CASPER, Wyo. — For years, Mastermind of Monkey has been a staple of the Casper music scene. With two of the band’s members preparing to move to Colorado, though, the band recently released what will be its final album, “The Serpent’s Cries.”
Making music is always an intimate process, but for the band — which consists of guitarist Jeramy Adamson, his wife Andrea Adamson, their son Tristan Adamson and Tristan’s childhood friend Ty Moore — it has always been a family affair.
The band started as a father–son duo roughly six years ago, after Tristan had bounced around as a member of other local bands for a few years.
“It was just young, stupid high school stuff,” Tristan said of his earlier attempts to be part of a band. “Kids my age back then weren’t really committed, but I’ve always known what I want to do from a very young age: I want to be a performer.”
It didn’t take long for Jeramy and Tristan to begin booking shows throughout the area, and before long another member of the family looked to get involved. Andrea had a musical background and experience as a vocalist and saxophonist, but with lessons from Tristan she became the band’s bassist.
“I’m still learning,” she said with a chuckle. “Every time I play, I’m learning something new about the instrument. … Having that experience with other instruments definitely helped; I know how things are supposed to sound, when I’m playing the wrong note, that sort of thing.”
“She’s taken to it so quickly,” Jeramy added. “It’s been really cool to see.”
Ty entered the group a few years later. Mastermind of Monkey has had a handful of drummers since its inception, but none stuck.
“One of them just didn’t gel with the rest of us, and another was always just going to be temporary,” Jeramy said.
When looking for a new drummer about three years ago, the family immediately thought of Ty. He had been a member of the Natrona County High School marching band alongside Tristan, and the two were more than acquaintances thanks to a mutual friend. He decided to join the band, and the rest was history.
“Immediately, he took us to another level with his expertise, I feel,” Jeramy said.
For each, the process of making music alongside family and close longtime friends has been an exceptionally special experience, the bandmates agree.
“Just always knowing that you have your support system, not just as band members together but as family, is something special,” Tristan said. “Ty isn’t technically family, but I’ll always consider him family and a brother.
“Relying on each other goes so much further than just being in a band together. And it means the world to be able to take the stage with my family. … It’s a very special experience that I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life.”
And each band member brings a wide range of influences to the table, which leads to a sound that is difficult to define through typical genre conventions.
“We all have music that influenced us, and it leads to a pretty interesting sound,” Ty said.
Recently, though, Ty and Tristan wanted to further their career in a bigger music scene, and the two friends decided to move to the Denver area together. Whether they’ll start a band in Colorado or look to join an existing group is still undetermined, but they agreed they’d like to continue making music together if possible.
Jeramy and Andrea agreed that while they’re sad the band’s time is coming to a close, it’s a bittersweet feeling on the whole as they watch Tristan and Ty spread their wings.
“I know this is the right thing for them,” Andrea said.
And with the band’s time together ending, the group knew they wanted their final studio album to be as good as possible.
Each member of the band was able to contribute with writing lyrics or music on the album, with many of the songs consisting of lyrics from Jeramy and music from Tristan and Ty.
“Most of the time, he’ll bring me the lyrics, and then I’ll come up with the music to go with it,” Tristan said.
Many of the songs on the album deal with complex themes such as mental health, depression and the monotony of life. One song written by Andrea tackles her own experiences with mental illness.
Jeramy and Tristan each point to “Lead Me On (Dream Girl)” as one of the tracks they’re most proud of from the album, and Tristan also added that “Show Me Your Light” is one of his favorite pieces of songwriting from the project.
Knowing this would likely be the last official release the band makes before the departure of Tristan and Ty, the group knew they had to go all out in its production.
“It’s hard to decide it’s done, because we could keep tweaking it and working on it forever,” Tristan said, “but we’ve got it in a place where we’re extremely happy with it.”
“The Serpent’s Cries” can be streamed on all major music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.
Looking to the future, Mastermind of Monkey’s next live show will be this coming Saturday at David Street Station in downtown Casper, when it provided the tunes for the upcoming Balloon Festival. In September, the band will host a farewell show at Oil City Beer Company. The band hopes for the farewell concert to be a picture-perfect send-off for the two departing bandmates, featuring several other local musicians throughout the night. The show will also serve as something of a fundraiser, to help provide Ty and Tristan with a bit of a financial cushion as they begin the next chapter in their lives.
“Casper will always be home,” Tristan said, Ty nodding in agreement. “Wherever we are, I’ll always love this city and the people.”