In this week's issue, I talked to the Monads, who are releasing their new CD, Ornery, tonight at Off Broadway. Tickets are a mere $7, and the Vultures, Pokey Lafarge and Clownvis Presley will also be appearing.
Live is where the Monads shine: Unlike many groups, the quartet strikes a united front – all four players stand in a straight line during performances. (In person the quartet also strikes a unified pose: For the St. Patrick’s Day interview, all happen to be wearing various shades of green.)
(photo by Tammy Leahy)
Please enjoy a few interview outtakes and some MP3s from Ornery below.
How Jenna Schroeder came to play upright bass... Jason Matthews: It was cool, ‘cause Jenna never picked up an upright bass in her entire life. She had just got let go of one band – and I could tell she was just pissed about it. So I was like "Here, take this upright bass." Two weeks later, we had our first show with her in the band.” What’s the difference between playing upright bass and regular bass? Jenna Schroeder: Well, there’s no frets… Matthews: How about three feet? [all laugh] Schroeder: It’s about a foot taller than me, there’s no frets on it. And you really gotta work up some calluses that you don’t need on a bass guitar. It is a different style, you pluck it completely different. And you look a lot cooler!
What got you guys into music? Matthews: I was a big new-waver and then a punk rocker.
Schroeder: My mom’s side, there’s a bunch of musicians. My uncle’s an awesome banjo player. My mom plays mountain dulcimer, so [during family reunions] it’d be like a hoe-down. [laughs]
Matt Shivelbine: I’ve kind of got a musical family, we own a music store in Cape Girardeau. So I was always around it. One of my first memories is learning how to play violin when I was like, four years old. I played classical music all the way through college, did a lot of string quartet stuff to get scholarships and make money playing weddings and stuff to get through college. Then once I got out, I had wanted to play, but I was sick of being in orchestras and stuff. I played classical music, but I always listened to rock and punk and all kinds of different music. When I met these guys and saw what they were doing, I was like, "I can do this, this is what I really wanted to do." I started learning some of their songs when they didn’t even know about it.
Patrick Eagan: I picked up guitar [in the] summer between eighth grade and freshman year of high school – you know, to meet chicks. I’m still waiting for it to work. [laughs] I just kind of bummed around for awhile, played in some bands in college, cover bands. Got out of college and was playing in a punk-rock band. That band and the monads had the same bas player, and that’s how I came into this band. This fits way better than anything else that I’ve ever done.
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