Mona were amongst the favourites on this year's numerous ones to watch lists, now with their self-titled debut, released next month, the band are ready to prove they're worth the hype.
Gigwise sat down with frontman Nick Brown to discuss their new album, fellow Nashville band Kings Of Leon and what Mona think of us Brits.
How have you found the reaction to Mona in the UK? -
I love it. I like I over here it's very cool and there's always something happening. We've had chance you go to Glasgow and Manchester.
Like most 'new' band this year you appeared onto the music scene out of know where – how did you all find that?
We've spent a lot of time on songs and a lot of time making sure we get the band right so it's happening way fast but at the same time it's not such a surprise. It's good we try not to listen to all the hype which can be hard for band's sometimes. When we got put on all those music lists at the start of the year we kind of different feel any pressure from that because we didn't really know what it all was about.
Did you meet any of the other artists on those lists?
I met Jessie J when she was over in LA a few months ago when we were out there mixing the album. We didn't get the chance to have a proper chat it was the usual quick pass by handshake.
How did the band form?
I started the band and named it after my grandma Mona and I’ve known Vince for a while as we’re both from Ohio, we met Zack when we went to Nashville and through Zack we met Jordan. Zack and Jordan are from Kentucky and me and Vince are from Ohio and now we all live in Nashville. We’ve got a little bit of everything.
How did you all start getting into music?
It all started for me in church. As long as I can remember back we were singing in church, my dad was Pasteur and my grandfather was a Pasteur. I saw at a very young age people coming together in the name of music.
Having the background that you have – did you have a lot of musical influences?
I didn’t listen to rock n roll so I didn’t really have any influences there. Obviously when I started getting into music I jumped into it head first. I wad aloud to listen to the oldies, so I started there and then moved forward to Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and The Beatles. Then I went forward to classic rock to the 80s with punk stuff like The Clash and Ramones to the Pixies and Nirvana. So I’ve definitely made up for it since then and went to my own rock n roll college.
Mona - 'Listen To Your Love'
Are you looking forward to the release of your debut?
Yeah it’s set to come out in May. They’ll be ten songs on it which we’ve been recording and writing for over the last year or two. We recorded most of the stuff ourselves but there’s a couple of tracks were we worked with other engineers but most of it was done in our house.
Have you always been a key songwriter within the band?
For the albums writing process we normally all come with ideas to the table as far as the lyrics go and the overall feel for the song but the guys write their own musical parts but I write most of the lyrics, so it’s not like we’re working with any other songwriters.
You’ve been quoted as saying that your band’s debut will be the best of the year – Do you find that people could take that as being quite arrogant?
I don't remember saying that as it's quite an arrogant statement but I think it will be our best debut album. We’re proud of it and I’d put it up against anything. We’ve got a lot of ambition as a band which could come off as arrogant and that we’re assholes but we worked really hard and put a lot of effort into the album. So were not competing with any other bands we’re just trying to be the best that we can be. We’ve got pretty high standards for ourselves, we’re challenging us and were not really worried about what other people will think. We want it to be big and it is ambitious because we want it to touch a lot of people.
How do you feel about your Kings Of Leon comparisons?
We’re not offended by it but we understand it especially as were Americans who live in the same city with similar upbringings but I think give us a little time and we’ll be fine. When Kings Of Leon first appeared they were called the new Strokes and it took them sometime to separate themselves. I think once the album comes out and people see us live they will see a different experience. Were friends with them and they’re proud of us.