1) Since this is the first time we are chatting to you guys, give us a quick history of the band and your most memorable moments to date.
Monark: The band as it is now started about a year ago with the release of ‘Smiling’. Ewald and Eugene worked on the song and released it as an experiment in viability – we were proud of the track but weren’t sure how the public would relate to it. With the unconditional support of Bouwer Bosch, ‘Smiling’ exceeded all our expectations – having our first single climbing the charts country-wide was certainly one of our most memorable moments. This got the wagon racing and with the record deal with Universal we got cracking on writing our debut album, ‘Negatives’. Our second single, ‘Build it Up’ improved on the success we had with ‘Smiling’ and went to no.1 on a number of major radio stations in SA, including Highveld and Kia fm – another significant milestone. The completion of ‘Negatives’ is the culmination of many hours of hard work. We are thrilled with the album and hope the public enjoy the music as much as we do.
2) It’s an exciting time for you, as your debut album will be coming out this July. What made you pick now to let the album out into the world?
Monark: It was finished. But it also meant that we were able to release a few singles and build a bit of momentum before we released the album. We didn’t have a backlog of songs and had to write an album from scratch in a short time. We released the album as soon as it was ready without compromising on our goals and standards.
3) Tell us about the name of the album “Negatives”.
Monark: It’s negatives as in photography … before the digital camera. It is the capturing of daily experiences. The viewer /developer of the negatives/pictures, the listener, is the one who shines the light on the ‘negatives’ and produces the picture for themselves. The light/experiences the listener brings to the ‘negative’ affects the film and the picture/song takes on an augmented meaning unique to each listener. That’s a very post-modern understanding – the audience plays a role in producing the end product. But it allows us to give our fans the freedom to make sense of, and relate to, what we do in their own way. You’ll probably find a different explanation from each member of the band.
4) So far all your singles have done really well on local radio – is it a rush to hear your track playing on regional and national radio?
Monark: Definitely! We make the music we do because it is what we enjoy, but to know that there are people out there that enjoy our music as much as we do makes it all the more fulfilling.
5) You’re going to be down in JHB in July to do some album promo – what all are you going to be doing?
Monark: We are doing our media album launch at Music Connection, and chatting on a whole bunch radio stations to try and connect with everyone that has been supporting our music.
6) Then in August the album tour kicks off. Where are you most excited to play?
Monark: We haven’t played in Cape Town – it’s always good fun to meet new fans and we seem to have enthusiastic, supportive fans there.
7) How was it putting together the album?
Monark: It was a stimulating challenge. As we said a little earlier we had to write the whole album from scratch after the release of ‘Smiling’. We finally knew the sound we were after and set ourselves very high standards. Producing the album ourselves meant we could be tireless in getting things just right. And credit must go to Ewald for living up to the challenge of producing an album that we think can stand proud in the international market.
8) Is putting together an album easier or harder than you imagined?
Monark: I don’t think we ever thought it would be easy, and we did have some heated discussions during the production process. But we knew what the end product needed to be and concentrated on that rather than difficulties that emerged along the way.
9) What do you think people will take away most from the album?
Monark: The album covers experiences from everyday life. So, hopefully people will relate to the songs and be able to assimilate it into their own lives, putting their own spin on the lyrics and emotions in the songs. And hopefully it will make them happy.
You can pre-order their album HERE.