Just Add Monsters Interview!

Your Facebook page says you played your first show after just 2 short rehearsals, how did it go? Be honest!
Actually it wasn’t all that bad! Yeah we decided we wanted to form a new project we wrote 6 songs in 5 hours and went off to play them.  In fact in the early days we’d played more shows that we had rehearsals, pretty crazy looking back, but our six song set was a whole lot of laughs. Definitely much more polished these days that’s for sure.

Who did you play with?
I actually had to go back and look it up! It was a DIY show with loads of mates bands.  I’m sure we had loads of fun and probably surprised a few people with the hardcore style as they were used to seeing 2 of us in a skate punk band before that.

You’ve gone from a 3 piece to a 5 piece since, are the original 3 still part of this lineup? (if no, that first question sucks!)
It’s actually just me (Mr. T) left from the original line up.  We’ve gone through a few members now, but have had the current line up around 18 months and all the dynamics are great within the band.  It’s a very happy time right now for sure.  The other two original members, I’ve lost touch with one, and the other is now back on the scene but currently without a band.  You never know what might spring up….

Are you still as politically driven as when you started out?
Personally, very much so!  In the early days it was literally me using the songs as an outlet for my beliefs and a ways of adding social commentary.  These days the current members of Just Add Monsters may have varying opinions on certain subjects, so I try not to write about things that might go against their beliefs. But the songs are still mostly statements even though I actually wrote our first anti-relationship song.

What’s going on in politics over in the UK anyway?
It’s never a good state of affairs over here.  The government are of course a pile of shite and pretty much do everything they can to screw up the little people and make the rich fat cats even richer.  I personally am very disillusioned with the whole country right now as to where it stands.  Radical changes are needed, but sadly I can’t see them happening anytime soon, which sucks.  Maybe we need to get our bassist, Plum to run for office.  He’d make sure everyone read comic books, that South Park was available on TV 24/7 and reduce the price of cookies.  I’d vote for him on the strength of those policies!

Is political punk rock still very popular over there?
I think it always has been and always will be.  From ’77 punk up to now, people have always had something to say and we just choose to do it in the medium of song.  I guess if people could actually understand my shouting vocals they’d be able to take something away from it, hopefully. Which I’d like to believe makes them think, investigate and make their own mind up on subjects.  I don’t like to preach at people, more to encourage free thought and to bring certain subjects to their attention that they might not previously be aware of.

What was it like to play with The Adolescents?
That was a sweet day for sure.  We’d already played a big festival in the daytime so to head along to play a DIY show supporting those legends really was quite something.  I’m not sure any of them saw our set, but they were great and definitely a proud moment for us as a band.

What has been the most epic show you’ve played so far?
I guess lots of shows have their merits.  Of course you get the crappy ones, but then the good ones can outweigh those.  In the current line-up, I would imagine I could safely say that we all really enjoyed the last night of our November tour where we played a pup in Ipswich.  A great venue, lovely owners, we got to play with some amazing bands (of course our tour buddies, The Domestics) and just had an amazing night. The crowd were into it, we just loved every second of that show.  There’s been some great shows with older line-ups as well, I personally have enjoyed shows in Reading (where we played a students event and people went crazy, must have got the mic smashed into my mouth a dozen or so times, blood everywhere, yet still I loved it) and of course playing in our hometown, Basingstoke is always fun.  I just hope we get more epic shows in the future…

Have any of you ever been to punk shows in Canada?
I’ve not even been to Canada apart from a couple of hours in an airport!  I checked with the rest of the boys and pretty much got the same response, no but we’d like to go there.  Maybe one day we’ll get the opportunity to come over and play some shows over there, that would be pretty sick!

What’s the difference between UK punk rock and North American punk rock in your opinion?
Without having an experience in your scene it’s hard to comment.  Over here in the UK we have some amazing bands right now.  Bands like Fights And Fires, Darko, Almeida, Drones are all doing great things right now.  But yet we have been heavily influenced by bands from both sides of the pond.  Stuff like Strike Anywhere, Kid Dynamite, Avail, Propagandhi, I-Spy, With Honor, they’ve all been a big calling on us, to name just a few.  I could go on, but I won’t. 

You’re recording right now correct? How’s that going?
We’ve only just started, it’s gonna be a huge process, we’re basically sticking down most of the songs we have to then pick what makes the album.  But we’re going to be writing new stuff as we go so we’re not even sure which will make the final album.  It’s kinda exciting that we’ll have new tunes out there, we have some that we’re really happy with.  A couple that still need some finer tuning to make them right, but we’ll get there.

Will this be your first full length album?
It sure will be.  We’ve done a couple of EP’s and a Christmas single, so it’s about time a full album was recorded.  It’s so easy for bands over here to put an EP out, it’s cheaper and takes less time.  But we’ve done that, we’re ready for the album and it’s going to be epic!

You recorded your 2nd EP live, why?
Well we got the chance to record it in a mate’s studio for the huge price of one of our t-shirts, so why not.  It gave us a chance to lay down some stuff and the first time we’ve recorded since the very original line-up, which was important for me.  Back in those days I played bass as well, definitely prefer just fucking my throat up instead.  Also, being live we wanted to try and capture our real sound, rather than the polished studio sound.  Hence it sounds raw and real.  I like that about it.

World tour any time soon? Or at least a Canadian one? Please?
That’s be the dream and seriously rad if it happened.  But for now we’re busy here in the UK, getting the album done, trying to find a decent title for it, playing shows as and when they come up for now.  We’re on tour again in June, which is exciting.  Seriously we’d love to come to Canada, just so Plum can sing South Park reference songs… problem is you’d get those Mounties on the case right away.  Cause everyone is Canada is just Dudley Do-Right yeah?