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Interview: Monarchy Talk Space

Monarchy is a band of mystery, so we were as excited as anyone when we got a chance to ask them a few questions. We talked about identities, singles, and the long awaited album.

PlanetNotion:  Why is it that you choose to keep your identities under wraps?

Monarchy: When we launched, we had an obscured image which caused a minor stir. But straight away we realised how liberating it is to create music purely, without a face or identity, so we are feeding our inner selves through music, not doing it for our ego. To us, it felt really right and honest. We always wanted to make music, but we didn’t really want the drama of celebrity, both good and bad. It’s very liberating, and makes us very inspired. Though we probably get laid less.

PN: How did it feel ‘taking that first great step for music’, being the first artists to be broadcasted into space?

M: It fits our music, because we’ve always been fascinated with space and the great unknowns. But it’s a bit of a non-event, which we also really like. It’s like the artists who paint tiny little figurines and put them deep in subway tunnels, never to be discovered. It’s an art pose that has no audience, and seemingly no purpose, the canvas that is never seen. Our ultimate dream would be for our broadcast to return to Earth on one of these waves, and hit Bill Drummond as he walked across that manhole cover.

PN: Tell us a little more about ‘Around The Sun’, what’s the record conceal? What does the lyrical content deal with?

M: On the surface, for the most part it’s about relationships, love, sex. The obvious exception would be “Floating Cars” which is about impatience with slow moving technology. But the relationships cover everything from falling in love again too soon after a relationship (Love Get Out of My Way), to wanting monogamy over fashionable polygamy (Maybe I’m Crazy), to not being able to fall in love at all (Black The Colour of My Heart). And so on. For us, music is therapy, we deal with issues through the songs and lyrics, we process and try and heal ourselves in writing music. Writing a song is like meditation.

PN: Do you believe you’re really out of this world’?

M: Reality is just one person’s perspective. If I saw inside your brain, it would be completely alien to me, and I’d have no idea how to deal with your vision of the world. Two people will come up with completely different solutions, both equally valid, to the same problem. I think we’re all a bit out of this world, but definitely you more than me.

PN: The album’s been a victim of a few delays, and was scheduled to be released a year ago; can you tell us a little more about what happened?

M: The short answer is we fell victim to the mechanics of the music industry. We could go into the details over a cup of tea, in brief, we were locked into a deal with a major label who was procrastinating about what to do with us after sacking our A&R man. Though to be fair it was only nine months, and no one died. We’re just glad we have got the album out now. For us, getting the music to our listeners was what was killing us the most, not the mechanics of the situation, or the boring marketing side. What kept us awake at night (literally) was having this album, ready to go, that legally we weren’t allowed to release.

PN: Have you been able to rework the tracks and the tracklisting in this time?

M: Yes we wrote some new tracks, two of which appear on the album, as well as a few other tracks that will be surfacing soon.

PN: How’d you feel about the record now as a whole?

M: We’re really happy with it, and we much prefer the new track listing over the old one, it seems to flow better and be more consistent. “Just Let Go” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, and to release it as a single and get people excited about new Monarchy tracks all over again was great. We’ve had an amazing response from our listeners to the album, and people continue to talk about it and be inspired by it. We’re honoured.

PN: How has the gap and the difficulties affected the record’s freshness for you?

M: It hasn’t affected us at all as far as freshness. The album hasn’t dated, and we haven’t grown tired of it. We still go out and play the songs and get excited by them exactly as if they were brand new tracks. We saw Stevie Wonder play in Hyde Park a few years ago, and he was playing Superstition like he wrote it yesterday, with a massive smile on his face and so much joy coming out of him. It was really inspiring.

PN: Have you been able to work on more tracks, remixes and projects in the interim as well?

M: We did a lot of remixes last year, for Lady Gaga, Kylie, Kelis, OMD, Jamiroquai. And we’ve also been collaborating and writing with a lot of artists, which will be emerging soon, and gigging loads as well, Coachella, Melt, Lovebox. We didn’t want to waste our time while the album was getting sorted out legally.

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