Moneen's frontman, Kenny Bridges, may have a difficult time describing the band's sound as he musingly says, "we just came up with 'aggressive melodic pop' to basically confuse people. I really don't know what that means."
What Bridges is definitely not confused about is how much this band has toured and worked to get where they are today. Originally from the Canadian suburb of Brampton, Ontario, this quartet, Kenny Bridges (guitar and vocals) Chris Hughes, (guitar and vocals) Erik Hughs (bass) and Peter Krpan (drums) have been together for eight years. As Kenny reflects, "things haven't really changed at all. We still feel like we're learning and growing. There's never really been a moment where it's been like 'oh we made it '. We haven't become big headed at all. We still think we have a long way to go. It's been a steady growth for us. We work really hard; we've definitely put in the road hours."
Currently on tour as support for Billy Talent "which has been totally incredible. We've played four shows so far, Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna and Lethbridge. It's been amazing and a lot of fun but it's still supporting," admits Bridges, "and its different when you're supporting, you don't get to play all you want to play."
The tour does allow Moneen the opportunity to play in some pretty impressive venues, like the Air Canada Centre, when they make their way to Toronto. "We're really looking forward to playing at home again but it's also a bit scary 'cause we'll be playing in such a big place. We're not used to playing such big venues but it hasn't been so bad. We were expecting to feel a real disconnect with the crowd but it hasn't been that way at all. We're really looking forward to the Toronto show; it's going to be pretty special."
Playing to a larger audience is always thrilling but Moneen was built on playing all across Canada in the small local bars and clubs, something Kenny still loves; "I love the smaller venues. I really like Call The Office in London. It's one of those places where no matter how many people are there, I'd play, it's such a great place. And there's something about Thunder Bay, it's just a crazy, crazy place and a lot of fun."
Fans are sure to see a lot of Moneen's craziness as the band gears up to headline their own tour, something Bridges is very proud of; "Having your own tour, you can play whatever you want, for as long as you want, for people who really want to see you. So for this New Year, we've lined up the headlining tour we want to do for the Red Tree (their latest CD). We're heading to Mexico, which is going to be completely insane. Then we head back to the States, Canada and then over to the UK. So, it's really cool. We're actually getting to do what we really want to do now."
Moneen is quickly gaining notoriety for being a must see live band, giving electrifying, high energy performances. On any given night one can expect "bodies flying around, lots of weird noises and spontaneous hand stand competitions. But mostly great music and lots from our latest Red Tree," boasts Bridges.
Being labeled EMO and having song titles like "Start Angry÷..Get Mad" and "With This Song I Will Destroy Myself", it's easy to dismiss Red Tree as another depressing EMO album. Not so, says the main lyrist; "The record focus's on a lot of negative things that are happening in the world and even to our selves but also finding the positive light at the end. I know it kind of sounds cheesy but we've had a lot of really, really hard times that we've had to go through. Even with all of the natural disasters that have just been hitting over and over. It just got to the point where my own problems that I have in life seems so small compared to what is happening around the world. I really focused on a lot of that and told stories from people's perspective that were there and had to go through it. But every song, even though it may seem dark, has some positive word or line in there somewhere. Something that gives hope and makes you feel like everything is O.K. in the end. It's (Red Tree) different from our first album, where we would put down some cool parts then put it all together. This record became more about the songs, writing really good songs. We realized what we wanted to do. We always had an idea of what we wanted to do but it was hard for us to achieve it. We were a lot more focused this time."
Since hitting the airwaves in September 2006, Red Tree, Moneen's second full length album, has received critical acclamation, something that hasn't gone unnoticed by Kenny; "Alternative Press named Red Tree as one of the top ten essential records of 2006. That's like a pretty big deal to us."
So "aggressive melodic pop" EMO may be the way to describe Moneen but with a myriad of complex sounds mixed in with deeply emotional lyrics and harmonious ballads, maybe it doesn't really matter. They're just good. Period.
For more on Moneen visit www.moneen.com.
Writer: Lisa Kerr