We Are Monroe: Furthering Your Fuel With Their "White Lights" Album Release
Montreal based band We Are Monroe have been embedded in the music industry for years, with roots beginning in the late 90s, developing into the formal establishment of the band in 2010. We Are Monroe deliver a form of music that is not only melodically pleasing, but also a kind that envelops you with a rush of energy and ignition. Their music drives you; seeking to propel you further into your dreams, making a reality out of what you see as illusory. The sound is heavy, but also uplifting; it has a grit that surges through your bloodstream, catching on you at certain moments in its poignancy. I was lucky enough to speak to the band about their new album launch, "White Lights" and discover what keeps them going through the motions of it all.
Somnium Music: You guys have been established for a long time now. What made you start a band, was there a particular trigger?
Pete: We weren’t particularly good at sports, so we had to think of what else we could put our energy into. Ben and I began a band together but it wasn’t really what we had envisioned; so, once the band ended we decided to start a new band that leaned more in the direction of what we were looking to do - more upbeat; rock indie. We auditioned Jay (whose on guitar), from a friend of a friend and then got drunk with him; that’s when we knew he was in. After that, we found Pat from another band, and pretty much stole him away.
Pat: I was looking for a band where everyone wanted to put in the work; where each member participated equally and joined together to create something new, and that's what these guys had.
Somnium Music: The new album is brilliant, so, where did the inspiration for it come from, and what did you want to convey in the songs?
Pete: It’s pretty much what we wished we’d hear from other bands that we don’t get to. A lot of bands have 2 to 4 upbeat songs and the rest is quite mellow, but we wanted something that was high energy, whether it be high tempo or low temp; it’s something that you can blast when you want to pump yourself up. Indie rock is rather saturated with atmospheric mellow, very slow, hipster sounds, and we wanted to distance ourselves from that genre.
Ben: We wanted people to dance from A to Z when they came to see us, and we wanted something that was applicable to all kinds of people, not just one niche crowd.
Pat: I want people to just let it out and and feel the positive vibes and energy. That feeling that makes them want to conquer the world.
Somnium Music: What other artists are of inspiration to you; or, any specific tracks?
Pete: Not the Killers and Interpol, (that’s what people keep comparing us to). Ben: We love to discover bands from the late 70s post-punk era because it was a very minimalistic time; drum, guitar, bass. Although it was fairly simple, it was still very easy to move to, and rich at the same time.
Pat: We’re not necessarily inspired by bands, but more so we feel compelled by the vibes that certain musicians give off.
Somnium Music: What do you want to evoke in your listener? I know that whenever I hear a good song, I’m hit by a range of uncontrollable feelings; to me, that is a sign of good music. So, what is it that you guys want your audience to feel?
All: Ultimately, drive.
Somnium Music: Do you guys ever encounter problems working together, creativity can be hard to collaborate on, so, how do you make all of your separate ideas work?
Pat: It’s normal that you encounter problems, part of being in the band is compromise. We do what’s best for the song and not for the individual egos; plus it really helps to have outside unbiased opinions now and again.
Ben: We have a particular way of working together, sometimes we figure out ideas together in 5 minutes, but then, if it's not flowing, Sailor Jerry definitely helps fuse the separate ideas together!
Pat: The best individual ideas are often the worst ones collectively.
Somnium Music: The album artwork is beautiful, what made you choose such a tender image? The music is quite heavy, so this image nicely juxtaposes that.
Pat: It's because men always seem to wreck what’s gentle, so this image opposes that masculine-fuelled sound we have through it's delicate depiction.
Pete: Ultimately, we really wanted a piece of art; rather, than say a band image, and our friend Claudia (Fortin) thankfully understood what we were looking for.
Pat: We were aiming for something that wasn't necessarily commercially appealing, more so we wanted something that stood out, contrasting our image in a poignant sense.
Somnium Music: Finally, what does making music mean to you as a band? And what do you want to pursue in the future, music-wise?
Ben: I just want to be on stage, to perform. We’re not a studio band; we’re definitely a live band, although our album sounds great! Our strength also lies in the fact that we adapt our sound to the different types of crowds; we vibe it out, and we take in what the crowd is giving us. Sometimes we go really hard, sometimes it’s more about setting the mood.
Pat: Music to me is what life should revolve around.
Ben: We’re not doing it for the money. We might fight, we argue, but when we’re on stage, it unifies us as a whole, and that feeling is just awesome.
Pat: Making music is freedom. It’s doing something you love versus spending so much more time doing things we don’t want to do. We make a lot of sacrifices, so it’s nice to have that outlet.
Furthermore, if you're interested; or, willing to be converted into a new fan, check out their event at The Fairmount this Friday: https://www.facebook.com/events/668431410011161/
All images obtained from the interviewees.