Monday 2 July 2012

20 Questions w/ Behold! The Monolith

Behold! The Monolith
Hey guys, it's me, Aaron!  The guy armed with the 20 questions to ask the biggest and best underground sludge stoner doom metal bands out there.  Today, it's the turn of one of the best and hottest bands around on the scene to answer the big questions.  None other than Behold! The Monolith. 

Having already released one of the best albums of the year, 'Defender, Redeemist!' in January 2012.  It was met with almost universal acclaim and The Sludgelord were frankly stunned at how good this record is.

2012 has been a busy year for this band, however in between a recent tour, Behold! The Monolith were kind enough to spare some time to talk to us and here is my 20 Questions with Behold! The Monolith, for your reading pleasure.  Enjoy!

Hey Guys. How are you? For those people who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell me a little bit about your history? Where you're from, when Behold! The Monolith first formed? Current band members?

Well I'm Matt and I play guitar, Kevin plays bass and does vocals and Chase plays drums. We are from Los Angeles, California.  I met and started jamming and writing with Kevin in 2008. We quickly wrote and recorded an EP and a self titled LP in 2009. Chase became our permanent drummer in 2010 and we wrote and recorded our latest record "Defender, Redeemist" in 2011 and released it in January of this year (2012).

How would you describe your sound? Has it evolved?

We'll it's heavy that's for sure.  I think we started out more Stoner Rock/Metal but we seem to be moving more and more into different areas. More straight up Metal, Sludgy-Doomy stuff and more dynamic stuff. We mix it up as best we can.

Is there a rock/metal scene in your home town?

Yes there is a pretty cool scene here in LA.  The clubs change up a lot but the core of the scene is awesome.

What made you start the band?

It kinda just happened. I was just recording stuff just for fun at home.  I happened to meet Kevin through friends and we jammed and it just clicked.

Were you in any bands before Behold! The Monolith?

Nothing really worth mentioning. Nothing that made it far out of the rehearsal room. I was trying to join or put some kind of version of this band together for a few years…and there were a lot of false starts!

Cool band name, what was the thinking behind it?

We just wanted something big and epic. Behold! The Monolith just worked.  And it suits the band and our sound well.

Are you a full time musicians? Or do you work too?

We all work. There's not a whole lot of money in underground Metal lol.  I'm lucky enough to make a living as a guitar teacher though.  Chase does some lessons and drum stuff around town too.

As brilliant as your record is, Why should people buy your new record?

Because we need the money so we can make the next record!

How did you come to work with the legend that is Billy Anderson

I was playing with people, playing some cool heavy, doomy stuff, and we had been writing and rehearsing. We never played any shows though. We hadn't even settled on a name and I had been playing with them for like 9 months. They knew Billy and we recorded some stuff with him. Right after we recorded basic tracks the band just kinda broke up…I just kept in touch with Billy after that.

"Behold! The Monolith are one of Sludge Metal’s best kept secrets but its now time for that secret to be shared with the world....the first masterpiece of 2012 has truly arrived. This will definitely be on my best of 2012 list that is for sure."  How do reviews such as this make you feel as a band?

It feels great!  We're glad people are liking it. 

What's it like being in an underground metal band? Is it a struggle?

The finances can be a bit of an issue.  There is much more we wanna do; vinyl, more touring, an EP or the next album...stuff like that. All that stuff is gonna happen, we just have to be patient.

What are your influences musically and artistically?

Probably to much to mention at this point…but we always seem to lean on various types of "classic" Metal stuff. Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Judas Priest, etc.  But we keep up with current stuff…we're definitely not a throwback band.  We just try to mix things up a little differently.

Do you write your songs as a band and does everybody contribute?

I write a lot of the riffs and demo up a lot of the ideas…but everyone contributes. Everyone has input, it's very much a band. All my ideas are filtered through the others when we rehearse. Sometimes the ideas stay pretty much the same and sometimes they change completely. Kevin writes all the lyrics and a good bit of the music and arranging as well.

What's your career highlight so far? What your aspirations for the future?

The positive response to "Defender, Redeemist"!

You got any interesting stories from your tours?

Nothing too crazy yet.  Some funny "you had to be there" kinda things but that’s about it.

Are you writing music all of the time?

We're pretty much always working on a new riff or something.  But right now we are full speed ahead writing for our next album.

What you think of people downloading music for free? Would you consider releasing your album for free to get more people listening to your music?

I don't have a personal problem with downloading. If I download something I like I almost always buy a physical copy on cd or vinyl.  As far as releasing something for free I wouldn't be opposed to it, but recording costs have to be covered somehow lol.

Any plans to tour? Any chance you're coming to the UK?

That is one of our main goals…no plans right this second.  I personally hope that happens in the next year or so.

What are your plans for the rest of 2012 and the future?

Recording an EP or starting another full length. Getting "Defender, Redeemist" out on vinyl and doing more shows and touring.

Last question, you got anything you like to say to your fans?

Thanks for all the support and we hope to cross paths with all of you out on the road very soon!

A big big thank you to Matt from Behold! The Monolith for taking the time to talk to us.  He's a very cool dude and I'm personally very grateful to him for answering my questions.  Listen to their music and purchase their songs, EP and Album, you won't be disappointed.  You can also check out The Sludgelord interview here.  Check out the link before for info on the band and where you can buy their music.