A scene staple thoughout the '90s, the Fabulous Boogienauts are Fully Funktional once again

The Fabulous Boogienauts came together in 1996, when founder Rocky Ramjett was finally able to realize his dream of creating a disco band. Rather than the Chili Peppers brand of funk rock that was in vogue in certain circles at the time, Ramjett, who'd been relieved of his bass-playing duties in experimental rock band Gladhand, wanted to play a kind of music no one was touching then, but he also didn't want to go the route of playing pure covers. And so, with the Fabulous Boogienauts, he began writing new, original disco tunes.

See also: The Fabulous Boogienauts CD release party at Herman's Hideaway, 10/19/13

The Boogienauts, who were once the house band for the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center and also played for the Broncos, dialed things back considerably in 2008, with Ramjett and company feeling as though they had reached a saturation point locally. With the exception of one-off concerts here and there and a well-attended reunion show last year at Herman's Hideaway, the bandmembers maintained a low profile in the ensuing years.

Based on the Herman's gig, however, the Boogienauts realized that there was still an audience for their high-energy, theatrical show. They decided to reconvene as an active band and headed to Motaland Studios to record their second studio album, 12" Fully Funktional, with Bart McCrory. Ramjett spoke with us about the double entendre of the record's title and the ideas behind the band's science-fiction aesthetic.

Westword: Your new album has an unusual title.

Rocky Ramjett: It's 12" Fully Funktional. I put the "12"" on there because I'm going to do a run of vinyl, too. I got "Fully Funktional" out of a Westword ad for transsexuals. It kind of reminds me of what the album sounds like: It's going rip you a new one. No, it's not a record; it's twelve inches a rec.

You refer to your band as a "Big space outfit from beyond the outer rim." What was the inspiration behind incorporating that?

The "Boogienauts" is like "astronauts," and I wanted to have that kind of space imagery. Parliament already did that, but I've always gravitated toward sci-fi, and I thought, "What if they're aliens? What if there's a planet Boogus Prime located deep in the Alpha Booty System" -- like there's a whole race of people that are just disco people?

They love the nightlife; they love to boogie. Like in Rocky Horror Picture Show, there's a whole society or a whole planet full of transsexuals, and they have a theme. We have Starship Boobyprize. Our cheer is "Bump us, bake us, make us, shake us!"

We used to have a lot more literature about that, and I don't want to get away from that, so the new album has a lot of that theme. We drifted away from that for years in what we played live. With the new album, the songs snowballed into themes that have something to do with space. We have a song called "Nebulover." It's all just innuendo, and I hear something new in it every time I listen to it.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.