What genre of music do you consider yourself to be a part of?
I don’t think about that too much. If you put a gun to my head, I’d say alternative. The only thing that really matters to me is that what’s coming out is a true representation of what’s inside. My stuff flirts with pop a little, but also keeps a good distance from resembling modern pop, which I don’t dig very much.
Who would you compare yourself too?
Is there anyone who has inspired you during your career?
Obviously all of the above, but moreso I tend to draw inspiration from what I feel on the inside – feelings that spring from observations of the world around me, experiences in that world and relationships with the people in that world.
You released your solo – live album “ Listen Close Live” earlier this year. Why did you choose to do a live album? How does it compare to a studio album?
It had been a long time coming. I can’t put my finger on it, but something happens when I’m out in front of a live crowd that is hard to replicate in a studio. There’s always been this disconnect for me, and I’ve known for a while that a live record was something I wanted to do to bridge that gap. It’s nice to let the songs stand there naked and be confident that they’re good just the way they were written.
What is your favorite song to sing live?
I tend to like the ones that are higher energy, songs like Fuck Up, Her, This Cigar, stuff I can really let loose on.
Has anything changed since the release of the album?
It was an important step for me before moving on to working on new songs, finally getting versions of songs out that I feel good about. I needed to close the book on some of those songs.
Is there anything new you can share with us? Either a possible new studio album or EP?
We’re getting close to that point very quickly.
You are only 24 years old; does this have any affect on you in the music industry?
Not for me. My aim is to just write better songs and play my instruments better, and deliver better albums for myself and my fans. What has more impact is that I’ve been in and around the music industry at the highest levels for 6 years now, so I know what’s up and there’s not much that I don’t see coming now. I really feel comfortable navigating it, and in my ability to get the most out of it.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and the beginning of 2014?
Write, write, write, play, play, play. I’m constantly making new stuff and recording new stuff, and breaking it apart and putting it back together. This is the deepest I’ve dove into the pre-studio process, I wanna make sure I’m all the way there before we roll the tape.
Finally, is there anything that you would like to say to our readers?
That’s why I make albums.
I recently got the opportunity to speak with the lead guitarist, Jason of We Are Monroe about the release of their debut self-titled EP and their plans for the future. You can read our review of the EP here as well as check out their website and Facebook page for show information and more. Read the interview below, and if you want to download and listen to the full interview you can do so here.
First off, can you please tell the names of the members in the band and their roles?
Pat – He’s singer and does a little bit of back guitar
Ben – Who plays Drums
Pete – Whose on the bass and does a bit of back vocals
Jason – Plays most of the lead guitar and does some back vocals
How did you guys meet?
Ben and Pete known each other since grade school kept in touch throughout the years. Ben was a hired musician and when they both finished school, Pete wanted to join the band, so they played music together for a while. When their last project ended, they wanted to start something up and I met those guys at the beginning of a new adventure they were trying to start through a mutual friend, another musician who was supposed to be in the band. Right away we really clicked, we were musically, initially compatible. We started as a three – piece, and eventually we realized that we wanted to move into a more, rock, direction. I realized that my voice was suited more to acoustic/folk stuff, and it didn’t fit to what we were trying to do. So we found Pat, who was in another band. And we kind of stole him from that band as they were kind of coming to an end anyway. He was at the top of our list, and we jammed with a few guys, but he was the top of our list, eventually he came back form travelling and agreed to come by, and then it became obvious that something was happening that was really cool.
Where did the name “We are Monroe” come from?
We were kinda brain storming one day, and after a while, the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe stood out. Sort of like the Warhol Pictures. There was something about it that seemed cool, and matched the aesthetic of it. Originally we wanted Monroe, so we Google searched it to see if it was available, but there was an obscure band that we had never heard of that didn’t seem to have much going on, but we didn’t wanna take any chances, so eventually we slowly added the “We Are” on and the “We Are” is the collective idea, the reference is the spirit of the collective, and that’s where that came from.
What genre would you classify as? Who would you compare yourself too?
A lot of the bands tend to reference/fall under is post-punk revival. Sort of like what The Strokes are doing when they first came up, and same thing as The Killers. It’s a title really and post-punk revival is something that is easiest for us to say. Its rock, there are some pop sensibilities. It’s more of the mood/vibe when it really comes down to it. The more we write songs, or the more we try to tap into what we continuously worked towards as our sound. It’s a point of reference, but from there it’s more about the mood of the song. We knew what we were good at, but eventually we kinda just opened up a little more.
What is the music scene like in Montreal?
For a band like us there is still something indie – rockish there is a good collection of bands that are really active and gigging around, still helping each other out. Overall Montreal has become pretty eclectic about not necessarily one type of band, but about seeing what kind of bands can matchup and cross genres. The one thing that keeps coming back is the sense of community. I think there are a lot of the gaps that perhaps could’ve existed 5 – 10 years ago when Montreal was starting to get the reputation as the next “Hot Bed” for music. That bridged a lot of gaps, so that young bands who are just starting out could associate with bands what had a little bit more of a track record.
Which artists were your inspiration when you were growing up?
When I was younger, and a bit more naïve, I had a distorted view of what it meant to be in a band and have success. There were bands that matched up to that like Radiohead, Green Day, Weezer or Oasis. In the last 5 – 10 years since I’ve been in Montreal and being in bands, gigging and touring a little bit you develop a deeper appreciation of working in the industry. As well as the different levels of what it is to be successful. For me now, any level that would continuously keep me making music, touring, being able to make record and make a living. To become a “Working Class Band”.
Ok now on to the EP! You recently released your first self-titled EP. How did you see it turning out? Did it turn out the way you wanted it to?
We recorded that EP back in November. Going into the recording process we had a list of songs, which we could choose from, and a limited amount of time. We were trying to figure out what would make sense in what songs to put on, and how many songs it should be. We recorded in this old school studio, so it was a bit more out of the pocket to do it. All these factors made us have to decide what was going to be on the EP. The mixing was only a matter of 3 – 4 days. We had an amazing time, that it became just the fact that it was less about the songs, and more about the experience. We got the first part of the rough mixes a couple weeks later, and we were convinced it would be something we weren’t expecting. Everywhere we listened to it, it just kept surprising us because it was cool listening to it in other locations. All in all we had a great experience and we’re really happy how it turned out.
Why choose to release an EP first instead of an album?
The EP was already what we felt was good for us. For a lot of different reasons; being an independent band, not having a label behind it. It was the reality of where we were at the time. The idea of a full album is not over, its not like people are not gonna get it. For now we gravitated towards the notion of the idea of releasing less music but more frequently. Let people know where you’re at, and let people see you evolve as the months go by. It’s easier to do independently.
What was the main inspiration behind the EP?
The sonic element of having it being raw and trying to avoid putting in extra instrumentations that wouldn’t be live. A real representation of what people can expect to see when they come to see a show. Also the fact that we did the bed tracks, like the drums, bass and main guitar was all live off the floor, it gives the EP a that other raw element.
Can you tell me anything special about your songwriting process?
It differs from song to song, generally we write very democratically. A lot of songs will start with either a guitar riff, or a beat to have a rhythm section. Its lot of jamming is what it is. Sometimes Pat comes in with a vocal melody and we come in to cater that melody. Sometimes a song will take forever to come together, sometimes it takes weeks. Sometimes it’s a challenge cause you want it to sound good and have high expectations. Some best songs we feel we’ve written were written in 15 minutes, creating the melodies.
Why did you choose these for songs four songs for the EP? Do the songs have any special or significant meanings behind them?
Give Me Some Love was one of the first songs written as the four of us after pat joined the band. We felt really, really strongly about. It came together really quickly and we had a good feeling about it right away. It the oldest song on the EP, and it was sort of a no brainer to have a song like that on the EP as an easy introduction. Old Orchard made the cut do it its brute energy. You can’t hide behind a song like that, because it’s fast and fun and energetic which is what we want to show that we’re about. Modern Day Gentleman was newer at that point and it was a really different than everything else we had written at that point. Tear Yourself Apart was all about the vibe and darkness of the song. It’s a creepy kind of song. But what happens on the guitar is interesting to our sound and us. There were a few others songs we were interested in. We recorded five but it didn’t come out the way we wanted.
So is there anything you can say about a second EP or new album in the future?
We’ve been talking about the idea of trying to release music more frequently, but less songs at a time. There are 3 – 4 people that are interested in working with us and help record our music. We’re gonna try to build up a few collection of songs over the weeks and months until the end of the summer. When the rest of the guys get back after vacation in the fall, then we will go into it. We don’t now if its gonna be 1 – 2 songs a month, but its gonna be often. Also trying to exploit YouTube as a means to get out there, by doing live performances and putting that online.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Any tours that should be noted?
A few things happening in Montreal between now and end of August. An acoustic showcase on 17th at Le Petit Medley through Yo Montreal Production Company. There might be a Montreal show, a show in Quebec. Through Facebook and our website we can put all shows and tour [Linked above]. We post in there as often as possible.
Great that’s about it for me; do you have any last words?
We’re excited about meeting new people and playing in new cities. We’re always excited to play wherever we are welcomed and meeting people. Trying to make ourselves accessible, and talking to people and build a fan base one person at a time. If anyone is interested check out our shows, write messages, email or tweet to us.
Indie psychedelic rock band Dreamers Dose are about to release their debut full-length album, At Least We’re Happy this summer. Dreamers Dose formed in 2009 when Andrew Stogel (vocals), Jesse Perlman (guitar), Levi Dylan (bass) and Josh Conway (drums) began performing together in high school. The band are heavily influenced by artists such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Radiohead, and Queens of the Stone Age. To promote the new album they teamed up with Alarm Magazine to premiere a song from the release titled, Pray for Me, Fragile. You can listen to the stream of the song here.
In Andrew Stogel’s words about the new track, “I was walking through the streets of suburbia when the melody and lyrics for Pray for Me, Fragile came together in my head. After working it out for a while, I brought it to my bandmates and we’ve played it ever since.” For more information about the band check out their Facebook, Twitter, and website.
18. After The Gold Rush/Everything In Its Right Place
19. Give Up The Ghost
20. Paranoid Android
You can check out the full tracklisting and a live performance of “Staircase” on SNL below.
The King of Limbs: Live From the Basement Tracklisting:
02. The Daily Mail
04. Little by Little
07. Lotus Flower
09. Morning Mr. Magpie
10. Give Up the Ghost
11. Supercollider (Bonus Track)
After only recently releasing a collaboration with Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, it appears DOOM (formerly MF DOOM) has done a rare video interview with Red Bull that lasts a whopping hour and forty minutes long. Often an enigma, DOOM reveals his process for writing songs, the reason for the mask, and the ideas behind his supervillain personas. It’s awkward at times (especially the intro where ego trip Magazine’s Chairman Jefferson Mao plays “Beef Rapp” for the audience to vibe to), but the masked rapper does drop a few notable tidbits of information, including a possible diss track from Viktor Vaughn to DOOM (for the uninitiated, both are alter-egos of DOOM). He also notes that the new Madvillain record is almost completed and should be wrapped up in January.
Check out the video below.
Those saddened by the recent Ben Gibbard/Zooey Deschanel split need not be saddened anymore. For the tenth anniversary of Lex Records, Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood have collaborated with the one and only DOOM to create a track titled “Retarted Fren”. The song, which you can hear over here, features DOOM rapping over a beat much akin to Yorke’s recent endeavors.
Yorke and DOOM have previously collaborated on a remix of DOOM’s “Gazzillion Ear”, which you can hear by clicking right here.
There’s no denying that The xx‘s Jamie xx is an extremely talented solo producer. After producing The xx’s self-titled debut, the Mercury Prize Winner went on to remix the late Gil-Scott Heron on We’re New Here and then released a new single entitled “Far Nearer”. A few days ago, Jamie took over the DJ booth and spun a two-hour mix for the BBC Essential Mix series. You can listen to entire mix in full below, courtesy of Young Turks. There are some great songs included from such artists as Orbital, Wiley, James Blake, and ends with Jamie’s own mix of Radiohead‘s “Bloom”.
Full tracklisting for Jamie’s mix is available after the break.
Radiohead will be the musical guest performing on the first episode of season 37 on Saturday Night Live. The performance will be on September 24 with Alec Baldwin hosting the episode. Watch a video below of the band performing a b-side off of The King of Limbs.