Interview: Monarks


Monarks have traveled all over Europe but are rarely seen in their home County of Somerset. Thankfully early next year Monarks have agreed to play at Glastonbury Calling, we are more than excited to welcome them back. 

It is an exciting time to be a fan of theirs right now. Their new single Lungs is out and an absolute belter, they are teasing new material for next year and in general are awesome guys. Check out my chat with them! 


Lungs! What a stellar new single! Tell us more about the video!


 Why thank you! The story behind the video was inspired by 2016 feature film Moonlight, I pretty much saw the whole video play out in my head when we finished writing the track. We love that we shot it in our home town of Wells too, thanks to the boxing club we had the perfect facility to film in and bring the video to life. I casted the actors on Spotlight and brought them down from London/Birmingham, so it was quite a funny and strange experience for them. 


How difficult was it to film and set up the fight? 


We began filming the final fight at the end of the first day of shooting, which meant we were starting to run out of light before we got everything we needed. Only Dimeji, Andre (the lead actors) and Tobe were available for the second day of filming, so we had to get back up on the roof of the boxing club in the early am the following day to get the rest of the shots. We managed to cheat it pretty well though without the rest of the actors. I think the whole process was more difficult for the actors who had to punch down towards the ground or look like they were taking a hit repeatedly. At one point Andre definitely took a real hit! In terms of filming the fight, we just referenced scenes from Fight Club and took the same approach to their cinematography. 


Why this particular message? Why did it follow this particular narrative? 


The scene in Moonlight where Kevin is manipulated into a hazing ritual with Chiron really stood out to me, the look on his face when he has to stand there and beat someone up that he secretly likes in front of his friends was powerful and heart breaking to watch, so that stood as the basis for our video when writing the idea. I knew it would be a powerful story visually and emotionally which is what we wanted to suit the sound of Lungs. 



You have played in shows all over Europe. Where haven’t you been yet where you’d really like to play?


Glastonbury! We’re really wondering what it’s going to take for us to finally be able to play the festival that’s up the road from us. We’ve toured with huge bands such as Twin Atlantic, built a great fan base all over the UK and Europe so the next one we’re dying to play is our local festival which happens to be the biggest and best on the planet. We’ve also never played in the states and would love to do so. 


Headlining at next year’s Glastonbury Calling. How important is it for you guys to keep those grass roots for you?


 Yes we’re really looking forward to that show, it’ll be our first gig in a long time. We really want to build a solid fan base and local hype around Monarks in this area – it’s great being able to go out to Europe and London and have fans turn up with gifts and asking for signed shirts, but we’d love to be able to play all of our local festivals and really become known around here, so it’s always important to us, we’re just waiting for the opportunities to showcase our music in and around Somerset. 


Any surprises planned for your set?  


Yes, a load of new songs which will take me by surprise as we haven’t finished writing them yet. 


You’ve been playing together for a few years now. What are your future plans? What is the next step for Monarks to take?


Our future plans are to keep making music that connects with people and that also brings us enjoyment. Writing music that we actually believe in and enjoy playing is the most important thing to us, and even though we’ve been going for a few years its only over the last 12 months that we’ve found our feet with our song writing and started to write songs that we know we will be able to listen back to in years to come and say ‘yeah, actually that’s a pretty solid tune’. 2018 will see the release of at least two new EP’s, the first being released early on in the year, and hopefully plenty of touring. 


If you were characters in a movie who would you be? 


I’m not going to ask the guys this so I’ll take the sheer enjoyment of delegating –

Matt Holloway as buddy from elf, Paul as Pedro from napoleon dynamite, Matt Arnold as frank from tv series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and myself as Tom hanks in Castaway.


Would you rather … party with Blink 182 or have a movie night with The Foo Fighters?


Wowwwwww, that’s actually really tough as it would be hard to sit with the Foo Fighters and have to watch a movie in silence without being able to ask the thousands of questions we’d want to ask, and we do love the sesh – Blink 182 would be great to get drunk with, but only if it was with the original line up. In 2017, it would go to movie night with the Foo fighters.


What are your top 5 essentials when touring?


Sleep, neck fitted pillows, alpaca fur, ear protectors and a crucifix. 


Tickets are on sale now for Glastonbury Calling here.

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