EDISON, NJ—Citing creative differences that had been festering for at least a decade, Chuck E. Cheese keyboardist Mr. Munch confirmed Wednesday that he had left the band to form a new prog-rock outfit, The Mr. Munch Experience.
The longtime Chuck E. Cheese performer, whose songwriting credits include such hits as “You’re A Winner” and “The Future Looks Fun To Me,” told reporters that while he was proud of what the band had accomplished musically, he had begun to feel stifled by the group’s “mainstream sound” and “repetitive birthday-themed set list.”
“Sure, part of me still loves jamming about eating pizza and having fun with your friends, but there’s so much more to being an artist than just showing up and singing the same 20 songs over and over,” said Mr. Munch, complaining that the group hadn’t put out any new material since the commercial, radio-friendly “Giant Armadillo Named Phil.” “But anytime I suggested we push ourselves in a more experimental direction, that we not be afraid to challenge kids a little, Chuck just shot me down.”
“I guess you gotta know when to pack it in,” Mr. Munch added. “If nothing else, I’ll never have to sing ‘so let’s have a party’ ever again.”
According to the keyboardist, The Mr. Munch Experience would ideally resemble something of an “aural journey,” taking listeners to far-off soundscapes where strands of mozzarella stretch across infinity and sauce erupts from marinara volcanoes. Without the constraints of an established sound, Mr. Munch reportedly plans to explore ideas like polyrhythms, slide whistles, microtones, and confetti cannons—all of which would have clashed with the Chuck E. Cheese band’s more traditional, pop-oriented format.
The Mr. Munch Experience would ideally resemble something of an “aural journey,” taking listeners to far-off soundscapes where strands of mozzarella stretch across infinity and sauce erupts from marinara volcanoes.
Mr. Munch explained that his new project would have a much more free-form style that wouldn’t be afraid to “get a little cosmic.” He added that he had just finished a rough demo of a 12-part song, an ambient “synth voyage” titled “Gooey Galactic” that culminated with a long fade-out of him whispering the word “toppings” in reverse.
The musician also confirmed he had already begun collaborating with longtime friend and Parliament-Funkadelic bass player Bootsy Collins on an epic 40-minute “rebirthing” of “If You’re Happy And You Know It.”
“One of the things I’m most excited about is this multi-part rock opera called ‘Pepperonium’ that takes place in the year 2790 on a planet made entirely of melted cheese,” said Mr. Munch, describing how the idea came to him during a recent peyote session with his girlfriend, a 19-year-old Chuck E. Cheese’s waitress who chants atonally in the song’s background. “It’s going to be wild. I recorded the sound of a wooden paddle sliding under a pizza in a scorching-hot oven. It’s just three seconds long, but we slowed it down to four minutes.”
“The lead single is about how we’re all living on a single ball in a gigantic ball pit,” Mr. Munch continued. “It’s a total mindfuck.”
Mr. Munch, who reiterated that he still had the utmost respect for his former bandmates’ technical chops, admitted that they had drifted apart due to a toxic mix of personalities—a rift that was compounded by their grueling 365-days-a-year performance schedule.
“Chuck and I have been good buds from back in the day, but I’ve never seen eye to eye with Jasper T. Jowls,” said Mr. Munch, referring to the group’s lead guitarist, whom he claimed was an out-of-control drunk who “always played over everyone.” “I’m here to make music, but Pasqually P. Pieplate and Helen Henny were constantly bringing their personal stuff onstage every damn night, like anyone at a birthday party is supposed to care.”
“Boy, am I glad to be done with that bullshit,” added Mr. Munch.
Representatives from Chuck E. Cheese’s confirmed that they had already replaced Mr. Munch by signing Country Bear Jamboree’s Liver Lips McGrowl.