Interview: Rare Monk
A few weeks back we made the relatively bold and staggeringly assertive statement at Rare Monk were hands-down one of the most exciting new artists we’ve had the pleasure of encountering in these early months of 2014. Whilst bold and/or assertive statements about new artists are commonly found to operate along those lines as far as we’re involved (as you may or may not have gathered, new music is generally our thing), as far as these guys are concerned we’re very happy to stand by this particular statement. In recent weeks we have found ourselves listening to psyched-out recently-surfaced Splice, which is being put out by our friends at Blah Blah Blah Science relatively soonish – not just because of the seeming omnipresence of the track itself as far as blog-world is concerned, but because apparently we like to listen to that bugger (and a previously released effort called Mama Bear, as a spicy twist) way into the early hours of the morning. Call it the perfect soundtrack to the intermittent bouts of insomnia. It’s just that good, and somewhat useful at alleviating problems associated with our fucked-up sleeping patterns. Anyway, as these Portland dudes etch ever-closer to the single release date of 18th February and some cool-ass live dates cropping up including South By South West (WUT), they found the time to answer some unique and deeply-probing psychometric test-based questions that we spent a great deal of time trying to generate. Here’s how they got on…
Could you introduce yourselves for the hi-brow readership of the Killing Moon blog?
Hello, we are Rare Monk, a five piece band based out of Portland, Oregon.
KM: Congratulations on nailing the first question. You’d be surprised how many bands and artists crumble and self-destruct when it comes to identifying themselves by virtue of the written word. Your media training person has taught you well.
Rare Monk – Splice
Favourite release of the last 12 months, and why?
Forest: Diarrhea Planet I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams – I love this album because the riffs are amazing and it just sounds like they are just having a fucking blast playing them.
Rick: Son Lux Lanterns – This album is like Yann Tiersen and James Blake had a glorious musical lovechild. Beautiful orchestration interspersed with grimy production, perfect record from start to finish
Isaac: Haim Days Are Gone. Plain and simple, these chicks have great pop sensibility.
Dorian: Son Lux Lanterns. Rick got there first (fuck you Rick) but I have to pick it as I’ve had this on repeat since it came out. Sheer brilliance. A close runner up for me is Sigur Ros – Kveikur which is also fantastic and loaded with tasty strings and Icelandic volcano eruptions.
Jacob: Haim – Days Are Gone. One of the most complete albums I’ve heard in a long time. These ladies have the perfect mix of 80’s pop, while sounding new and innovative.
KM: Come on, chaps. When was Diarrhea Planet ever going to lose out to fucking Haim? Come on.
Favourite show of the last 12 months, and why?
Forest: I saw Sigur Ros in an outdoor amphitheater this summer as the sun set in Bend, OR. It doesn’t get much more epic than that!
Rick: Got to see Pile (a KILLER band from Boston) destroy in a tiny Portland dive bar last year. My head is still throbbing from that show, and I say that with love.
Isaac: The Oregon Symphony performing Brahms‘ Symphony No. 1 and Bartok‘s Violin Concerto No. 2. It’s just cool to see and hear the synchronicity between, like, 80 world class musicians performing great compositions.
Dorian: Of Montreal doing an epic 2+ hr set here in Portland. Those guys floor me every time.
Jacob: I recently saw Drake, thanks to a connection Forest had. It was the first time I’d seen a large production rap show since my early teens. I forgot how impressive it was to watch one person on a stage captivate an audience of 10,000 for two hours. That is star power.
KM: Hmmmmmmmmmm…. Pile‘n’Drake. Scores are as follows at this mid-way point: Forest (1), Rick (1), Isaac (0), Dorian (0), Jacob (1). Isaac and Dorian, you need to step yo’ game up.
If you could moon anyone, or anything, who or what would it be?
Rick: Isaac. Or maybe Forest.
Isaac: Gywneth Paltrow.
Dorian: Steve Carell – I really despise everything about him
Jacob: I would moon every driver on the road if I could. I have horrible road rage.
KM: We too have the rage Jacob. Point to you sir. Bono was a close second. In fact, everything else was a close second. Also, look at this cake.
You’re about to be killed. You get to pick one song to hear before your inevitable demise. What’s it gonna be?
Forest: Diarrhea Planet Kids. The bridge is pretty much the best thing ever and a perfect way to go out.
Rick: If it’s quick and painless, Radiohead‘s Pyramid Song. If it’s epic and violent, At The Drive In‘s Arcarsenal.
Isaac: Prince Sexy M.F. You can’t not be in a good, sexy mood when that song is playing.
Dorian: Bjork – All is Full of Love would be amazing, especially if I’m dying honorably in slow motion with swords
Jacob: Jeff Buckley Our Last Goodbye. There aren’t many uplifting songs about break ups and goodbyes. But I can’t help but be happy after hearing this song. And I think the lyrics would befit an impending death much the same as a break up.
KM: Just for you Rick, it sure as hell IS going to be epic and violent just for the sake of hearing that bloody brilliant song, and/or watching Omar and Cedric go mental like this just one last time.
Killing In The Name Of, or Dark Side Of The Moon?
Forest: Depends on my state of mind at the time, but I’m going with Killing In The Name Of currently.
Rick: In terms of air-drumming potential, Killing In The Name Of all the way.
Isaac: Dark Side
Dorian: Dark Side of the Moon for sure
Jacob: Dark Side Of The Moon
Thanks to Ellie @ Stay Loose.