In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview MONKEY3. Answers by Kevin (Bass). Anders Ekdahl ©2019
What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release and album, that it sorta is for real now?>
– Well I believe that an album is a complete piece of art where everything from the music, the album name, the tracks’titles, the tracklisting, to the artwork should be coherent. It can be thought as a whole, whereas a demo can come before an album and hold a certain direction or some ideas which might define what the album could be & will be. Therefore the pressure should be a little less when releasing a demo. However there are no rules really & everyone will feel some pressure to a certain extent, some maybe none. Then when you do release an album, it is for real yes, and some people may have expectations and may put themselves under some pressure to succeed. It is of course very pleasant when there are good feedbacks on an album release. But in my opinion the most important thing is to feel good about the musical product you will be releasing. If that happens and you are confident with your work, then you will defend it on stage with great motivation and will.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
– First I would say that you would like people to listen to the record and have some feedbacks. Any kind of feedback is good as long as there is an argument or discussion along with it. You may not agree but at least there is a point, then you decide whether or not you want to take this into account. With each Monkey3 release we do set up goals together with the band members; these goals can be musical production quality, or playing the new album live as much as possible and in good conditions in order to offer the best quality show we can (visuals, lights, etc), for examples.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-That is a great feeling indeed because it means that people have been listening to your songs and also remember them, or parts of them. It shows interest & also the exchange during the live show is running both ways; we feed on people’s energy & try to communicate it back at them. Very often when we play “Icarus” (from the “5thSun” album (2013)) some people start singing along the melody in some lead guitar breaks. It also shows how people can connect with instrumental music and sing along without lyrics.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
-Well no, our guideline with Monkey3 is to find new directions and new ideas for each new release. The idea being that what has been done in the past has been done, and there is no point for us in doing it again. It is a risk that we are willing to take because some people/fans might not enjoy it. However as musicians it is very stimulating to look for new ideas in song making and we do enjoy that. As for the sound we try to keep the Monkey3 signature of course because it is the same band; that means wide soundscaping keyboards, multi-technical guitar approach (riffs, lead melodies, epic solos, etc), and tight & groovy bass & drum outfit.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?*
– Well I guess we feel integrated in the scene we play in; that is the space rock, heavy psych, stoner, doomy, or instrumental scene. It is a very nice community and we meet a lot of great people which are actors in it, such as label professionals, bookers, musicians, fans, media people, etc.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
-When we write music we always try to find new ideas and directions as mentionned above (question 4). That is definitely a challenge for us and nothing comes easy. Writing music sometimes comes very naturally and sometimes it is a though process, like a long and winding road on which you cannot see the next turn.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
-All band members in Monkey3 are heavily influenced by 70’s classic rock acts such as Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, among many others. I personnaly also enjoy the new (since 2000’s) revival of psychedelic/stoner rock, heavy psych, post metal,for cosmomauts, progressive and space rock; acts such as Red Sparows, Russian Circles, OM, Elder, Weedpecker, Pontiak, Karma to Burn, My Sleeping Karma, Color Haze, The Atomic Bitchwax, and so on. For inspiration I always like to dig into my personnal experiences in which emotions were highly solicited. Music helps me to channel these emotions and digest them in a proper way that is not to harmful in the end.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?>
– The music industry is in constent movement & it is very hard to grab the state it is in. We could definitley say that the internet brought a major change in the way people look for music and how they listen to it. As a band we believe in playing the best shows as possible in order to meet and talk with people after the show and hopefully have some fun at the merch booth.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
– I personnaly don’t know much about digital & only trust my vinyl collection at home, where I take the time to put on a record and listen to it from beginning to end. It’s the way I enjoy music the most when not playing it.
What lies in the future?
-Right now we just released our new album “Sphere” on Napalm Records (released 12th april 2019) & just came back from the first leg of promotional touring across Europe, it’s been great! The second leg starts 30th of April for two weeks, and then we will hit some summer festivals in Europe. The plan is to play our new album live & give everything we have on stage because we do believe in “Sphere” & want to bring the best show possible to our audiences.