MONTE LUNA

Austin, TX act MONTE LUNA is one that deserves to be checked out.Anders Ekdahl ©2018

Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-I’m not sure what this question is asking? But if you meant to say do is my band better than what I originally thought we would be? Yes, the band really came together when our bassist left in 2016 and we became a two piece. He was just not a good fit, and I think the drive to still want to be a band made us better. You don’t need 5 people in a band to fill out sound. You just need the knowledge of how to do it.

How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to? I love it!
-The Sludgelord voted it the Best of 2017, we got signed to Argonauta Records for Vinyl because of it and I finally have my hard work in hand on beautiful purple vinyl, gatefold album 2 LP. What more could I ask for? The album has sold well in the US and overseas. It was mastered by Chris Fielding from Conan, I feel like the whole experience of recording this 72 minute titan was unreal. Best time ive ever had in the studio, so far.

Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
-Oh yes, Matamp GT2, GK 1001 RB, Worshipper Cabinets and Phil Hook on drums is all we need to level any city. It has been 3 years since we formed, we’ve put out an EP and a full length, so if we didn’t figure out what we are by now we would be treading water. There will always be an element of growth, so what we sound like now may not be who we are tomorrow. People get in the mind set that you need to sound the same, I strongly disagree. You cant grow if you stagnate in fear of losing people who like you for what you were.

Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-No, the music is important to me, language is limiting, so the inflection of how you say thing is, how much emotion you put into it. But not everyone speaks English, and we don’t take ourselves that serious as to really write some masturbatory lyrical odyssey. Our first album was all about how time eventually repeats itself, the whole album was a concept album. If you listen to it all the way through it rolls back in on itself. Lyrically it tells a story I (James) made up about a group of warriors who, after their city was destroyed by a necromancer, go on a journey to avenge their city. Unfortunately trying to solve violence with violence leads to more death and a cycle they have been in for thousands of years.

How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-Art work is VERY important, almost as much as the music. In every album we have written/have currently planned we have the artwork done before we start writing to use as a frame of reference/theme. Our next EP and Full Length art is so beautiful, we are very excited to show you all.

Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-I would say, only speaking for US bands, is because the majority of the population doesn’t care, music is predominately used a background noise for a social gathering. Half the time it’s all about popularity and that pop formula, the more digestible you make your music the better it will do. You want to make a lot of money, write a short 3 minute pop song that sounds like everything else.

Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-Our sound, I don’t really have much to compare ourselves with, which I really enjoy. We aren’t just another cookie cutter doom band, we have a lot of varied influence, I don’t just scream and growl I can actually sing. We get out an tour and blow people away, come see us, you will not be disappointed. Also, I really disagree with this question, everything is blind? Try Youtube, try going to the bands page and looking at photos and videos. Hell on most streaming platforms you will at least see an album cover. All you need is a bit of exposure and if you are good people will take notice, sometimes being different it takes people more time to digest, so patience is key.

What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-Austin local scene is amazing, I am thankful to be a part of one of the best scenes in America with one of the best venues (The Lost Well) to call our home base. Our local bands are so amazing it really bothers me they arnt bigger than they are. Bands like Destroyer of Light really taught me how to be a band. I am forever grateful to this scene and how supportive they are. National scenes are very important too, and bands like Destroyer of Light have been paving the way for bands like us long before we were in diapers. Just like with anything, it takes time.

Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-Metal in the US will always be less accepted than in Europe, that’s just the way it is. So no, its not mothers milk, but the people who love it would die for it.

What does the future hold for you?
-We have Texas dates to round out this year, We are going into the studio September 14-17 to knock out our next EP and our Full Length. So between the shows and the album our year is locked in. We have a Tour we are booking for June 2019, West Coast portion of US tour (We did the East Coast portion this past May). And then its prep for release of the EP and the Full Length with a full tour to back that. Our record label is out of Italy so hopefully we get to the EU sooner rather than later.

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