The rise in surfer and shoegazer rock over the past few years has led to a large wave of bands across Canada, notably Alvvays, Elsa, and recently, the Halifax based quartet Monomyth. The band played a few shows during NXNE here in Toronto ealier this summer and they have released their debut LP, Saturnalia Regalia!, today. You will not be disappointed.
The feel of the album is very laid back and the listener can definitely hear that the band had fun recording it. The first song, “Intro to Monomyth” lives up to its name, giving the listener good samples of Josh and Seamus’ guitars, Graeme’s bass and Matt’s tumping drums. Throughout the album, the vocals are very reminiscent of 60’s and 70’s surfer and folk rock bands, like The Beach Boys and The Monkees.
Some songs, such as “Candleholder”, “Something Else” and “Patsy”, are very upbeat, dance-able tracks, while “Pac Ambition”, “Downer” and “The Big Reveal” are more laid back and have a somewhat grungier feel to them.
Make sure to check Monomyth out the next time they are in your city.
Here is the interview I had with the guys during NXNE
P: Main musical influences for the band? Do you want to each name some?
Josh: I’m inspiring.
Seamus: I listen to a lot of My Bloody Valentine, which is why I bought everything I own. Mainly to sound like Kevin Shields in every way, and even though our band transitioned maybe or stepped away from that sound, I still try to emulate his exact gear by looking it up on the internet.
Matt: I just do whatever I want.
Josh: What about the noises of the city? The city hustle?
P: That works.
Josh: The rhythm of the city. Laughter
P: What about you?
Josh: Probably like late 70’s New York Television… Tropicalia, Caviloso. The new movement.
P: Cool, so the new album is coming out in July (22nd), and it is your first or second LP?
Seamus: It will be the first full-length that like anyone will be able to buy.
Josh: It’s from a pile of shit that we got someone to make it sound good, with money that wasn’t ours.
Seamus: Yeah, Mint (records) helped us out with the mastering, and Joe Lambert, from New York-
Josh: He did a Kanye West song, and that’s all you need to know.
P: any odd or weird incidences that have happened while touring?
Graeme: Oh, absolutely.
talking over each other
Josh: Let’s just say there is a place in the middle of the country with ghosts hanging around in holes in the ceiling, and you got bad perogies swimming in butter.
Seamus: I will say there’s a place in New Brunswick where there’s a man who showed us his knife, and said “This is the knife that I used to slit a trucker’s arm when he tried to lock me in his truck”
Josh: Yeah and then I asked for a place to stay off the stage, which is always a mistake, and this guy’s like “Yeah, totally, and you got to party with me and this dude, it’s his birthday.” And then he took us to his room…
Seamus: And he pulls his bed out from his room, says “here’s my bed, now sleep on it”. We said, “you’re a saint”, then he tells us about the knife and says “goodnight”.
Matt: That was a bad situation and the first time I was afraid to fall asleep.
Josh (to Graeme): Didn’t you have to go into the Esso for him because he’s like “I can’t do money right now?”
Graeme: Yeah, with all the money he spent on drugs and stuff.
Seamus: I was expecting to wake up with just a knife in my chest.
Josh: Seamus asked him if he could change the lighting, and he flicked a switch and the fan started going. He said, “That’s the best I can do”
P: What does indie, like indie rock, indie music, mean to you guys?
Graeme: It used to mean bands that I thought no one knew about; I liked Modest Mouse alot, and I was like “Yeah, they’re an indie band and I know about them and no one else knows about Modest Mouse.” But now it’s changed.
Matt: It makes me think of indie pop, which is kind of a garbage dump.
Josh: All indie pop is bad-
Seamus: Including us.
Josh: – and don’t call us indie pop!! Call us College pop, alternative, DIY music.
P: And anything else you would like to add?
Josh: They lost my yearbook quote in Grade 12.
Seamus: Say it now!
Matt: Carpe Deum
Josh: OK, “Thank you to The Replacements for getting me through high school.” It was Gr. 12 yearbook so it doesn’t even fucking matter
Absolutely dig the guitar work throughout in “Candleholder”. Totally lives up to what I’ve always thought of as cool surf rock! This made my Tuesday.