If you got elbowed in the face last weekend in Flagstaff, chances are it was at the Monette concert on the 29th. A necessary collateral damage for some damn good music. I spoke with bandmates Bremer, Bryce, and Adi to get some insight on how they kickstarted their group, their musical influences, and their E.P. Tape that released July 28th.
How did you guys all meet? When did you decide to start playing together?
Bryce: I actually met Bremer on PS4 through a mutual friend in November 2020. We struck up a conversation about music, I mentioned I had just started playing drums and that I learned In Bloom [by Nirvana], and Bremer replied with “Woahh, I just learned that on guitar.”
Bremer: We set a date to just jam and just try our best to play some music, mostly consisting of some Nirvana covers, and the next jam sesh kept coming, it was always there. We were enjoying it, so we decided to make it a goal that summer that we would play a show of a bunch of covers we loved by the end of July. I was originally kind’ve freaked out at the idea of drums and guitar but no bass because I thought it would just sound sad, and after realizing we couldn’t find a bassist in time, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to play the show anymore. Luckily, I changed my mind with the thought to myself: “Shut up, this will just be a cool experience, who cares,” and we did it, and we were right, it was fun.
Bryce: Adi ended up joining the band that October. I met her through my sister Daisy who was starting to get close with her through school. Adi showed up at my house one day to hang with Daisy and we started talking about music, she had very similar taste to me and Bremer. She told me she thought Monette was sick after coming across some videos of our shows, so I responded with “Well I heard you just started playing bass?” A week later we started practicing with her, and of course we loved her, so two weeks later we played our first show with her.
What music and art influences do you have individually? Which ones do you share collectively?
Bryce: All of our tastes in music share roots in bands and artists like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, The Garden, Dystopia, Julie, Tyler the Creator, Machine Girl, The Germs, Horse Jumper of Love and others like that, but we’ve all been expanding a lot further recently. I’ve been enjoying more grimy, experimental stuff like early Sonic Youth, Unwound, Death Grips, Slint, and The Microphones. Fashion inspires me. To me, the clothes I wear make me an individual. It means a lot to me on a day to day basis because it shows who I am in a visual way without needing to talk to me. I’m a more introverted person, and sometimes wearing the clothes I like makes it easier for me to be more comfortable with who I am. When it comes to visual art, my aunt is my biggest influence. Her name is Ingrid Calam, and she’s based in LA. Her work is everything I love about abstract art, coupled with a clear sense of intent and emotion. It satisfies the ADHD part of my brain that needs stimulation, but also truth, with clear motive.
Adi: Art in all kinds of mediums is just such a huge part of my life. For most of my life, I’ve been a dancer, and I was also really interested in painting, but I think when I started playing music with Bryce and Bremer, it sort of clicked. I think creating art with these two dudes has given me an amazing opportunity to bounce ideas off of one another and share individual influences. Personally, my biggest influences come from all kinds of punk sub genres. I’m really into sludgy stuff like Dystopia and Devil’s Witches. I also love black metal. Early nineties Riot Grrrl is some of my favorite music out there, I think it’s so good at being so simple but so influential. Some groups that Inspire me most are The Garden, B-52’s, Shin Guard, and Bikini Kill.
Bremer: I think it's fair to say one thing we all have in common is our shared interest in art that falls in the category of: “Hey, this is weird shit, and it makes no sense.” We all like some physical art and music that’s downright uncomfortable to consume at first, like YouTuber animations and movies that make you second guess your already second-guessed thoughts about what normal is. I like to think that seeps into the energy of some of our products. As far as my influences that slightly part ways with the other two goobers, I’d say it would be my special interest in those barebones singer/songwriter acoustic songs like the live version of Only You by Mac Demarco that hit you straight in the heart with little weaponry, or the flat out gorgeous early 2010s experimental rap albums/mixtapes I was raised on in my early teens, introduced to me by my older brothers, like Faces by Mac Miller. I like to take that essence and move it around to let it shine in other ways.
How would you describe your guys' style in three words?
Bremer: Hot, diggity, dog.
What does the songwriting process look like for you guys? How long does it take, what kind of environment is it when you guys put your stuff together?
Bryce: It’s chaotic, it’s a mish-mash of ideas being thrown at each other too fast to take in. It can also be long. But, it always works out in the end as we each get our share of ideas in the final product.
Bremer: Usually someone brings in something, has a vision for it, and the other two immediately create a whole story of that song in their head before they even finish playing the riff, then we all interrupt each other so damn much with our stupid, as well as our good, ideas, then everyone’s vision is sewn together.
What is your guys' favorite show you've played thus far? Some of us got to catch you at the Woodland Dr. show and it was super sick.
Bremer: That Woodland Dr. house show was great, I’ve loved all of the house shows we’ve done just because of the close quarters and D.I.Y. nature of them, It makes for a really loose and present state of mind for me.
Bryce: I have to pick two. The first show we ever did was the weirdest, yet the best feeling I’ve ever had, it turned addictive. As soon as I was done with that show, I needed more. Our show at Liminal was anamazing show too for so many reasons, for me personally, I feel like I performed really well and had the most fun I’ve ever had at a show. There was a point during our set where the whole venue was jumping so hard everything was shaking, the drum riser, the floor, the building. I looked over to our left and outside the window there was people rubbing the condensation off the window just to get a look inside, cause we’d hit occupancy. That was such a cool moment.
Adi: My favorite show we played was the show at Liminal. I think it felt like our hard work really payed off and we just played so well and I just feel really happy when I remember that show.
What's up and coming for Monette?
Bryce, Bremer & Adi: We got an EP called Tape coming out July 28th [Note: Already released! Listen here.] Shirts, cassettes, posters, an EP release show on the 29th of July, and a show at The Hive on August 19th. We’re also gonna be doing a live session on KJACK radio here pretty soon, so keep a lookout for that.