Cheeze of Monkey Bus
Cheeze a.k.a. Michael Esposito Jr. is the self-proclaimed shy guy who fronts Monkey Bus. He is one of the original members of Monkey Bus. T-bone and Cheeze started the band about nine years ago. The two of them started the band as a joke. They were both in an original band before but decided to do cover later on.
Cheeze is probably the nicest, most religious and most humble front man I have ever met. He is cute, just like what most girls will say, he can sing and jumps around the stage, and can also do tae-bo kicks for effects. My interview with Cheeze, I would say is the most humble and interesting and intimate interview I’ve ever did so far.
I caught up with Cheeze one night when he was bartending. We talked about his three jobs. We chatted about his plans in the future. We discussed a little about cancer. And we of course spoke about sex, well at least close to it.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SINGING PROFESSIONALLY?
Since I was 14.
WHY DO THEY CALL YOU CHEEZE?
I’ve been called Cheeze since 5th grade. I played football and baseball and when I showed up to play, my coach decided to call me Cheeze. It is my uncle’s nickname. We have the same name.
I did not want that name. But here we are. I cannot get rid of it.
YOU SING IN A BAND, YOU BARTEND, YOU ARE ALSO A RESPIRATORY THERAPIST, I ALSO HEARD YOU ARE IN SCHOOL. SO WHAT’S NEXT, RUN FOR SENATOR?
I have no time to do anything else right now. I just want to take a vacation.
WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION?
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU IN THIS BAND?
The difference with this band is I’m playing with friends. It’s about going out there every night and putting 100% on it. It is easier to work with your friends but in the same time you don’t want to slack off.
Because if I slack off, it will kind of hurt everybody.
I KNOW, AND YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH IT TOO!
It is the only job in the world when it is okay to get drunk and encourage it!
WHICH CELEBRITY OR FAMOUS PERSON WOULD YOU WANT TO MEET?
(“The Pope!” yelled Butch)
Well I always want to meet the Pope.
BUT YOU ALREADY DID WHEN YOU WERE IN 2ND GRADE AT THE PHILLY AIRPORT. YOU WERE HANDING HIM A FLOWER!
I know but I didn’t talk to him. Not much you can say when you’re scared.
(“Prince!” yelled Butch again)
Bono. I think U2 is like the Beatles of our time. U2 is the most successful group of our time. Bono did the graduation speech at Penn when I graduated. I didn’t meet him but yeah he was there.
WHAT AND WHEN WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU WENT TO? HOW WAS IT?
The last concert I went to was a Prince concert. (I wasn’t surprised) It was at the Wachovia Center and it was good.
It was an experience. I saw Prince a couple of times. I saw him at the Electric Factory when he wasn’t Prince; he was “The Artist”.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
Bartending at Joclyn’s. (Kidding) I’m kind of worried about next week. I am doing a lot but in some point in time I want to take a vacation. Hopefully I could have more than 1 day off. I have a plan, but I still haven’t figured it out yet. (Laughs)
I t doesn’t work out the way I thought it would but it’s getting there. One step at a time.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?
My thing with this band is to not act like we are rock stars. To treat everybody in the bar the way we want to be treated.
People said that for this band to work we should act like rock stars and we never did that. Some people told us that it will never work. So they are WRONG!
And I think everyone in the band is still a bunch of nice guys. The reason we are a cover band is because we want people to have a good time.
NO PLANS OF DOING ORIGINALS?
Well everyone has their own stuff. Separately. But never tried as a whole band, because we never had the time. Definitely open to originals. We never know. But even if we do that, we still won’t be like rock stars.
NOT EVERY BAND IS MODEST AND DOWN-TO-EARTH.
We want people having fun. We are not in a band that has an ego trip. We want everyone to have a good time. That’s what we always try to do. I know everyone might say that but we are serious about it!
YOU MENTIONED IN YOUR BIO THAT YOUR LEAST FAVORITE WORD IS CANCER. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE THAT?
Cancer is the big cause that I‘d like to take. If not that, then cystic fibrosis is another. But cancer is a big thing.
My mom and my sister (died of lung cancer and ovarian cancer), who was very young died of cancer.
TELL ME ABOUT THE THINGS (more than 10) THAT CHEEZE DOES BEFORE HE GO ONSTAGE.
There’s a lot.
As of now, we won’t reveal it yet. Come back again next time for the “OCD-like” antics of Cheeze… Just kidding.
BOXERS OF BRIEFS
TOP OR BOTTOM
FAVORITE FEATURE IN A GIRL
NOT THAT EASY BOY, I’M TALKING ABOUT A GIRL’S PHYSICAL FEATURE
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS YOUR BEST ASSET OR BEST FEATURE
Nothing. I am a very self-conscious person.
DON’T YOU GET COMPLIMENTS?
WHATEVER! YOU HAVE CUTE DIMPLES!
Yeah, and nice eyes.
THERE YOU GO! WHAT SIZE SHOES DO YOU WEAR?
Have you seen a band lately?
Submit band articles and comments to