I had been into music my whole life. Dan was pretty fresh
in the game, maybe
a year on guitar. But I had been playing piano and trumpet
and stuff since I was really young. I played trumpet in school
band, but I always wanted to play a full drum set. Finally,
I was around 9 or 10, and I had been asking for a few years
for a drum set, and my dad came home one day for my birthday
with the drum set I still play today. It's a Rogers set, the
same model that Suicidal Tendencies played on for years.
Five-O: That's one cool dad.
Stefan: He was in the clear
because he didn't live with us. My mom was used to it already
because my older brother was in several heavy metal bands
at the time, and he's now a jazz musician.
We started rocking out in my basement just literally drums
and guitar and writing our own songs and calling ourselves
a hundred different names, but Secret Agent Bill stuck that
same summer we started jamming. Ever since it's been a rotating
door of musicians that have come in to be a part of Secret
Our singer Ben Stupid is quite a character. He's versatile
in what he does. He's a hell of a writer more than anything.
Really knowledgeable. He has a very Frank Zappa mentality,
I guess you could say. He's also a smart ass, but a hell of
nice guy. Extremely smart Jewish kid from Whitney Young magnet
school in Chicago. He was in choir. Went to Puerto Rico with
We've worked hard over these years. Completely DIY punk,
did everything ourselves and we're still doing it.
Five-O: I heard about some
mentorship from Blackbyrd McKnight & Jeff Fogerty.
Stefan: Absolutely unforeseen.
It was a total awakening and a dream come true. Blackbyrd
is a hell of a teacher and a great guy. Jeff Fogerty is one
the best engineers I've ever seen. He's the son of Tom Fogerty,
the rhythm guitarist and a founding member of CCR, the oldest
Fogerty brother. I was closing my eyes one day in the studio
sessions and saying, this is exactly what I want to be doing.
When you open your eyes it's unreal - these cats that have
been around the world so many times and played with so many
amazing people, done everything you would want to do as a
Stefan: Kei-Key "Bu"
is from Chicago and she raps her ass off. We got together
with her because of Sonny Cool.
None of this would have happened if I didn't meet Sonny. It
all boils down to that. I was doing a studio session one day.
They said they need a conga player to come by. Sonny was there
producing the project. Sonny was from Skokie, Illinois, the
girl he was producing was from New York and they needed a
bunch of musicians and things, so I just started networking,
making phone calls, helping them out and hanging out, and
at that point Sonny didn't even know I played drums. He though
I was a percussionist, conga player, period. He didn't know
I had a punk band or nothing.
After about four or five days of hanging out every day all
day, I finally played him some of my stuff. And he flipped
his lid. He's like, "I've been looking for something
like this! I want to work with a punk band. My daughter raps.
We can mix the punk with the hip hop."
We came up with out first song with his daughter while Sonny
was out of town.
He came back and we had written "Smoke That Dope."
It was awesome. We blew his mind. We immediately started recording
it and tracking. After that, George Clinton jumped on it so
now it's "Smoke That Dope" featuring Secret Agent
Bill, Kei-Key "Bu" and George Clinton, with Blackbyrd,
produced by Jeff Fogerty and Sonny Cool. It's just wild.
We're definitely some of the only people doing what we do
here in Chicago. When we came out to L.A., it was so nice
to have a warm reception. We had no idea how they were going
to accept us. As a matter of fact that was our first 21-and-over
only show ever. At the time three of us weren't even 21 yet.
We were plugging away at a rehearsal space six to eight hours
a day just on music
alone, just plugging it, and with our high energy stuff. At
the end of the day we're covered with sweat, we're barely
walking straight. Man, it's amazing what that did for us.
It totally improved our playing and our musicianship towards
When we were doing those rehearsals, that's when Jeff Fogerty
came and saw us sweating it out every day. And then he ended
up sticking around for literally three months living in Chicago
and worked on our record with us. That was amazing to me that
he would do that. About six months before that, we had jumped
off a show in Chicago with Blackbyrd. Which was the first
incident live of anything that had to do with the P-Funk family.
We met Kei-Key December, 2000. One year
later we were in Hollywood doing that show with George. For
2003 we got new songs, new attitude. We're honing it and getting
it ready to go.
First George heard the tape when Sonny and him were driving
around his farm and he says, "You got something there."
Sonny knew we weren't quite ready but it was a taste of what
he was working with.
Then a few months later, after Jeff and Blackbyrd were working
with us and we had some studio stuff done, Sonny takes it
to him and George listens and goes, "Oh, yeah. They're
ready now." That made Sonny feel really good.
So our first show together with George was in Hollywood at
the Dragonfly. We did rehearsals first in Chicago. As a matter
of fact George was sleeping, and he heard us playing "Nobody
Knows," the song he sings with us, and he woke up and
ran into the room and started singing it and jamming with
us. It was do or die, because the whole P-Funk army was in
that room, watching us. But we were ready, man, we were ready