, spurring Animal to ask why – I stand corrected in my bias.
There’s inherent sensitivity to being part of The Muppets. The ensemble has endured multiple decades through madcap stage routines and a deeply chaotic brand of wholesome. They all wear their hearts on their sleeves, allowing us to feel comfortable doing the same.
We don’t talk about Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, or any of the wider group. It seemed unnecessary given that for the first time in nearly 50 years, Electric Mayhem’s got the chance to hold the spotlight on their own terms. ‘Mayheads’ – the group’s most dedicated fans, represented on the show by Tahj Mowry as Gary ‘Moog’ Moogwski – have been waiting for this for years.
Instead, they have guests from all corners of the music trade. “How can you possibly choose just a favourite one of them?” Floyd states. “I mean, they were all the coolest, man, the most talented cats around. We had Desiigner, Deadmau5, Kesha, Ziggy Marley man, come on!”
Lil Nas X, Steve Aoki, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, and Charlamagne Tha God get namedrops too, and that’s before we get into the Hollywood appearances. Action movie icon Danny Trejo stops by, and View Askewniverse auteur Kevin Smith helps make a new Electric Mayhem music video. They have a lot of friends, from all creative walks, who wanted to rejoice in this cultural moment.
Now that Dr Floyd and the Electric Mayhem have completed their debut LP – available here – they can hit the road again. Who would they like to tour with? There’s only one name on Animal’s mind.
“Ringo! Ringo! Ringo!” the sticksman shouts. Animal’s love of Ringo Starr’s work would rival that of any Beatles fan. After clarifying it could be anyone, living or dead, still together or broken up, Floyd shares his sensibilities.
“Being in London here, it’s got me in a British state of mind,” he muses. “So off the top of my head I gotta say, I’m gonna go with the Beatles.” That’d be a dream gig, but an unlikely one, sadly. Floyd has more realistic picks, too.
“Coldplay, they’d be awesome to hang with. And U2,” he states. “It’d be a blast to work with anybody, man. We love the collaborations, bring them on!”
Upon finishing The Muppets Mayhem, I think my last question might have worked better the other way around. Who’s worthy of sharing their stage? Despite their modesty, I believe it’s a short list. There are a lot of great bands, but only one Electric Mayhem. There are a lot of great records, but only one by Electric Mayhem.
Singular, eccentric, and groovy to the max, their vibes are infectious. I’ve been a Mayhead for a long time, and after this, I’ll definitely be a Mayhead for a long time to come. Thanks to The Muppets Mayhem, this fanclub’s going to get a lot more crowded. Frankly, it’s about time.
You can watch The Muppets Mayhem now on Disney Plus. Check out our list of the best Disney Plus movies for more on the service.