ARTIST NAME: Monsterboy
SONG TITLE: My Heart
ALBUM TITLE: The Nashville Sessions
RELEASE DATE: 9/20/2018
Monsterboy found success before finding a name, as a series of coincidences landed the couple at Bonnaroo and in front of a representative for MTV.com.
Combining traditional alternative rock band instruments with tribal drums, woodwinds, and EDM beats the sound is new yet familiar.
Each song’s lyrics are crafted to capture a snapshot moment in time of the couple’s love story.
Monsterboy is currently releasing a new song every three weeks for a year, to embrace how every song should have its own space.
The songs are released in groups of three representing the event that inspired the music.
The Nashville Sessions came from our trips to the Music Capital of the World when the project was yet unnamed.
The ATX Sessions embrace the “Keep it Weird” mantra that is quintessential to Austin and SXSW.
We are currently releasing the songs on the Roo Sessions.
Tell us how to refine a demo to a mastered song.
We often revisit a song a few times before we feel happy with it. My Heart, for instance, was started as a demo about two years before the final recordings were made.
It just takes a lot of constructive criticism and self-criticism, as well as the ability to step away from your original concept to see how it can be improved.
Discuss the processing involved in creating a song.
There’s no one way that we approach creating a song. Sometimes it begins with a lyrical idea, a sax riff, a beat, and sometimes it starts with a guitar/vocal goofing around.
My favorite is when I hear the complete song in my head all at once, ready to go.
Elaborate on the themes of most of your songs.
Our songs most often represent moments in time that we have shared or witnessed together over the years. Themes of love, loss, triumph, and relationships of all kinds make their appearances amongst our songs.
Tell us your greatest musical works up to date.
The overall favorite so far has to be My Heart, but the technical expertise that has gone into songs like Paper Cup, We’re Just the Same, and Dead to Rights makes them personal favorites in our repertoire.
Describe your music process.
We like to play with a song back and forth until it feels right to us.
Tell us how you are handling the promotion of your music.
We are currently using a Dirk Gently method, chasing down leads and opportunities as they cross our path. We are a big fan of hard copy flyers and handbills. In a digital age, it can be a way to stand out.
Tell us your future goals and how you aim to accomplish them.
Our future goals include reaching new audiences and building relationships with them.
Two key components will be filming lots of video content and building a network of people passionate about what we are doing — from tastemakers to diehard fans that share our music with their friends.
Regional touring is being lined up this year, and national is on the horizon.
There is a delicate balance between using shows to find new audiences and creating demand in a region for your music.
Tell us what you think has changed in the music industry.
A lot has changed in the music industry over the past decade and a half, and it keeps you on your toes!
The rise and fall of Myspace, mp3.com, and other music-centric websites resulted in the loss of fan outreach.
The rise of Bandcamp, Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding-based sites allowed for much greater control in the music industry…
It’s amazing to watch how the industry evolves to keep up with the changing landscape of technology.
Tell the greatest mistake to avoid while making a song.
I would say getting attached to the original structure of the song and not realizing that breaking it all back apart and reassembling it is going to serve the song best.
Sometimes even building a whole new song around just a piece of a dysfunctional work in progress is the best course of action.
Tell us how to boost performance.
Drink two 5 hour energy drinks! – No don’t do that; it’s bad for your health.
Honestly, we create best when we have new experiences and balance in our lives.
Going to festivals or new cities and adventures always provides new energy while eating well, working out, and snuggles help, as we create best when we are happy.
Explain the structure of the song.
The arrangement of this song is just what felt natural while it was being written.
Although the drums and instruments, as well as the rhythms, changed throughout the writing process, the structure was always there…Intro, verse 1, chorus, bridge, verse 2, double chorus, and outro.
Discuss how the instruments come together for a song.
It all started with the drums in My Heart. When things started to really take shape, however, is when we brought in the synth line and combined it with the saxophone playing a fifth above it. The disco-inspired guitar licks just made sense with the upbeat dancey feel, but the content of the lyrics themselves called for a melancholy sound in the vocals that just adds to the overall unique tone of the song.
State your musical skills.
Chris has played music since the age of six, starting with the violin, and going on to play the French horn, guitar, bass, keyboards, as well as becoming proficient with programming electronica and hip-hop-inspired drum lines.
Veronica fell in love with the bari sax as a very young child however did not have one of her own until she was 14. She has played other woodwinds, as well as the occasional synth.
Tell us if you consider acting in a movie.
Oh, that’d be fun! Really, I’d rather perform as a voice actor, though…
Tell us how you eliminate noise in your recordings.
As we have a home studio, this can be trying with outside noise, and sometimes it’s just taking a break while the neighbor mows their lawn.
We have invested in isolation shields for microphones and pop filters, and software in DAWs are great, but we prefer to start with as clean of a signal as possible.
List the name of artists you cherish most.
Beck is one of our all-time favorite artists, and we would love to work with him in any capacity. Madonna has been an inspiration with how she has been able to adapt over the years. And a slew of video game composers shaped Chris’s songwriting to include elements from classical music theory.
Tell us how you get inspiration.
Inspiration is found everywhere. We find it in moments in our lives and others, as well as in the art that inspires us to create.
Elaborate on the song.
This song is pretty plainly about that moment where you decide you’re done trying to retain a relationship with someone. This isn’t alluding to any particular moment, but more written around dealing with this situation many times over one’s life.
Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.
Monsterboy is a name that comes from many places, including Chris’s love for giant monster movies as a kid, as well as the dichotomy between the inner child and the shadow of one’s persona.
‘My Heart’ appears in our collection of songs titled ‘The Nashville Sessions’ and was inspired by the acceptance we felt as artists in the Nashville music scene.