Monday, August 23, 2010

MonstrO Interviewed by Lithium Magazine

[] In this age of immediacy, file-sharing and disposable bands that seem to blow up and then blow out in the blink of an eye, it can be challenging to find new music that really speaks to you. If you are willing to spend a few minutes of your precious time on a new band's website, might I suggest you swing by MonstrO's MySpace and play the three songs the band has posted there. They all contain something genuinely magical and exciting, which suggests their eventual debut might be one of those albums you absolutely cannot miss out on. MonstrO are currently unsigned.

They have only a handful of songs recorded, and no physical release available to purchase as of yet. But don't let that fact stop you from being blown away by the material the four-piece has currently placed on their MySpace. These ex-members of Skrew, Bloodsimple, Torche and Sunday Driver are quietly en-massing what will surely become a bravura album of post-rock, psychedelia and metal that will turn out to be the stuff of legend in years to come. What's really interesting about MonstrO's music is that the band seems to be really looking to the music of their past heroes to churn out what is easily the most progressive and ambitious material of their careers.

Bassist Kyle Sanders took a bit of time to field a few questions about MonstrO with me. Do take a few minutes to check out the interview, and the bands' respective websites.

Mike - Can you talk a bit about the end of Bloodsimple / Juan leaving Torche -leading into the early days of MonstrO? How did Charlie get involved?

Kyle - The end of Bloodsimple was strictly due to personal problems others got themselves into. It sucked and was depressing as all hell, but what are you gonna do...quit? Nope! Juan had some internal band issues with Torche, he was equally as devastated when it all come to fruition. Those guys were his brothers as well, and the end just sux. We both found ourselves in Minehead, England in a backstage room Dec 2008 and just started talking about the position we were both in and what our plans were for the future....and those thoughts and ideas were the same. So we left England on separate planes, flew back to our mutual city of Atlanta and started jamming in my living room with little combo amps. It was on! We then kept our ears open for the right singer (which took about a year) and Juan knew Charlie from back in the day when they smuggled balloons of heroin out of Columbia in their anal cavities… actually they used to work together in Miami.

Mike - It would have been really easy to just try and make similar music to your previous bands, wouldn't it? I hear bits of your previous bands in the material you've posted online, but the longer song lengths and 70's progressive rock influences seem to come through a bit more than material from your previous bands.

Kyle - Yeah, well… new band, new chemistry. All previous elements from other bands are there but we're just taking it in a totally different direction. We all love the psychedelic rock from the 60' and 70's well as punk, metal, electronic ambient music from all eras. Put all that in the magic cauldron and a MonstrO rears its ugly head!

Mike - When I listen to 'April' I hear a bit of The Verve (I'm a big A Storm In Heaven fan) coming through. 'April' is not the kind of music that Torche / Bloodsimple fans would expect. 'Helios' and 'Anchors Up!' sound a bit more on the heavy side, though…

Kyle - Exactly; I think a lot of Torche and Bloodsimple fans will really dig this stuff, and probably a lot won't. Not trying to please or alienate anyone, but you gotta be happy in the life you choose so we write music that does exactly that. I'm proud of everything we've recorded so far.

Mike - How long did it take for you to all get to a comfortable enough place together as musicians that you could start crafting music together?

Kyle - Once Juan and myself had our little bonding session, it was on. Bevan was in the same boat as I was and we were both actively looking for something to get into, preferably together. The 3 of us then started writing in his basement for close to a year before Charlie got involved


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