The NAMM Show 2017 Interviews – Monarch Theatre
Each and every year at The NAMM Show which takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center, musicians from all over the planet converge upon the wilds of Orange County to discover the latest and greatest in music gear. One of the local unsigned bands making an appearance at NAMM was Monarch Theatre, an indie/alternative rock collective whose infectious songs and wondrously energetic live show thoroughly captivate the senses. We caught up with the Monarch Theatre troupe in the press area at NAMM to find out more about this imaginative new band on the rise. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Monarch Theatre.
Marc Monarch: My name is Marc. I’m the singer in the band.
Adrian Alcantar: My name is Adrian, I play rhythm guitar.
Zach Gustafson: My name is Zach, I play lead guitar.
Alex Peacock: My name is Alex, I play drums.
Shaun Thompson: My name is Shaun – I play bass.
What are your weapons of choice when you play?
Shaun: Right now, for me, it’s a Fender Precision Bass. Tried and true.
Alex: If I had my choice, Truth Drums.
Zach: My choice instruments are either Duesenberg or Fender Telecaster.
Adrian: My choice right now is a Fender Duo-Sonic. The new 2016.
Marc: Right now I use a Shure Super 55. Or a Shure SM58 standard.
How close are you guys to releasing an EP or any new music?
Zach: We’re going to be releasing an EP within the next two months. We’re looking at around March. It’s gonna be an extended EP. It’s going to be 6 tracks with about three exclusives added on. So that should be released in the next two months.
Is there a working title on it?
Zach: Right now it’s going between – it’ll go under Little Moth, which is the first single that’ll come off the EP.
Tell me about that song, any story behind that song?
Zach: It was a song that was written quite some time back through other bands with other musicians at the time. We had just slowly worked on it, slowly progressed just the direction of the song in general. And then it was put aside for a while, then when we reformatted our band adding in Adrian (rhythm guitarist) we decided to bring the song back, rewrite most of it, strip it down, write it from scratch using some basic melodies that were there in the beginning and now it came around. It’s kind of a feel good, indie pop kind of feel.
Then select any other song and what inspired the lyrics?
Marc: There’s a song we love to do called “Get Out.” The lyrics are basically about living in a small town and not having to do anything there because there’s no one there you want to hang out with – so you just want to get out to a big city and make it. Plus it’s the play on the story of making it and then letting fame get to your head only for it to drive you down. It can kill you. So that’s a fun little tune that we love to do. It’s very punk and it’s a party song, so that’s what we love to do.
What can one expect from a live Monarch Theatre show?
Marc: A lot of energy. A lot of movement and we’ve been known to draw blood on stage, but not much. It’s just a very good time. Having fun, very good time. We don’t really do the whole pretty boy thing too, that’s another appeal.
Shaun: It’s a pretty dirty show, it’s always a fun time.
The first time I saw you guys you performed “Starman” by David Bowie. What does David Bowie mean to you guys as a band?
Zach: Everyone in the band is pretty influenced by Bowie. I know for myself personally, it was one of the first inspirations I’ve had. I remember when I was a kid, we had to watch the old Midnight Special show and Mick Ronson was Bowie’s guitarist, so I always was inspired by him. He was always my idol. And Bowie just has always been around for us, no matter if he’s alive or dead.
Marc: It’s pretty much the same thing for me. I’ve always been about the theatrical side of rock and roll with Alice Cooper, David Bowie, KISS. Bowie was just one of those artists that transcended humanity because he said, “I have this need to be something more than human,” which resonated with me. That’s basically what I want to do. I want to be something more than human, I want us to be something more than human. I want Monarch Theatre to be something superhuman. You don’t really see that these days, you see a bunch of bands that are pretty much pretty boys that are put together by companies and they do the whole “I love you,” the whole teenage thing. Teenage – they want to be what The Beatles were. We don’t do that. We want to be as big as The Beatles, but we don’t do the whole pretty boy thing as we said. We’re very real, very down to earth and very humble. You can approach us anytime you want. We like to fall. Especially Zach, he’s the one that fractured his arm recently.
Zach: It was on a cruise playing in a band, and just fell off the stage and broke my elbow. About a week later, still playing
Outside of David Bowie, if Monarch Theater could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be?
Shaun: For me it’d be Queens Of The Stone Age. That’d be a good show.
Alex: I say Nickelback. I am being serious.
Zach: It’d be Jack White.
Adrian: Either Cage The Elephant or The Strokes.
Marc: It’d either be Alice Cooper, Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors, The 1975 – and Palaye Royale – I saw them Thursday, it was Sebastian and Emmerson. I am going to do a whole festival.
What’s up next?
Marc: We’re playing tomorrow here at NAMM, actually, at The Center Stage at noon. Then we’re gonna focus on the EP during the month of February. We want to release that in early March. We’re planning a music video shoot sometime between then and now too, and shows are to be announced. Just follow us on social media, Facebook. Instagram, @monarchtheaterband. Twitter, MTOfficial. And if they want to reach us, listen to our music, we have a Soundcloud, just type in Monarch Theatre – if you see the symbol, it’s a diamond with a TM in the middle, that’s it.
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
Monarch Theatre on Facebook