The Lectric Monks Chats About Their New EP, The Six
Today sees the official release of the debut EP by upbeat dance folk band, The Lectric Monks, entitled The Six. The new offering by the Pretoria-based band comes after the release of their first single from the EP, ‘New Man’ earlier this year.
The EP has been in development by the band over the course of the last two years. It was recorded at Audio Culture in December 2017 with Jaco Naudè, with the band, Gary Peacock and Francois van der Merwe at the realm of production.
I caught up with the band to talk about the single, the new EP and a few other things:
I read somewhere online that you describe your sound as “Tarantino-Funk ‘n Roll”. So, first of all, I have to ask what exactly that is and, obviously, Tarantino is an influence, so what is it about him or his work that inspires you as a band?
We have elements of both Funk and of course… Roll. A fan added the Tarantino to the description, and we couldn’t help but savour the taste of how that sounds.
We wouldn’t say we are necessarily inspired by Tarintino (even though we love his work), but there is definitely elements to his way of thinking, that’s similar. Tarintino has intensity in his work, but shot very artistically. He breaks the rules, yet still manages to create unique and interesting works. We use similar ways of creating, by not conforming to anything particular, but do what we find interesting and fun.
Interesting! So, a few sites online state that you formed in 2014 and another one writes that you formed in 2013. What is the correct date, and how has the band changed through the last 4/5 years?
We dabbled with a guitar and harmonica on couch sessions in 2013, but it evolved into something concrete only in 2014, but at that stage we were still using a kick drum and broke more strings than hitting notes.
We first introduced ourselves to this planet at our debut show on November 1st 2014, although some may argue that the spirit of The Lectric Monks has existed far beyond the grasp of human time.
The development of the band was a bit bumpy with some monks coming and going, but we also feel that all of them have contributed significantly towards what we sound like today. It grew into the Lectric funky feels you hear today.
One thing we did decide with the start of this band was that: The ‘Gruuv’ is present in all things, and in time all things shalt be gruuvy.
Even though we haven’t stuck to one way of achieving that, it was and is always present.
Congrats on the new single, New Man! It was written 2 years ago, why the long wait before releasing it?
Thank you! Well, it took a bit of time to become a truly ‘New Man’. The lyrics and melody were written about 2 years ago, although many iterations were attempted, as the title suggests, the song had to undergo a way of self-discovery, so much so that the result is honest and not forced. We just couldn’t seem to find the right groove, well until recently… Patience is a virtue one attains in deep space, patience and self-discovery.
Absolutely. So, you say about the new single: “it is about self-discovery”. Are there any specific events or experiences, especially as a band, which led to the writing of the song?
Change. Change is always an ever present factor in life, and the only way to experience change is in hindsight. In the last year we have adorned new monks to the Lectric Order:
“Synth” aka “Cynthia van der Mescht” on the keys, “Funk’n Dunc’n” aka “Duncan Potgieter” banging drums, and “Penicillin” aka “Dylan Du Toit” gruuvin the bass. The new spectrum was the change, and was the self – discovery as a band.
You are also releasing your debut EP, The Six, soon! Is the title a play around the six members of the band, or does it have a different meaning behind it?
- 6 is a cosmic number, it’s the number of Gaia (Mother Earth)
- It is also considered the most harmonious of all single-digit numbers
- Six Monks
- Six Tracks
- 6 = 1+2+3 Quick Math!
- The Six, One concept… many meanings.
You are quite a big band. So, what was the experience like putting this EP together and how long did it take to complete this project?
This EP has actually been in development for a year or two going back an fourth, being in and out of studio over the last year, we only feel the essence of the music was captured now.
Being a big band demands a lot of fine tuning, so we meticulously thought through all the pre-production work, after that, it took one week in a great studio, Audio Culture, with an amazing engineer, Jaco Naudè. Being in the studio wasn’t that difficult, we are 6 Monks of same order #lectriclove
Is there a specific theme for this EP and what do you hope people will say about it?
SPACE is experienced in 4d and that is what we strive to create in our music, space and time, creating new soundscapes through different perspectives and moments.
The diversity of the cosmos is made up from the same protons, neutrons and lectrons (currently spelling is in dispute); in a similar manner the Monks don’t conform to anything particular but believe anything is possible. The Lectric Monks sound is alien, and yet still strangely familiar.
Do you have any live shows coming up?
Albums launch party with friends (to be announced soon)
Arcade Empire 16 March
Aandklas, PTA, 7 April
STRAB, Mozambique, 24-27 May
And lastly, what are your plans for the rest of 2018?
We are already underway with new material and a concept album to be announced at the end of the year.
Get The EP Now
Images by Adriaan Cruywagen (edited by Gary Peacock).