Monark [Interview]

 Monark band SA

         “It’s great to be able to share music, stories and emotions with
others, so you have to make sure others want to listen to you.”


Monark just released their new version of Negatives, The Deluxe Edition. We caught up with them to chat about it.

Hi guys! Thanks for talking to DPC. It’s almost the end of the year, how’s 2015 been for Monark?

Looking
back on 2015 reminds us that we really have had a great year, with some
amazing shows, singles doing well on radio and three SAMA nominations –
and now some exciting new material as well. We continually strive to
improve, so it’s encouraging when you take stock, and look back, and
notice that things are going well. 
 
So,
three SAMA nominations, an MK award win for Best Newcomer and a #1
album on iTunes, all when you were just entering the scene and with your
debut album? How was all of that? Do you guys feel that all of this
made you better prepared for what you took on in the future?
The
answer is two fold. I think it shows us what we are capable of if we
keep putting in hard work, but coming in with a bang means it is easier
to go backwards, to keep the upward momentum is a challenge and
expectations are high. It has also allowed us to share the scene with
some incredible artists and bands, and you are very quickly made aware
of the level and scale that many artists in SA are operating at.  
 
Monark just released the Deluxe Edition of Negatives. What does the Deluxe Edition consist of?
The
Deluxe Edition has all the tracks that were on the original Negatives
album, and then there is a second album that has three new songs –
including Hush and Falling – and some remixes and alternative versions
of song which give an idea of how the songs progress and develop while
they are being written and recorded.  
 
So, why re-release an album that has done so well?
It’s
got to do with the way Monark has progressed. As a band we came onto
the scene with a successful single – Smiling – which quickly lead to a
full length album. We hadn’t been around for very long and building up a
following takes time. Having built our over the last year or two, we
now feel that releasing a deluxe edition of the album will help reach
people who may have missed us the first time round, while still giving
the people who do know us some new songs to keep them going ’til the
next album. 
 
What you guys did with your debut, is what so many upcoming artists want, what is the recipe behind it all?
Who
knows, sometimes you get lucky. But, and luckily I’m not the main
songwriter so hopefully I can say this with some objectivity, I think
Eugene and Ewald produce great songs together, and the song always comes
first. Putting huge effort into writing songs that reach and relate to a
wide audience is important. Sometimes it may be fun to be a little more
self-indulgent, but if it doesn’t work with the song as whole, it has
to go. It’s great to be able to share music, stories and emotions with
others, so you have to make sure others want to listen to you. Hopefully
we manage to do that some of the time. 
 
Have you guys grown a bit in the scene? Are you different from who you were a year ago with the release of Negatives?
Definitely.
The more you play, the more you write, the more you are exposed to, the
more you learn and the more experienced you become. We would be silly
to think we don’t have much to learn, and if you approach music with an
open mind you can learn from others and grow and improve. We would like
to think we are a little wiser too, but if you were to listen to our
everyday conversations you might disagree.
 
You
just came back from a tour to most of SA’s biggest festivals. What is
the music scene like out there, is it still the same, or are things
changing a bit?
Well,
we weren’t on the scene in Monark a few years ago, so it’s hard to
compare. There are certainly some great acts out there though, and it
looks like everyone keeps raising the bar.  
 
When you have such a large fan base, how do you guys keep it real, and not just do something to please the everyone?
I
think staying true to what we think works helps. We joke that if all
four of us can agree on something, then it has to be right.  
 
Where and when is your next gig?
We are playing at The Sheds next weekend, the 21st November, and then we head down to Cape Town. But we are really looking forward to a tour down the coast in December. 
 
Where can we follow you on the Interwebs?

Just look for monarkband on facebook, twitter, instagram etc. 

 
Where can we get our hands on the Deluxe Edition of Negatives?
All the CD stores should have the album, it’s on iTunes, and you can get it from us at our shows. 
 
Thanks guys for chatting to DPC, and have a great summer!

Cheers, always good to chat. 
Images by Teresa Cervinkova
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Contact me: eliinthecity@gmail.com
Cape Town/Johannesburg Blogger

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