Interview With Monk Tamony!
TJ: Things got going for me really after just buying an acoustic and sitting in my Prince street apartment trying to figure it all out years back..Still trying to figure it out! Haha..
Joe: Ever since I was a kid, i’d always set up a homemade kit in the house somewhere and annoy the crap out of my sisters. Then when I was old enough and started getting good grades in school, my dad got me a cheap drum set and the rest was history. Ever since I’ve been dabbling with other instruments and try to figure them out on my own.
2. How would you describe your sound?
I love bands and artists from all types of styles. Punk, hard rock, indie, pop, some old
school hip hop, whatever. You take it and add some color behind the storytelling with strings and keys from time to time, you get Monk Tamony. Influenced by anything, devout followers of nothing.
3. Can you tell us about your EP?
A bunch of the songs were written before the project even took shape. Once Joe heard the tracks I played for him and said “this is a go” from a project perspective, things began to build out from there. There are actually a bunch of tracks we left off from the original batch too. They’re in the vault for now.
like TJ said, he had a batch of songs he’s been working on and keeping it a secret, then he came to a bar where I was tending, and played me some of the stuff, and I really liked what he had, and knowing what he and I are capable of, and said we should record these songs in the studio and go from there. After that, TJ had a trip planned to LA for a visit, I was suppose to go to Puerto Rico on a surf trip, instead I bailed on it, booked us a couple of shows in LA and did that instead, boom.
The songs reflect moods from that time. Late 2014 early 2015. The daily battles of city life, the never ending cycle of hate in the world, my fascination with the history of the city. Even my family’s past like in the Duchess and the Tsar. My dad’s side came to Ellis Island from Russia during the revolution. After hearing my aunt and grandmother talk about the days when the first family members who lived in Brooklyn one night that song concept started for me. I’m still trying to decipher the meaning of the phrases! By the way we layed down eight more songs too this past April in LA. Stay tuned!
4. What is your favorite song off of the EP?
I love them all, but if you twisted my arm I’d probably say Smoking in the Shadows and City to the Countryside. Shadows was written while staring at a photo I found in the Village Voice of Girls smoking on Prince Street in 1978. Imagining Little Italy back in the day. I like how Countryside moves. Especially the drum pattern Joe uses.
I like all of the songs on the EP, if really had to choose, I would say “Leaders” it reminds me of walking around in the middle of the winter trying to get stuff done in the city, and I as always would bump into people, and of course they wanna tell you they’re whole story while its 15 degrees out, and off course you just wanna say, “I.. Don’t wanna hear about, I.. Just wanna run.” And it’s fun to play live, lots of energy in the song.
5. Who are your musical inspirations?
Wow, too many to name. Some of the sounds I’ll never get sick of? The Beatles, The Kinks, Love, Bowie, T Rex, ELO, Tom Petty, Clash, Ramones, MC5, Stooges, Kasabian, BRMC.
I listen to both new and old stuff that I’ve never gotten into whenever I can. Sixties jazz at home on Sundays for lounging around. Charles Mingus! I’ve been real into Curtis Mayfield this year too. The purposeful quality of the songs, his smooth vocals, the lyrics, the instrumentation. All of it. Greatness.
Joe: a bunch, it all depends on the mood I’m in, growing up listening to everything from The Beatles, Zeppelin, Kinks, Tom Petty, The Stones, Dylan and such. Recently I’ve really been in to old school surf guitar stuff such as Dick Dale, Brooklyn’s Santo & Johnny, The Ventures, and a few to mention. After all it is summer, right?
But also few new bands out there I’m liking right now, Temples, Night Beats, Cage The Elephant’s (latest album) our friends Drowners, and Imaginary People.
6. Do you have any other upcoming projects?
Musical projects? Besides Monk Tamony, no. Working on formulating the next release during this summer though! My attention is on that and getting the word out about our debut!
No other projects, just focused on this EP we just released with some touring to follow and prepare for the next release.