The Monicans are a three piece band from Perth. Over the past few years they’ve traveling around the world developing their sound and getting critical acclaim along the way and are now about to release their debut full length album. Tomatrax caught up with Heather Lonie, bass player of the band, to ask a few questions.
Where did the name the Monicans come from?
It came from the cult animation series Aeon Flux also made into a movie, Monicans are a rebel group set in a futuristic world who are anti government.
You’re about to put out your debut album, how will it compare to your EP?
The album is the longest we’ve spent in the studio, whereas the EP was made up of songs we’d been playing live for a while the album has a lot more variety, and most of the songs were written in a two week period before we recorded, and during recording, so it has a wide expanse of song styles and sounds that we hadn’t really explored on stage before.
What will the album be called?
Velocity, hopefully after this release we’ll get some momentum.
What made you pick the songs Go away and New horizons as the singles?
It was tough because there are so many other songs I really love on the album, we had to go with what we thought people would like and hopefully they’ll be curious to explore the rest.
Did you really sleep in parking lots when touring Europe?
Yes, we were living in a van going from gig to gig. If the venue had accommodation we’d stay there or in the pub but often we’d have to spend the night in carparks. Romania was pretty eerie, could hear dogs howling all night.
What was it like to play in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria was a great experience, we played on an incredible stage set on the beach, and even though the locals didn’t speak very good English they were so friendly.
What was the most interesting place you played in while touring?
Wick in Scotland was a highlight, it’s a town at the top of the country so they don’t often get any Aussie bands visiting. The people there were up for a good night, though some of them had extremely thick accents and were almost impossible to understand.
You achieved a lot of exposure while touring overseas, do you feel it’s necessary to travel overseas to get noticed?
It was not so much going overseas but getting out of Perth. Perth is infamous for its frustrating original music scene. Some bands would go over to the East coast and we just decided to go a bit further. We found exactly what we were looking for in Sheffield. We found musicians and bands working hand in hand with venues and promoters to create a thriving community.
You’ve entered songs on Triple J’s unearthed page, has this had any impact on your band’s exposure around Australia?
Yes we’ve had our track Go Away played on Unearthed radio and New Horizons has received plenty of hits, so its definitely one of the best sites for getting the songs out there to people who might not have otherwise discovered us.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Before and during the recording process we’ll listen to them a lot, which tends to result in getting to a point where you need a good break from them, but it’s good to go back and be reminded of the time and place when we recorded them.
What music do you listen to?
Recently I’ve been loving Arctic Monkeys, Sarah Blasko, PJ Harvey.
What do you plan on doing once the album is out?
We’re already writing songs for the next one, so hopefully we can get some funds to record. If we get some love from listeners over East we’d love to tour.
Check out the band’s facebook page to find out more!