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Interview: MONKEY MIND
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
As individual we were all involved in music from an early age, being involved in different bands in Cyprus, playing both English and Greek Rock. As Monkey Mind, we started in 2016, after deciding to solely focus on English Rock and eventually come up with our own style and our own music. Music of course is not our main job, each one of us is also involved in other things.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Each has their own hobby, but we are all artistic in our own way. I (Andreas) am also a graphic designer so I like to design and build upon these kind of skills, Christodoulos (singer) is a programmer, Doros (drummer) is an artist and also used to be a tattoo artist, and Chris (bassist), who is the only professional musician, is in all kind of different things, his latest hobby being skateboarding. Everything one does can spark their creativity and influenced the way they see things and music in particular.
How long has your band been around?
It’s been around since 2016.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Nicosia, Cyprus. The most obvious way in which this has influenced our music is the strong prevalence of Greek-speaking rock music in Cyprus, which has some very distinct characteristics and has definitely contributed to the development of our style and sound.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name of the band comes from the metaphor Buddhists use to describe the uneasy mind in meditation. Although for them is considered as something that must be tamed in order to achieve inner peace, for us it has a double meaning, as it can also be what sparks creativity and the need for expression.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
There have been a number of nice shows we did, but up to the moment we have only played at local level. The energy from the local audience is always nice, although the numbers are relatively small. We enjoy every show and have fun with what we are doing.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We don’t really have a favorite venue, every venue has its own characteristics and can be enjoyable in its own way. Of course what makes a place is the people and the energy they project.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I think it would be a very diverse show as we have influences across the spectrum of rock and metal music. It could be a co-existance of bands like Metallica, Anathema, Foo-Fighters, Muse, even more classical acts like Ozzy Osbourne or Iron Maiden.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would advice anyone to just be themselves. Labels are for products and signs are for the road. People don’t need labels nor specific directions, especially when it comes to music. I would advice my younger self to enjoy more the moment, even in times when things were not as expected.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
It might sound cliché, but we cannot really distinguish one song over the other, simply because they are all written from the heart. We could consider songs like ‘Breathe’ or ‘Nightmare’ as a bit more musically sophisticated, but again other songs like ‘Breakdown’ for example have that groove that makes them really enjoyable to play.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
It really depends on the mood. At the beginning it was mostly ‘ Breakdwon’ because of the more groovy and uplifting tempo, but at some point other songs started to pop-up like ‘Immunity’, also because of the positive reaction to the video that we uploaded on Youtube. Personally, I really enjoy playing ‘Nightmare’ as it has that heavier and more ambient feel.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We write both individually and as a band. Usually, I take some songs to rehearsals played on just an acoustic guitar, and the magic happens from there. Other time we start from a small idea that someone has or comes up with while rehearsing and we build on it.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We like to touch upon personal and social matters, things that we feel and experience, but also things that we feel that other people are going through like discrimination and prejudice. We would like to say something important through our music.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yes of course, these things happen in every band I believe. We get through them, other times in a calm way, and other through a bit of tension, but only momentarily. We never hold grudges and tension can sometime lead to more creativity.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Our plans is to try to play as many gigs as possible, both in Cyprus and abroad if possible, and through these promote our album and our music in general. We already have some gigs planned in Cyprus and we hope we will have more to announce in the future.
https://www.facebook.com/monkeymindbandcy https://www.reverbnation.com/monkeymind https://soundcloud.com/monkeymindcy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaURRmo8hwEvKz_MIGhemnA https://open.spotify.com/artist/4l8liy2cJyRbhI3To7CfAQ “Immunity (I'll never go under)” – Video clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9c-d8YbP60 UPHEAVAL – OFFICIAL LYRICS VIDEO https://youtu.be/C-wUZGSOpCg