Parks And Recreation‘s Mouse Rat is one of the most beloved fictional TV bands in recent memory, but they became less fictional a couple months ago when they released an actual album, The Awesome Album. While Andy Dwyer’s voice is heard all over the project, the man behind Dwyer, Chris Pratt, says he wasn’t involved with its release at all.
Recently, Rob Lowe (who of course starred in the show as Chris Traeger) and Alan Yang (who was a Mouse Rat member and also a writer on the show) started hosting a podcast about the series, Parks And Recollection. They had Pratt on a recent episode, and during the conversation, Pratt said of The Awesome Album:
“No one consulted me about it. They were like, ‘Hey, do you want to promote this album?’ I was like, ‘There’s an album?’ And then they were like, ‘Yeah, do you want to promote it?’ Part of me is like, ‘Yeah, that’d be cool. I’d love… I’d always wanted to be that actor who has the vanity album, you know? I hope it gets a million copies and I get the Platinum album on my wall.
But then on the other hand, I’m like, ‘But you’re not gonna like’… I don’t think I’m going to be compensated for this beyond the whatever I… $15,000 an episode I was making for the show. Like um, I think no. I think I’m going to say no. A hard pass on promoting your album.”
Yang then indicated that he and others from the band and show were similarly out of the loop about the project, saying, “They didn’t tell anybody! I don’t think they told [Parks And Recreation co-creator Michael Schur]. I don’t know. I don’t know, it just came out. I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ I was like, ‘I’m in Mouse Rat, I didn’t know about that.'”
Pratt then brought up Mark Rivers, who composed most of the the Mouse Rat songs, was the band’s drummer, and later went on to earn an Emmy nomination for his work on Big Mouth. Pratt said, “I just hope that Mark Rivers gets compensated, ’cause that dude is the heart and soul and brains and talent behind Mouse Rat. So, if anything, I would just advocate that Mark be taken care of because he did such a great job.”
To Pratt and Yang’s point, promotional efforts for The Awesome Album seemed to be ragtag in nature. Nobody involved with the band helped push the album, and furthermore, promotional clips from Jay Jackson (aka Perd Hapley) and Alison Becker (aka Shauna Newport) were amateur-looking videos that appear to have been ordered on Cameo.
Pratt and Yang chatted more about Mouse Rat and memories they have of the band, so check out a clip from the conversation below.
The Awesome Album is out now via Dualtone/Entertainment 720. Get it here.