By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 22, 2001 at 5:37 AM

After the release of their latest disc, "From Tomorrow," Milwaukee's funkiest threesome, Recycled Future, hit the trail and has been on it for weeks. We recently caught up with them to find out how things are going.

Dramatis personae: Peter Adams: tour manager, Michael Aschenbrener: road manager/heavy, Joe Kaye: Milwaukee Operative, Erik Radloff: drums and vox, Todd Richards: bass and vox, and David Wake: keys and vox.

OMC: How is the tour going?

RF: It is not easy to set up a tour from a grass roots position. We have taken care of all the booking, promotion, roadie-ing (if that's a word) and anything else involved in this tour ourselves. The incentives are not all that great. Everyone has been busting their asses out of not much more than love for each other, love of music and the desire to see this band survive, grow and prosper. Needless to say, we have learned a lot. This tour was filled with great times and rough times, but, I know we all would and will do it again.

OMC: What's the best gig you've had? Worst?

RF: We have had some amazing gigs. Most memorable: two mountain towns in Colorado, Breckenridge (Sherpa and Yeti's) and two gigs at the Roma in Telluride, one of the most scenic, beautiful places we have ever been. We also had two great gigs in Flagstaff at the Flagstaff Brewery. Besides a good crowd, the staff at Flag Brew was incredibly helpful and generous. Our best gig musically was at a little out of the way club in San Diego called The Vortex. It was one of those nights where we were all listening so intently that it was impossible to avoid truly telepathic moments.

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There weren't all that many bad gigs, but the bad ones were really bad.

Exhibit A: Denver, Cricket on the Hill. I think this club thought we were a heavy metal band, based on the bands they booked us with. We were the third of three-band bill on an already slow night. This night included "getting into it" with an Oreo smoking, country singing, smack talking, regular performer and patron at Cricket. A brute of a man named Denver Joe. After 40 minutes of our set; the ornery, too many trips to the bathroom takin', tweaker of a bartender cut us short. He sent us on our way with $21 and a good story about an Oreo smoking cowboy.

Exhibit B: Fort Collins, the Starlight Theater. Although this gig was really fun musically, with a receptive crowd -- including some familiar faces from Milwaukee: right on Joe Burbach and Lance -- the negligence and rudeness of the club made this the stinkiest on this jaunt. To start, the sound man fell asleep during the show. Next, understand that at the beginning of the night we offered to provide our own door man, and were politely denied; the club's door guy took off 1 1/2 hours early. In that time, 30 more folks came into the club free of charge. Around 1:30 the owner showed up. As the negotiations began to heat up, the two bartenders gave us $15 of their tip money, stating that this sort of thing happens there often. And, indeed, we had been warned by another band we encountered on the road that this club and owner were "shady." We realized it was pointless to further negotiate when the owner said with some agitation, "the bar is closed," and turned out all of the lights. With this, we informed him of his reputation, and left exchanging all the niceties of sworn enemies.

OMC: What do you guys do to while away the hours in the van?

RF: We visit and get skinny. We also call each other's cell phones to see how everyone is doing. We watched a lot of Frank Zappa's "200 Motels."

OMC: What's in the tape deck?

RF: A little bit of everything. Black Sabbath, Bjork, Velvet Underground, hip hop, Black Sheep, Handsome Boy Modeling School, a tape of Selt 1 and Why B from the Stork Club, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Ornette Coleman and Funkadelic, RF sets that we have taped while on tour, Johnny Cash at San Quentin, REM, the Replacements, the Police, dub and reggae, the Beatles, and more.

Sometimes we just sit in silence and listen to a metronome.

OMC: McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardee's or Taco Bell?

RF: We really don't eat much fast food. We almost ate at Hardee's, but all decided to save it for when we were married. The most disagreeable food was in Venice Beach. At the Venice Bistro, which at night was lit up "Vice Bro," we were given some chicken tacos. This was part of our payment, but, surprisingly, none of us took any of it with us when we left. We have had the chance to enjoy some quality Ethiopian food in a number of cities.

OMC: Is it legal to call "shotgun" when you haven't even gotten to the parking lot yet?

RF: What's shotgun?

OMC: Any special surprises planned for your big Milwaukee homecoming?

RF: We'll tell you later... We are especially looking forward to reuniting with congateer John Ricco for our dates in Milwaukee, as well as other "special guests."

Our triumphant return is Sun., Dec.23 at The Social. We have also got shows lined up at The Nomad (Wed., Dec. 26), Thai Joe's with the Party of Clowns(Fri, Dec. 28) and Onopa Brewery (Sat., Jan. 5) during our stay in Brewtown.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.