Below an interview to the great british band \"Monster Movie\". The interview
published in SPANISH in http://www.namurproducciones.com/index_es.php
made for a peruvian entertainment company.
Interview with Monster Movie
Namur: So who\'s Monster Movie, where are you living
now and what do you do besides Monster Movie?
Christian: It\'s just me and Sean Hewson. Although
occassionally we manage to con people into singing for
us. I live in West London and Sean lives in Reading.
We earn no money at all from music so we work full
Sean: we are monster movie. we live in the woods & we
work in the office.
Namur:This is maybe a repeated question, but can you
tell us where \"Monster Movie\" name come from?
christian: When we started, we wanted to do some
minimal krautrock-ish type music, but when we started
playing we soon discovered that it was totally beyond
us. Which is probably just as well because a band
ripping off krautrock and naming themselves after a
\'can\' album would be totally embarrassing. As it is
we\'re an indie type band named after a \'can\' album,
still embarrassing, but maybe not quite as much.
sean: it comes from an album by can that neither of us
own or have heard.
Namur:How would you describe your sound and musical
style? Id place you in the shoegazing category. Would
you agree with this?
Christian: I\'m not sure how I would desribe our sound
and style, but if people want to categorize us as
\'shoegaze\' then it\'s alright because it\'s not so
important. I suppose when we started to get reviews
and we were described as \'shoegaze\' it was a bit
annoying because we are not really interested in it at
all. But I see all kinds of bands getting called
\'shoegazers\' and I\'ve no idea what the term means
anymore. Our sound and songs are really basic, our
equipment is really basic, our recording budget is
minimal, and we don\'t have much time because of a
combination of jobs, family and study. They are major
constraints. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like
if we could devote more time to the music and have
good resources at our disposal. I\'m sure a lot of
bands feel like that though.
Sean: we generally describe each other as handsome. i
wouldn\'t describe us as shoegazing as i haven\'t really
heard anything by any of those kind of bands other
than my bloody valentine and whilst i really like them
i would never attempt to recreate their sound. we just
try to write good songs & then present them in such a
way as to be audible & recognisable as good songs -
sometimes we don\'t achieve that but that\'s the plan.
Namur:Who\'s the voice (main vocals I would say) behind
the songs of Monster Movie?
Christian : We all have a go at singing, it just
depends on the song and whose voice suits it best.
None of us are what you would call singers though.
Sean: the beautiful main vocals are usually by
Namur:Monster Movie is going to release it\'s second
next album \"To the moon\" just in some days (24th
august). Where do you guys get the inspiration to
create the songs lyrics?
Christian: Lyric writing is the hardest part of the
song process for me. The tunes come easily, but words
are always tricky. I don\'t suppose we are particularly
flamboyant individuals and find everyday life a bit of
a struggle, which is reflected in our lyrics. I guess
on this most recent album some of the lyrics were
mainly about wanting to be somewhere else, but knowing
that somewhere else is no better. It\'s not exactly Bob
Dylan, I admit that. We are the kind of people who are
not good at meeting people and the kind of people in a
party situation you want to avoid. With my level of
articulation, really I should stick to instrumentals.
Sean: i just write stuff down all the time then pick
out the five or six lines out of a hundred that are
tolerable, again sometimes i pick the wrong ones &
sometimes there aren\'t any good ones to pick.
Namur:What should we expect about \"To the moon\"? Is
the continuation of \"Last night something happened\",
or it has new sounds or a different musical direction?
Christian: We wanted to have a bit more variation of
sounds on \"to the moon\", so we tried some different
stuff. Some of it worked and some if it didn\'t.
However we still tried to write good tunes. It\'s
difficult to remember back, as the album was finished
Sean: it\'s the same kind of songs but it\'s completely
produced by us so it sounds worse than \'last night
something happened\' and that\'s our fault, the songs
are pretty similar i think, but i can\'t really
remember it was all so long ago.
Namur:What equipment did you use in order to put the
Christian: I\'m not sure. I know that a lot of bands
like to have vintage guitars and amps and very precise
set ups, but I\'m not interested in that side of things
at all. Part of the problem on this album was that
what equipment we had didn\'t work properly. I had to
borrow an acoustic guitar from someone because when we
got in the studio we realised that the intonation of
my guitar was totally out. We have one keyboard that
Sean bought in a car boot sale that I reckon gets used
on every song.
Sean: we\'re not technical & we\'re not into having
equipment. we just use our guitars and then we\'ve got
a bag full of keybords, xylophones, harmonicas &
percussion and we add that stuff until we can\'t stand
to listen to it anymore.
Namur:Who do you site as having the most influence in
the music you create?
Christian: When I started playing guitar I was finding
it quite difficult and boring as I\'m not a good
musician, everything I was playing just sounded really
twee or really boring. then I started going to see \'my
bloody valentine\' playing live and watched closely to
memorise the chords that Kevin Shields was playing. At
first I couldn\'t understand why what sounded great
coming from Kevin\'s guitar sounded terrible coming
from mine. Then someone told me he used different
tunings. So I started messing around with tunings and
suddenly the guitar became interesting to me. 90% of
my tunes are done in various tunings which I can never
remember. I don\'t really listen to \'My bloody
valentine\' anymore, but I did listen recently and
preferred \'ecstasy\' and \'isn\'t anything\' to
I\'m not sure what bands influence us though as I don\'t
believe we sound like \'My bloody Valentine\' they are
tonally complex, whereas we are very simple in that
respect. \'Beautiful arctic star\' was influenced a bit
by 80s synth pop, but we didn\'t really have the
equipment to do it, so it sounds a bit remedial, which
I like. I also really like \'Another green world\' by
\'Brian Eno\', I\'m not saying we sound like that, but
definitely we try to keep things concise. \'Yo La
Tengo\' are also a great band who we would aspire to,
it would be arrogant to say thay have influenced us.
sean: probably christian, i try not to embarrass him
by being too crap.
Namur:Why Monster Movie does not perform live? Are you
going to perform live in a near future?
christian: Basically it\'s just me and Sean so we don\'t
have the necessary equipment and band members. Also,
in England at least, I really don\'t think anyone would
come to see us.
Sean: we\'re not performers. we make & record songs &
those are the limits of our ability. plus i\'m entirely
blank, i don\'t have anything to project to people.
Namur:Back in the time, there were really good
comments about the first Monster Movie album \"Last
night something happened\". The highlights in this
album are probably \"Shortwave\" and \"4th and pine\". Can
you tell us more about the story behind these songs?
Christian: Thank you. \'shortwave\' is a melody that I\'m
really happy with, although I wasn\'t fully happy with
how it turned out on the album. \'4th and pine\' was a
song that was written very quickly almost by accident.
I got the idea for that song\'s lyrics from a tragedy
that befell an acqaintance whose wife very
unfortunately had severe problems and shot herself.
It\'s not specifically about that incident, because a 3
minute pop song devoted to that incident would be
totally insulting and also incredibly pompous. The
song is more just about the idea that someone hits
rocks bottom and can\'t see any way out.
Namur:Christian, you were a member of one of the
greatest bands of all the times, Slowdive. What do you
feel now when people talk about Slowdive already as a
legend, when people pay high amounts of money just to
get the ep\'s or the last album \"Pygmalion\", for
Christian: I\'m certain that we are not legends, but
It\'s really nice and almost unbelievable that people
like \'slowdive\' after all these years. I\'m not sure
what we hoped for when we were making those records,
but I guess if we thought that some people would still
be enjoying our records over 10 years after they were
made, then we would have been delighted. It\'s a shame
that those records are a bit tricky to come by and
that people have to pay too much money for them. There
isn\'t anything I can do about it unfortunately.
Namur:When people talk about Slowdive they think most
about Neil and Rachel. However, after the split-up,
they followed a different musical direction (folk)
while you did follow with \"shoegazing\". And after
hearing \"Last night something happened\" album, many
people started to think about your influence in the
\"Slowdive sound\". What can you tell us about this?
christian: I wouldn\'t like to say how much or how
little my input into \'slowdive\' influenced the sound.
Neil was the principal songwriter and producer. We all
had input to a certain extent, but it varied on every
song. Certainly towards the end, any input I did have
was negligble. I think that is natural for a lot of
bands though. When we started out we were all pulling
in the same direction, we all had similar influences
and hopes. It is unrealistic to expect five people to
all develop in exactly the same direction.
Sean: i don\'t really know slowdive but from what i\'ve
heard i prefer neil\'s solo album, i also prefer the
stuff Christian does for us.
Namur:Many fans out there ask me about Eternal. Do you
guys have in mind to re-release Eternal material?. In
Perú we did get \"Breath\" and \"Sleep\" some years ago...
Christian: It is amazing that \'eternal\' should be even
heard of in Peru as we weren\'t even a proper band. I
seriously doubt that \'eternal\' single will ever be re
released though. Outside of Peru I don\'t think there
is any interest.
Sean: there are no plans to release it. i think it\'s
pretty good that christian could write songs that good
when he was 19
Namur:How do you see the \"shoegazing\" scene in the
Christian: I just don\'t know what the \"shoegazing\"
scene is. I know that when \'slowdive\' was around there
were a handful of bands around with similar influences
that were picked up by the music press, but probably
there were hundreds of other bands sounding like us
that weren\'t as fortunate to be given any media
coverage. I suppose the difference now is the internet
allows for a community to exist for these bands and to
a certain extent they can all get people to listen to
them anywhere in the world.
I have heard some of these type bands, and the thing
that struck me was that they so were intent on
replicating the sounds from their favourite records
that they forgot about writing decent tunes. They
should be less concerned about what effects processor
Kevin Shields used and listen to how some people
manage to compose great or beautiful melodies.
sean: i have no knowledge or interest in that kind of
thing. of the other bands on the same labels as us we
like dreamend who are on graveface records.
Namur:What do you know about Perú and Southamerica
musical (shoegazing scene)?
christian: Some friends of ours have recently returned
from travelling and told us that Peru is an amazing
country. I would like to visit someday if I get the
opportunity. We have heard of \'Resplandor\' from Peru,
they were kind enough to send us their records.
Sean: i\'m sorry but i don\'t know anything about any
shoegazing scene, we would be delighted to listen to
anything anyone sends to us though.
Namur:Where do you see Monster Movie in 5 year time?
christian: We don\'t have a plan. At the moment we have
no money to record. We would really like to record
another album, so we will try to find someone to help
Sean: doing the same thing for less money. we\'re
pretty old so five years isn\'t a long time for us.
Namur:Finally, what to you is the most impotant thing
Christian: Trying to avoid death.
Sean: to become more invisible.
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