Tuesday 2 August 2022

Interview With 30,000 Monkies

30,000 Monkies have been preaching their style of Drone/Doom based Sludge Metal since 2011 and the band been hitting their creative stride with their last few albums especially with I Ate Myself To Grow Twice As Big and Are Forever.

The band are back with their unnamed upcoming new album which will be revealed in the next few weeks. I caught up with the band to discuss what they have in store for ourselves.

The interview also has details of a competition that the band are running for the upcoming new album. 

Hi Guys. How’s it going? Thanks for doing the interview. For folks not in the know, can you give a brief history of the band and where it is today.

We started as high school sweethearts more than 10 yours ago, released 2 EP’s and 3 full albums along the way and are still holding it together to this day.

Still trying to add a little color and playfulness to the ever grim and dark metal scene.
Still got love for the streets, repping 3580
Still the beats bang, still doing our thang.

How would you describe the music of 30,000 Monkies in your own words?

To us it is just about being devoted servants of the rock gods, spreading their gospel directly as it comes to us. As in all religions, there are many ways to interpret the word of the gods, but their inspiration seems to lead us along a particularly winding path of all things heavy and weird, through beautiful, scenic landscapes of sludge, doom and noise rock.

We’re here to talk about your upcoming new album. What can people expect for this album?

Less songs for an equal amount of minutes, each with its own distinctive sound and character. There is definitely more contrast and diversity compared to previous albums. There’s some honestly brutal stuff in there, at least more brutal than anything we did before, but we also included more warm and fuzzy softness so we should be doing fine in terms of yin and yang balance.

You're doing a cool promotion campaign for this album with the recent dot drawing campaign. Whose idea was that and how has the reception been to that campaign.

It seemed like a logical next step after making a coloring page version of our previous album covers. We’ve had some interesting submissions so far, but we need more!

Editors's Note: There's details of the coloring page competition at the end of this interview

Why have you decided to keep the name of the album a secret from your fans, for now. When are you going to announce it ?

Is it part of an elaborate and clever marketing scheme? A most cunning ruse? Do we just love to tease? Do we even know ourselves? Are we just sowing confusion for no reason? Will everything become clear in due time? Or will we just confuse ourselves in the end?

Photo by Leon De Backer

This is quite a different record compared to your previous albums. Was that the plan to write and record something different to your previous releases?

That wasn’t really the ultimate goal. We just wanted to keep exploring and fine tuning some of the directions we already went in on previous releases, to see how far we can take them. It does feel like we have been able to plant our little flags a little further and deeper with this one!

Did you do anything different when recording album compared to your previous albums?

We never really have a ‘fixed’ approach. It's the first time we did it all by ourselves (except for the mastering). And by “ourselves” I mean Ruben (singer, guitarist) recorded and mixed it in his own ‘FVN KVLT’ studio, which was sadly demolished right after we finished the recordings. This gave us a lot of freedom to take our time and keep fine tuning the arrangements and songwriting during the recording and mixing process.

The DIY approach to recording this album really allowed us to keep experimenting during our (sometimes difficult) search of the right tension-release balance for these distinct songs, as well as an overall logical dynamic or overarching ‘storyline’.

Your previous albums impressed a lot of people within the Doom/Sludge/Metal underground scene. Did the responses surprise you all?

We stopped having any expectations about the responses to our music when, to our great surprise and disappointment, we didn’t become godly rock stars immediately after releasing our first demo EP back when we were baby Monkies. Without any expectations, there are no real surprises anymore, but of course we are grateful for every little or big response that we get. (Obviously, growing into older and wiser Monkies, and looking back at the first demo EP, it is quite clear we were on no path towards rockstardom whatsoever).

Consouling Sounds are releasing your new album again. It's great you're continuing that relationship once more. How did you become involved with that great label?

When we were looking for a label to release our first proper EP back in 2012 they immediately responded enthusiastically. We met them, got to know them as extremely kind people with lots of interesting and ambitious plans. We immediately felt at home and they’ve been supportive ever since.

Photo Courtesy by 30,000 Monkies

Who writes all the lyrics for the album? Is this a group effort or down to certain individuals?

For the most part it’s Ruben (the singer) who writes the lyrics. Only the lyrics for “Friendship” were, appropriately, written as a collective effort

Who and what influenced your lyrics for the new album?

Since we decided on the title of the record (and songs) before writing it, there was a clear direction for each song from the start. It was then a matter of digging up a story or feeling associated with the title for each song, so there was no general influence or approach common to all the songs. The influences and themes are the most clear and straightforward in “Friendship”, which was inspired by epic national anthems (mainly the Italian one obviously), 

And celebrates how our brotherhood, righteousness and fighting spirit will crush all evil. SO ALL ENEMIES OF US MONKIES, AND ROCK MUSIC IN GENERAL, BETTER BEWARE.

Will you be touring and promoting the new album in the coming months at home or abroad?

We will announce some live dates soon but it’s going to be a bit of both!

What is the current state of the Belgian Underground Rock/Metal scene ? Do you have perform gigs on a regular basis and do you have a local scene that your actively involved with?

There are definitely some cool venues and concert promoters in the Belgian cities but since it’s a small country, it's pretty limited in the end. This definitely pushed us to look outside the national borders, which has been rewarding and a lot of fun as well!

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans currently out there?

You are all golden million-dollar babies and we don’t want you to ever forget. Lots of love and kind regards!

Words by Steve Howe and 30,000 Monkies

Thanks to Dan at Discipline PR for arranging the interview.


Album Competition Details

1) Have you anxiously been waiting for updates on da next Monkies album????

2) Are you afraid to be bored during the long, dull summer vacay?

Oh boy/girl/x do we have sum good news for you!!!! We are your friends and we will do everything* to help you overcome these obstacles (but plz we kind of need your help too: see below)!!

1) Read all** about our upcoming album, to be released by Consouling Sounds after summer (click this link bro/sis/x: linktr.Ee/30000monkies)

2) We really need you to spend dis time on helping us complete our album cover pretty pretty please we are in a really precarious situation and we need your friendship/labor!!! You will be royally rewarded for your contribution***!!!!!

*Okay ya more like two things

**Ya sorry we kno there is actually very little information about the album in there but we promise it is coming!!!!!

***Well ya we mean “some” of you will be royally rewarded: we are giving away three vinyls to the lucky winners (picked by an innocent hand!!!!!). Plz post yr result and tag us and consouling sounds to enter the lottery!!!!

You can download the printable version of the drawing thru linktr.Ee/30000monkies!”