Interview @ 5/4/2011
"Like" Monomate here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Monomate/364095284486
"Like" iamerror here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Iamerror/113601275316775
Buy "Grand Battle" and other merch here: http://monomate.bigcartel.com/
Monomate has a very high reputation among those who know him. Pretty much one of the godfathers of "pure" Nintendocore with his old project iamerror (meaning he actually has talent and is devoid of adding the crap screaming and other elements that artists do these days), he changed his name to Impatient Outpatient to signal his change to a more downbeat psychedelic sound for a single album (Remnants Of A Paradise Lost), until ultimately changing the name once again to Monomate. I wanted to have this interview to address some questions I've always wanted to know and to answer some other questions going around that were yet to be answered, and to delve the readers into the artistic mind of an artist as great and unique as Monomate.
RB: So for people who have not heard of Monomate, how would you describe your music to them?
M8: There are a few separate aesthetics on the upcoming Negative Emotions/Positive Outlook double album. Negative Emotions consists of half sounding like sleigh bells getting raped by a factory, or various styles of avant hip-hop, while conversely, Positive Outlook errs between dreamy, psychedelic ambience and uptempo dance songs. Most people associate me with nintendocore, though.
RB: When do you plan on releasing the Negative Emotions/Positive Outlook double album? Is everything already recorded or are you still working on it?
M8: I hope to knock it out after midterms - no definite release date, but let's hope to get it out by mid-summer.
RB: I read that there is an upcoming 7". Is it going to be a split or just yourself? Will it contain songs from your other releases?
M8: Hazy Days is a working title for an EP with all new original tracks, except for a remastered version of comfort.
RB: What are your main musical influences in your style? What bands do you listen to on an everyday basis?
M8: Though it may not be blatantly apparent, My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth are among my biggest influences stylistically (to be evidenced in upcoming material); a more accurate influence is Circuit Scarecrow, a defunct noisy hip-hop band from Riverside, CA. They're pretty obscure but definitely worth checking out.
RB: Just to clear the air on unofficial releases and such, what is your complete discography? Not with just Monomate but your other projects as well.
M8: Oh, jeez. Just check it out at http://monom8.com/sound.html, it's all detailed there.
RB: From iamerror, to Impatient Outpatient, to Monomate, it's been fun trying to keep track of your aliases. What is your reasoning behind the constant name changes? Are there any other projects (musical and non-musical) that you want your fans to know about?
M8: It changes to reflect an ever-changing sound, though I've made it clear in recent times that I have no intention of deviating from the Monomate alias for my solo material.
RB: Are there any plans on touring soon?
M8: Touring isn't necessarily feasible right now, so I'm booking mad shows around L.A. to generate local buzz and recognition to prop me up heavily enough to bust out a tour. Fans, take note: I want to tour Mexico and Texas, I KNOW there's fans in each. Bubblegum Octopus keeps alluding to a show that'll rally together many of the prominent names from the heyday of Myspace, so spread the word so we can make it a reality! SOUTHWEST TOUR WHAT WHAT!!!
RB: If that comes to fruition, I will travel to Mexico for this cause! Tell your fans about any upcoming shows and why they should be there.
M8: I've got a show this upcoming Saturday the 7th at the Pico Union Branch library in L.A. with some chiptune acts, and a speakeasy rager on the 12th in Satan's basement. Look it up.
(Note: You can view all upcoming show on his Facebook link listed above).
RB: What was your very first song ever? What about as Monomate?
M8: My first song ever... doesn't exist anymore. It was a song under the alias "Ennui" called "Party at the Stoic Club," and was uploaded to vgmix as a remix of the summers theme from Earthbound. It was a terrible club remix haha. The first Monomate song... technically, either LA OG (Cannabliss) off the upcoming NE/PO or Dreamland off of Grand Battle.
RB: Have you played in any bands or worked with any other projects other than your own?
M8: I've played with a few bands over the years, and it usually ends me in me being frustrated for reasons of creative control/terrible communication amongst members. I may be jamming with shoegaze band Garland in the near future, so I'll definitely keep my fans updated about anything I may record with them. I also intend for their singer, Rich, to do guesties on the title track of Hazy Days. He sounds like if Morrissey had a beautiful baby with Thom Yorke (Radiohead).
RB: If you could play your dream tour, who would you have onboard?
M8: Oh, man. Bubblegum Octopus, Genghis Tron, and Cutting Pink With Knives (R.I.P.) would be the silliest, most diverse, but most importantly, the most INTEGRAL possible lineup of cyber bands out these days. Cyber being my colloqialism for cybergrind, encompassing all the splinter genres of cybergrind that arose from Myspace.
RB: What is the overall message behind your music?
M8: That's a terrible question, or rather it's going to make my music seem vapid as hell, haha. Typically, more meaning is found in the aesthetics of particular tracks than the actual lyrical content, per se; the unspoken mission statement of NE/PO is to completely pervert the most overproduced pop music into something infinitely more psychedelic, noisy, and palatable. Most of my recent lyrical content is about existential musings via entheogenic substances or angsty, cynical heartbroken shit.
RB: What songs do you like to play the most live? Any covers?
M8: Hyr00l has epic connotations live; the one time I’ve played "you're no artist (you're a piss-poor pastiche of an antiquated aesthetic)," I LOVED the opportunity to go Swans on everyone's ass. Oh, random shout out, go listen to filth/holy money era Swans. They're also a big influence on my recent sound.
RB: What would you say has been your biggest challenge so far in the music business?
M8: Promotion. Once upon a time, I was naive enough to think that producing a professional-sounding, well-written album was enough to propel oneself into the musical stratosphere, but I was almost completely blind to the networking side of being in a band. Social networking in general is a blessing and a curse in that it both enables worldwide marketing; much of my frustration is that 99% of my fanbase is scattered across the globe. I gain a few fans every show and have no doubt in my mind that exponential growth will happen for Monomate - it's just a matter of when, and I'm impatient as hell.
RB: Any other hobbies you like to do when you’re not making music?
M8: Between design school, practicing the songs, recording, and networking at shows, who the fuck has time for niceties? Does working out count?
RB: Any shout outs you want to give?
M8: Bubblegum Octopus just released a full-length album "Bad Happy," (Note: buy that here: bubblegumoctopus.bigcartel.com) and it's pretty great. M@ (the artist) describes it as spazzpop, and I'd say that's fairly accurate. Artistic maturity has treated his project well, and I look forward to see what he comes up with in the future.
RB: Any last words for your fans and people who haven't heard your music yet?
M8: The cyber scene is dead, Nintendocore is dead. Stop clinging to your sinking ship and innovate, it's the only way you'll grow. Don't be afraid to make unpopular artistic decisions without justification, experimentation is the heart of all growth. Furthermore, clean production is such a limited aesthetic: don't be afraid to throw around diverse distortion to taste. A noisy future is an ideal one, and I stand behind the notion that noise will eventually become at the forefront of pop music as a backlash to the aforementioned clean production value. Lastly, there are too many great singers and great, authentic bands full of integrity that use Autotune: don't muffle your personality to sound "perfect." Perfection isn't real, saccharine pop is fast food. Enjoy in moderation, and work it the fuck off afterward.
*Stop the disease that is Autotune*