PHOTO CREDIT: Zak Milofsky
THE lads of Munky...
PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Morrisroe
have been talking about their new track, One in Five, and what it is all concerned with. I ask them what the scene is like where they are in Dublin; how they all found one another and if there is more material coming along later in the year.
They reveal their favourite albums and musicians; which rising act we should keep our eyes out for; if we can see them perform soon; how they chill away from music – they choose a couple of great tracks to end things with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Sam: We're all good; how are you? It's been a good week getting everything ready for the new release (smiles).
Conor: Not so bad. Been working my other life: a peddler of leprechaun memorabilia. But I'm def keeping well.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Sam: Hello, newcomers! Lovely to make your acquaintance. We are Zach, Conor; Niall and Sam and our music is kind of like the core of a pineapple when you throw it off a ten-storey building. It's raw, gritty; funky explosions and full of 100 M.P.H. punky drive with pieces of weird sweetness filling the space around impact. Easily describable, right?
One in Five is your new single. Can you talk about its background and story?
Zac: It was written in response to some highly-covered sexual assault cases in Ireland last year, and the messages sent out by the verdicts of those cases. I saw the effect that those messages had on the women close to me in my life; one of “don’t seek justice because no one will believe you, and it will be dragged out for too long and you’ll be ripped apart for all to see”.
The song is meant to challenge victim-blaming by showing how ridiculous it is to blame the victim when there are so many victims. Statistically speaking, you’re most likely to know someone who has been sexually assaulted.
Might there be more material from Munky?
Zac: Oh, hell yea. Alongside our debut E.P. - out on 12th April -, we’re working on an eight-minute ode to Bootsy Collins; a song about a refrigerator and an emotional investigation into the struggles of trying to live up to the high expectations a parent can have on you. These are all real songs: you can have the premiere for Refrigerator if you like
How did the band find one another?
Sam: Zac tracked us down with the marauders map after he solemnly swore that he was up to no good.
Is there a good scene in Dublin right now in terms of music?
Zac: Dear lord, yes. There are so many incredible bands and musicians in the city right now. Bicurious, Pillow Queens; Kojaque, Brass Phantoms; Thumper, Murder Capital and, of course, the Fontaines D.C. boys to name just a few
Conor: Dublin is hopping at the moment, in no small part thanks to BIMM. There was a real lull in the scene for a few years but things have really come back with a vengeance. And what I find amazing is the amount of variety that we have genre-wise at the moment in the city.
What sort of music did you all grow up on?
Zac: Started on Robbie Williams and Eminem. Then I listened to AC/DC for two years straight when I was nine, emerging as an Emo on the other side. Now it’s mostly Psychedelic-Rock, Funk/Soul and Hip-Hop
Conor: Well. I grew up listening to Blues artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan thanks to my dad but also Deep Purple and Pink Floyd But, thanks to my mam, I listen to ABBA and Disco music - my true love in music.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Sam: I won £20 in the Stena Line ferry arcade. Like, that just never happens.
Conor: Probably getting to sell out Whelan's two nights in a row. I will never forget that first night. That room was hopping and I was blown away with the response that we got.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Conor: For me, it’s The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. When I started in BIMM, that album was just on-repeat. I dunno. I just really connected with it at the time but I do think it is a bit timeless, thematically as, no matter what era you grow up in, people will always experience an Us and Them environment at some stage.
Zac: I mean, I don’t know that it’s my favourite album but the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance will forever mean a lot to me. It deals with themes of death and illness and it came out like two weeks before my father died of heart failure. I still remember, clear as day, the first time I saw the video of the title track. It was on the first day I was home after he died.
Sam: I don't overly connect with any particular album but Wasting Light (Foo Fighters) if I had to choose. If ever I need a small mental retreat or an inspiration boost, I usually go back to that album because it reminds of when I knew that I wanted to pursue music as a career. It brings me back to the mindset I had back then and that is comforting at times.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Zac: Hozier and a bowl full of his toe nail clippings. Not in a creepy stalker way but in a ‘We’re soulmates but you don’t know it yet’-sorta way. But, in all seriousness, I adore Hozier’s music. He’s a massive influence in my songwriting.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Sam: 1. You have to like the people you play and, more importantly, what you play otherwise nothing will get done. 2. Be able to take what you deal regarding criticism and suggestions. 3. Don't quit your job because pursuing music is very expensive. 4. Persistence, Persistence, Persistence. 5 Persistence, Persistence, Persistence, Persistence, Persistence...
Conor: Not to get discouraged if things don't work out at first: we have all played in loads of bands and sometimes they don't work out. But, if you keep at it, you will definitely find some sort of success.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
We’ve got some dates in Ireland. Warrenpoint on 30th March with our brothers, New Valley Wolves; Belfast on 4th April with ROE and our E.P. launch in the Grand Social on 12th April. Also, Waterford on 29th June. We’ll be playing a good few U.K. shows (and some other spots) but they haven’t been announced yet.
We may have already said too much...
If we came to one of your live shows, what might we expect?
Zac: Painted nails, dancing; moshing, kissing and music to justify all these social expressions
Conor: Mega guitar face...10% melt.
As your new single is One in Five, which member of a famous five (either a band or fictional) would you choose to take on a roadtrip?
Zac: Iggy Pop. Hands-down. Man seems like craic incarnate. Although, I don’t know if The Stooges were ever a five-piece, so I guess I’ll go with Harry Styles from One Direction. He seems lovely.
Conor: Probably Louis Theroux...who wouldn't want him to document their tour.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Zac: Post Punk Podge & the Techno Hippies are these lads based in Limerick who kinda do an array of styles and proudly sing in a lovely, thick Limerick accent. They we’re one of my favourite experiences at KnockanStockan last year.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Sam: Honestly, we don't deserve chill time away from music just yet. After a tour, we might take two weeks of no rehearsal and chat. But, as we are up-and-coming, there is nothing but work to do.
Conor: I either chill with my mates/girlfriend or play video games. I love video games. For me, there is nothing better than escaping in to a fantastical world fill with whimsy (smiles).
Zac: I love fantasy novels. And the cooking show, Chopped, which you can easily find full episodes of on YouTube.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Khruangabin - White Gloves. It’s the self-care you need, Sam.
Betty Wright - Clean Up Woman. Purse your lips and move your hips.