Monuments: Euroblast Exclusive Preview Interview
So here’s a little background, Monuments were originally a side project of John Browne whilst in Fellsilent. When the band fell apart with Ackle concentrating on his side project, TesseracT, and other members leaving, Monuments came to fruition with Browne taking vocalist Neema with him. Since then there has been many major tours and a significant member rotation. Now I actually almost feel like it is my duty to keep an eye on Monuments as I have been lucky enough to share many of the bands moments;
- I gave the bands first ever airplay back in April 2010 with “Admit Defeat” for my tech metal special show “The Djentlemans Lunchbox” on TotalRock Radio.
- I was at their performance in October that year for Basick Records 5th Birthday Party – in which the musicians were also the backing band for Paul Ortiz ‘ Chimp Spanner’ at his first live performance, and he also returned the favour filling in on second guitar.
- I managed to catch up with the guys in December in London whilst touring with Winds Of Plague and gave the first airplay of their third released track “The Uncollective”. Also bagged a handmade limited edition EP and a lovely T-shirt.
- Along side roadying for TesseracT on the first ever ‘League of Extraordinary Djentleman Tour” with Periphery in February 2011, I also helped out Monuments and they came in to TotalRock for my last ever radio show, “Djentlemans Lunchbox 2” and was their first time on radio.
So along with all this the band has managed to kick up a massive storm playing live around Europe over the last 18 months but still no album release! So I want to get to the root of things and find out what’s going on ahead of their next performance at the tech metal festival, Euroblast…
So I guess the major thing everyone is concerned about at the moment is the vocalist situation. You initially started with Neema and Greg Pope, with Greg leaving and you getting Kaan Tasan of No Consequence to fill in, and then Greg returned. What was going on there?
We were just looking for the right combination of vocalists, which to be honest we are still working on! You don’t truly know a person until you have lived in a van with them on tour. We’re looking for the right person who we can work with both musically and get on with on a social level too.
Now both Greg and Neema have left. It’s always tricky to talk about this but what can you say about their departures?
It was a unanimous decision and it was difficult, but necessary for the well-being of the band and its future.
Obviously the departures effect your anticipated début, so what are your plans to get things moving and who are you working with?
We are still looking for the right vocalist. We’ve been trying out many people including one we dubbed ‘Susan Boyle’, but we still have yet to find the right musician(s)!
How do you intend to release the album, will it be independent or do you have backing from a label?
We have been in talks with a few labels, so we are just anticipating the outcome when the album is finished to agree to the deal that is right for us.
How about the second guitarist position, you initially used Paul Ortiz (Chimp Spanner) and now use Olly Steele (Cyclamen). Is Olly a fully pledged member now?
Yes, and he’s doing a great job! Paul was great too but I think we found the right dude for this band. Olly is a solid player! (You can take that comment in more ways than one *winks*)
The other core members, Swanny (Bass) and Mike Malyan (Drums) are based in different parts of the country, so how did you all meet and become band mates?
Well, did anyone tell you we’re not actually friends?? Haha, nah but seriously, the internet is a great meeting place!
So with members spread around the country, Swanny playing with Chimp Spanner and Brownes demand to fill in for stranded bands, how do you get things done?!
We do the best we can and the internet is a powerful tool especially when it’s hard to meet in person and get things done. We all take responsibility for something and work together to make it work.
For Euroblast you have announced the play through of your album for the set, who’s singing?
We’re playing it instrumentally baby!
Volume 7 of Euroblast has a pretty epic line up, who are you looking forward to seeing and catching up with?
Um… Pretty much everyone!
Any other news you can sneak in?
Yeah … Mike’s still Djewish and Olly is black.
Euroblast: Volume 7 happens on October 21st & 22nd in Köln, Germany. For the full lineup and tickets visit the festivals website: www.euroblast.net