Monark is undoubtedly one of the most exciting pop groups in the country. The band recently released their highly-anticipated second studio album which features the massive lead single ‘Broken’. The group have worked hard on their new sonic direction and the response has been phenomenal. This week, the band’s Graeme Wuth talks to us about the new record, what inspired ‘Broken’ and working with Ryki.
Congrats on the new album. How is this record different from your debut album?
I think this album is a little more raw, a little more edgy – probably a bit more electronic as well. We really want people to realise that we are a straight up pop act with all the urban/electronic aspects that go with that. It also seems to be in line with what’s happening on the radio in these days. Having said that, our music will always place utmost importance on the hook and melody – the hook has to be there. Eugene’s vocals are also pretty distinctive. So, the core of Monark is still there, but the packaging/production has changed slightly.
The album is a self-titled one. What was the reason behind that?
This second album is unashamedly us. While negatives played it safe to a degree, with layers of sounds, this self-titled album has broken things down a bit and also deals with the good and bad. It’s an honest album, so we thought it deserved an honest title. Stating clearly that this is Monark by self-titling the album seemed to make the most sense.
What was the creation process like this time around?
Eugene is always writing songs. So, although we only went into studio with 10 songs, we still went through the weeding out process. From there, Eugene and Ewald record and produce everything themselves. We listen to what is playing on the radio to make sure we stay relevant and that influences the song writing. But, there is also a stage where we – especially Eugene – won’t listen to other pop music for a while so that there is an authenticity and unique aspect to the sound.
‘Broken’ was the perfect lead single off this project. What makes it the perfect lead single?
We wanted to write something different to get people’s attention and to state that this is a new album with new things to discover. The sound in many ways is light-hearted and the music video shows the fun side of Monark. But, it’s not an encompassing representation of the whole album. Most of the album is darker than Broken.
You’ve previously said that you drew inspiration for the album from the conflicts of interest between any two human beings. Tell us more about that.
Our songs are often about everyday experiences – conflicts and resolutions – and the love and hate, and good and bad that finds its way into relationships. This album, more so that the first, acknowledges that people go through tough times, and that relationships don’t always work out as you might have hoped. In some songs there is resolution, in some there is hope, and in others there is simply an acknowledgement that something is wrong. Perhaps that’s enough sometimes, and by people relating to that there is a kind of acceptance and closure.
You worked with Ryki on the album. What was the chemistry like in studio?
Ryki was brilliant. She understood what we were going for nailed the emotion of the song. Having a male a female vocal really brought out the duality in a relationship on ‘Sake Of Our Love’. You get to experience the conversation between two people as they express their troubles and the hardships they have endured as they try to make the relationship work. It was really exciting working with her. She breathed a whole new energy into the song – and her silky smooth vocals are amazing.
What do the next few months have in store for you?
We’re going to be touring the country to get the album out there. We want to play the new songs live to as many people as we can and we have a whole new show. We’re also going to look at pushing downloads, sales, streams etc in new territories and hopefully get some momentum going internationally.
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