How goes our favorite skankin', live-action TV superheroes? The last time we saw the Aquabats, they were performing at the Great Park for a 2012 summer season-ender, and there were suspiciously a ton of kids in the audience. (Maybe it has something to do with the first season The Aquabats! Super Show! being really popular with grade school boys.) As MC Bat Commander Christian Jacobs said, "Our audience has expanded younger!"
This week, we found out that the The Aquabats! Super Show! was nominated for the "Outstanding Children's Series" Daytime Emmy Award, and that Season 2 of will premiere at THE HUB on June 1, 10 a.m. "We're stoked and honored," said Tyler Jacobs, the show's production designer and screenwriter. We also talked to Aquabats! frontman Christian Jacobs (also the co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba!) about the second season, growing up with Aquabats fans, and the future of Yo Gabba Gabba! The Aquabats will also be playing the Warped Tour in Pomona on June 20-21.
I was at that Great Park show with my two-year-old, and that was fantastic.
Yeah, that was a lot of fun. That was one of the first shows we had since the TV show started raging —
And all the ragers were, like, 3-years-old…
Yeah, there were college kids with mohawks and elementary school kids with their parents … and everyone was feeling the same vibe and flavor and having fun. We haven't played that many shows since the show has been airing because we've been busy making the TV show, so I'm excited to see more kids come out to shows and — as weird as it sounds — making it a family thing, 'cause that's what it's turned into. Introducing kids to the world of live music is fun, you know? They'll probably not be always hardcore Aquabats fans but knowing that we're like, a gateway into live music is awesome.
I read somewhere that you filmed Season 2 in Utah. How come?
A lot of the first season was filmed in Santiago Canyon Park in Irvine, and at the end of the season we just started looking at alternatives because a., it felt like we shot as much as we could shoot around OC within our budget, and we really want the scope and the scale of the show to seem like it's international and has a bunch of different locales.
So we started looking at different ways that we could cost-effectively find these places, since most of the show is shot outside except for the Battletram scenes. We looked at New Mexico, where Breaking Bad shoots, and Louisiana and Canada, and we looked into Utah.
We flew to Utah in May 2012 and met with the film commission and we were really impressed. There's a lot Utah has to offer in terms of location — the mountains, the salt lakes … Southern Utah is incredible for canyons, there's this place called Goblin Valley and it looks like another planet.
There were certain financial incentives too; there were things we could do in Utah that we could only dream about in California, such as renting a giant supermarket and fighting a monster and blowing up the cereal aisle…there's just no way we could do that in LA without a huge budget, and in Utah it was a reality, we were able to pull that off.
I think the footage from Season 2 is really going to blow people away. It's just a wacky kid's show, but it has these big, cinematic sequences.
That's pretty crazy, since when we last talked you didn't even know if The Aquabats! Super Show! was going to have a second season …
Yeah, it's always a gamble, but the ratings and the response for this wacky show has been great.
What was different about shooting in Utah versus Orange County?
Well, the weather. There was a summer camp episode that we shot [in the winter], and it snowed right in the middle of it! So we had to be creative and figure out how to not see the snow, but it's funny to look at footage, we were freezing cold in our rashguards and shorts. A fire truck had to come and spray down the area we were at with water so it would melt all the snow. It's been an adventure, definitely.
What about Yo Gabba Gabba? Is the show coming back for a fifth season?
We're just waiting to see what happens. At the end of every season the network has the option to renew or not renew, so they have a year to make that decision. Nickolodeon could wait a whole year to renew Yo Gabba Gabba!. So we're just biding our time and making The Aquabats! Super Show! and hopefully Nickolodeon will want to make more because that's a blast as well. In the meantime, we're making the craziest live action kids show on TV!