Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Monarchy talks to Disco Unchained

We had the pleasure to talk to the duo behind Monarchy, Andrew Armstrong and Ra Black, about their new album, their future direction, and their insight on 'EDM'.

What was the artistic inspiration behind Almost Human?
For the song, we wanted to write an acoustic song. It took us quite a while to figure out what the digital persuasions of Monarchy might sound like acoustically. Once we had the aesthetic, we wrote the song around it, it just kind of poured out. The lyrics are about being made to feel human through emotion, giving up a constructed exterior armour to allow pain but also joy in.

The Tracks from Almost Human have a broad range of sounds and style, can you outline the process with which you went about achieving it?
I think the EP reflects our eclectic tastes. I’m not sure you could call it a process, but we generally write music when we’re inspired (people, art, inanimate objects) and the inspiration informs the voice of the song. Time continues on its relentless journey and we have a bunch of songs that we’d like to share with our listeners.

What tracks are in your current playlist?
I still listen to albums rather than playlists. But the albums that show up in my “Recently Played” playlist are;
Tremors - Sohn
It's Album Time - Todd Terje
Innervisions - Stevie Wonder

The cover art for Almost Human is quite an interesting image, could you give us some background on it?
We saw a competition for micro-photography, which is generally the domain of science, but the photographs were really beautiful, of cells, or viruses. This one was of embryonic vampire bats, photographed by a scientist in Cambridge. We emailed her to see if we could use the image and she sent us the high resolution copy. We were very honoured.

What are your favorite horror movies?
Event Horizon left me the most disturbed I’ve every been coming out of a movie. So if favourite = most mind altered, then I guess it’s that movie. Is it a good or enjoyable film? No.

What direction do you see Monarchy going in for future projects? 
We’ll just keep on writing music until we die. The next project will be an album via a PledgeMusic campaign.

And in that vein, are there any new works or collaborations in the pipe line for the immediate future?
There’s a great band called J Laser who supported us in LA. We’d love to work on something with them. Just have to find a work around for the oceans between us.
Also, Andrew is working on a housey side project called Horixon with releases on Eskimo Records and Kitsune. There's a few other collaborations in the pipeline.

Over the past few years, Electronic music has seen a huge boom( Particularly in the US with the rise of "EDM"), What are your thoughts on this as both musicians and music listeners? And how do you think it effects the music as a whole?
It's great that America finally found a place for dance music, after inventing it in the 80's, then disregarding it because of racism and homophobia. It's just a shame that it was then hi-jacked by the bro-step fraternity and mutated into EDM.
I'd rather listen to any other type of music than EDM. Literally, anything. Bagpipes. The new U2 album. Whatever. It makes me feel horrible when I listen to it, like I'm cheating myself.
But it's really a different type of music to anything we've got to do with, even though we're electronic. We are following a different path.

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