Hey guys, just heard your new album 'Hellhound' and it is a killer one. Congratulations on that one. In the eighties the third album was the "make it or not" album. Do you feel the same about this one?
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your kind words about the album, glad you liked it. Now on to your question, yes, definitely, I think the third album still is really important and usually a good indication of whether or not a band is able to produce good music moving forward because on the first two albums, you just use all the ideas you’ve had since you started writing music, but on the third album you have to deliver great songs from scratch, so I think the fact that 'Hellhound' has been received so favorably so far is a great indication of where the band is heading.
On this album you worked with Tony Newton who was also responsible for 'The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter' from Iron Maiden. Can you explain what the difference was in recording compared to the previous two albums?
To me Tony Newton is the perfect producer for Monument. We, as a band, have a very similar “DNA” To Iron Maiden and of course, Tony has worked with Maiden for the past twenty years, so it felt just right working with him, it was effortless and he managed to capture the real sound of the band on tape for the first time, which we are all thrilled about.
With Tony at the helm and your style of music it is more than logic that people will compare you to Iron Maiden or even say that Monument is an Iron Maiden clone. What would you say to these people?
We have tremendous similarities to Iron Maiden, that is no secret and it is something we are very proud of. At the end of the day we are both bands from the East End of London, influenced by the same people, places and sounds, of course there are going to be similarities. Now as for being Iron Maiden “clones”, I think that people that have a deeper understanding of music can easily tell that we are also heavily influenced by several other great UK bands that came before us as well, like Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. If you put all these bands in a blender, then you get Monument.
How did you approached the songwriting for 'Hellhound'? The biggest difference to me is how all the songs really fit together this time. More than on 'Hair Of The Dog' or 'Renegades'.
I am glad you said that as it is something I am really proud of with this album. I feel the song writing is the most mature I have done so far and that we managed to deliver an album that you can listen to from start to finish without skipping any tracks. I approached the songwriting the same as always, so the process hasn’t changed, it’s just that obviously the more you do something the better you get at it.
To me it is obvious that many bands have influenced you as songwriters. What can we hear when we step into the touring bus of Monument?
We are all huge fans of Thin Lizzy as well as Judas Priest, Whishbone Ash, UFO, Purple, Whitsnake, Dio and Def Leppard. I can go on and on really. We are heavily influenced by the great British bands of the seventies and eighties mainly.
So what does the road to become Metal Gods with 'Hellhound' look like? Any big touring plans for the European continent this year?
It is a long road and we are here to go all the way, our goal is to bring back true British heavy metal and we will not stop as long as there are people that support us in our quest. We are doing several of the big European festivals this summer playing with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and Accept, to name a few and after that we are looking to tour the continent as much as possible both supporting bigger acts as well as doing headline shows in support of the new album.
This also the third appearance of Jack the English bulldog on a cover of your albums outside the singles. I presume this dog will follow you guys everywhere just as Eddie does for another famous English band. Can we expect a same sort of evolution that Eddie has gone through?
Absolutely, one of the most fun things for me is coming up with new concepts for Jack and thinking of new situations to put him in with each new artwork piece. I think fans also enjoy it so I am glad that we have Jack there as the symbol of the band and I look forward to telling more of his story in time.
Looking at the cover of 'Hellhound' there are some resemblances to Maiden's 'Brave New World'. Is that pure coincidence or is there more behind that?
Interesting view. I think that is a good analogy for when people compare us to Maiden in terms of music as well. The truth is, we are a London band so are Maiden, we wanted to depict London on the cover, Maiden did too but obviously they did it first, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to change my message or what I want to do just because Maiden did it first. I hope that makes sense to you and the readers. So to answer your question, it is just coincidence, I didn’t sit the band down and say “I have a great idea lads, let’s copy the cover of 'Brave New World'!”, haha.
How do you see the future of metal the coming years. I asked this question to several "new" bands and I wonder what your opinion is about the music scene in general and metal in particular.
I think metal in general will always be there and regardless how hard things are for new bands these days, if you really want this and you have something to offer, people will support you, I know this first hand. As for us, our goal, like I mentioned earlier, is to make sure that the purest form of British metal will survive after the great British bands that came before us are all retired through Monument.
Would you recommend this job to young musicians that become inspired after hearing a Monument or other bands album and what would be your advice to them?
I would recommend to anyone reading this to follow their dreams because life is too short and you only live once. With that said, making it in the music business is as likely as becoming a movie star, chances are you won’t make it so always have a plan B.
In the lyrics of the album one can hear different stories. What brings the inspiration to the lyrics?
I have always been inspired by London urban life. It is what I witness every day so it comes across in the lyrics. Also history is another big source of inspiration.
Thanks for taking the time for the interview and delivering a piece of true heavy metal that you can be proud of. If you would like to mention anything that has not been said now is the chance! Hope to see you guys on tour soon.
Thank you for the great questions and I look forward to seeing you and as many of your country men and women at a Monument show soon!