The New Monarchs' new electro-indie album "will knock the wind out of you"
Sean: We met Adam Tucker in 2008 at a show we played with his band Nobot.
I tell this story to Adam a lot, but I remember him coming up to me and being overly excited to be playing with us. Taylor and I had just released our first record, so I was surprised that someone could be that "into us," already. After our set, he came back to talk to us, and again was really excited saying things like, "You guys are awesome, we have got to work together on something, etc."
This conversation continued for years. Any time we would play with any of his bands or see him out at a show, he always want to talk about how much he dug our sound and how he had to work with us. After we had finished up our EP Electrocaching and were ready to start writing again, Taylor and I decided to meet with Adam and record a song. In my mind, this was a test run to see what it was like to work with him and to see what he could do. The song is on the new album and is called "Converter." After working with him on that song and hearing what he could do, we both knew right away that we would be working with him on the entire album. He did an amazing job at understanding what we were going for sonically and was able to bring out the sound we had always wanted. Adam has always been a huge proponent to our live show and was really honing in on getting our records to have the same power as our live sets.
Why do you describe Stay Awake as more glossier than previous releases?
Sean: I'd say its gloss is in the details. The three of us spent most of our time fine tuning parts, mixing, and layering these songs so the end result was a sound that would knock the wind out of you. It's a very solid sound. In the past our records were very much: here is the drum part, here is the synth part, here is the guitar part and now they are all playing at once. In my opinion, the sound on the record combines all the parts into one hard hitting force.
Taylor: It comes down to working with Adam Tucker. Recording with him for this record was a different process for us. Instead of just hiring someone to hit record, we were able to work with someone who had considerable creative and production-related input. We were able to build substantial rapport with Adam, and that made this project very comfortable.
Was this the sound you were going for, and what were you able to say on this album that was not communicated before?
Sean: Definitely. The sound conveyed on this album is what Taylor and I have been working towards since we started writing. It's interesting, I had said off hand to Taylor that we sound more like we did when we started back as a four-piece (but with just the two of us). It's interesting, we started with an idea, and as time has gone by we have explored different sounds/instrumentation/etc. but at the end of the day we ended up growing into a pure form of the original idea.
As far as the message, this is a very personal record for me lyrically. I wanted to make sure, if anything, that I was saying what I felt: that I was conveying something that listeners could relate to/have an emotional response to. When writing the songs I seldom went back to edit things, because I wanted it to have that "in the moment" kind of message.
Taylor: At the end of the day, we are an electronic rock group. We've tried all sorts of styles on previous records, but the routes we've explored have led us to this particular sound. Stay Awake portrays that design on a holistic level.
Favorite track off the new album?
Sean: The last track, "Not Today." Lyrically, a really good look into over reflective/over questioning inner-monologue that quickly turns into very clear exclamation that thoughts like that shouldn't dictate a person's actions. Musically, a great interpretation of music matching the lyrics. It builds the entire time and ends up in your face, which was a great way to end the album.
Taylor: "Endless" elicits the biggest emotional response from me. Especially the live incarnation of it.
What can we expect at the CD release show?
Sean: I can't tell you how excited we are to be playing with Fire in the Northern Firs, BNLX, and have Sex Burger DJing between sets. We feel very privileged to be playing with such amazing local talent. The show is going to be loud and wild. The perfect blend of rock and dance. I have a great memory of seeing Passion Pit at The Triple Rock years ago. The place was packed and the music was cranked. People were jumping and dancing and everyone was sweaty. I can only hope it ends up like that.
Taylor: I showed Sean a .gif of some dude riding a motorcycle on one wheel while doing a bench-press. If the live performance sounds anything like that .gif made me feel, I'd consider the show a success.
The New Monarchs will release Stay Awake with Fire in the Northern Firs, BNLX, and Sex Burger at the Triple Rock Social Club on Saturday, June 16, 2012.
18+, $6, 8 pm
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