Monomania are an alternative four piece guitar band from Greater Manchester, UK. Rick J Cummings (vox), David Verner (drums), Lewis James (bass) and Tim Beckett (keys/production). Monomania’s first self funded demo ‘What Next EP’ was aired by legendary Radio One DJ John Peel. A single release on cult Ugly Man Records label followed, the very same label that launched Elbow and I Am Kloot nonetheless. This single went on to be the ‘X-posure Big One single of the week’ on the John Kennedy XFM radio show in London. Prior to the formation of Monomania’s frontman Rick Cummings also released a single with ‘Thrush Puppies’ for the Detox 4AD label. Thrush Puppies recorded a Peel session on 8 November 1994. David Verner (drums) was a member of British indie rock group Easterhouse. They counted the Smith’s frontman Morrissey amongst their biggest of fans. Easterhouse recorded two studio albums which were both released on the much loved Rough Trade Records label. David played with Damon Gough the indie singer songwriter better known by the stage name Badly Drawn Boy.
Metal Empire: Would you care to introduce yourself for our audience? What is your name and what do you do?
Monomania: We are Monomania, a four piece alternative rock band from Greater Manchester and the Borough of Macclesfield, UK.
Metal Empire: What is the band up to at the moment? Is there something you’re working on currently?
Monomania: We are currently spending most of our time in the studio. We are recording a single and tracks for our debut album at the moment.
Metal Empire: Tell us about the music you make, how would you describe your sound?
Monomania: Our musical genre would most likely come under the alternative / indie umbrella. We have never been drawn into current musical trends or fashion. We make the music that turns us on and that brings the best out of us as musicians.
Metal Empire: Can you talk about your production process? How do you go about writing new material?
Monomania: We bring in a shell of a song with basic parts, lyrics and melodies in place. A bit like a an artist with a rough outline sketch. Then we work on structures, extra parts and it develops organically from there.
Metal Empire: What and who are some of your major influences? Please give a few details about what you enjoy about creating music and what inspires you to make it.
Monomania: Having grown up in and around Manchester/Macclesfield there are obviously a lot of fantastic local band whom have gone onto become world renowned artists. The likes of The Fall, Joy Division, Dub Sex have been great inspirations. I don’t think it’s necessarily always about their music but their ethos and passion for music. This shines through and there is an integrity and honesty in the music. This is something we have. We are four working musicians in a room making music that is real, unforced and from the heart. We have never tried to be a part of any local music scenes, cliques or movements.
Metal Empire: What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
Monomania: When new people hear our music for the first time and enjoy it. That is always a buzz.
Metal Empire: Have you played any shows or toured alongside any major artists? Are there any shows that come to mind that you feel make a great story? If so, tell us about it.
Monomania: In the past we have all supported some great bands such as The Fall, The Chameleons. David out drummer was the drummer with Easterhouse and Badly Drawn Boy and he has plenty of Rock n Roll stories to tell.
Metal Empire: Is there any band or artist you would give anything to play a show with? If so, who are they and why?
Monomania: We would love to play gigs with bands with a similar audience. Pure music fans. Those music lovers who like real music made by real musicians. Off the top of my head the Stranglers, Wire, PJ Harvey, Dub Sex.
Metal Empire: What are you hopes for the future? Where do you see yourself as an artist this time next year or the year after?
Monomania: This time next year we will have our album out the for public consumption and we will be out there gigging and working towards our second album. I can’t see there being any shortage of new material as we are all writers in our own right so we are constantly coming up with new ideas.
Metal Empire: If I was to turn up at a show, what should I expect from you in terms of music and showmanship? Is there any crazy stuff you do to pull the crowd?
Monomania: Showmanship isn’t really a word I would use to describe Monomania’s on stage vibe. We are intense, brooding and tight. We rely on our music, songs and playing to do all the talking. No gimmicks just strong lyrics, good hooks and infectious songs.
Metal Empire: What do you think about music piracy, do you think it effects music sales negatively, or do you think there is another cause behind the current drop in record sales?
Monomania: The music word has changed forever due to piracy. Most musicians I speak to these days think that the only money in music is in touring. We are not actually in music to make millions. We are in music to create great art and if people listen and enjoy the music as much as we do then that is a bonus but not a must.
Metal Empire: There is a lot of talk about the downfall of the music industry as a whole, do you believe this is the case, or do you believe it is evolving? What do you feel could improve the situation?
Monomania: Evolving, but confused. Things have moved so fast and I think the industry needs time to re-group and re-think things. Only time will tell but I think the music industry will find a way to make it work again.
Metal Empire: Do you receive much fan mail, and if so what’s the craziest, creepiest or coolest thing you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
Monomania: We are not really a fan mail type band. We do receive nice emails, compliments online and face to face though.
Metal Empire: Name one thing you love, one thing you hate and one thing you think everyone should try at least once before they die?
Monomania: We love our families and friends, we hate liars and we think everyone should free thinking at least once before they die.
Metal Empire: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us about what you do. Do you have any final words, or anything you would like to add?
Monomania: Thank you for your time and keep your eyes peeled for future Monomania releases and gigs. We look forward to seeing plenty of new faces at our gigs in future. www.facebook.com/monomaniaUK