The Kaje talks early days to Since Monroe

In March 2011 Birmingham’s Andy Clifford and James Bradley realised they shared a musical vision which they could no longer resist realising. However, they could not do it alone and so recruited brothers Rich and Matt Tregortha to the fold and Since Monroe were born. Having played with their sound over the past year, the quartet have just unleashed their debut EP “Lost Generation” amid a mass of hype and critical acclaim. With the boys currently touring the UK, The Kaje caught up with Clifford to find out how Since Monroe had come to be so quickly…

It is just a little over a year ago that Since Monroe started-can you tell us how you all came together…

James and I knew each other through previous bands we were in together, which led to us starting up Since Monroe. We knew Trig through mutual friends. We happened to bump into each other one night at practice and once he heard the riff for ‘DJ’ he was on board. His brother Matt can play pretty much any instrument and was looking to join a band so he jumped at the chance to play bass for us.

Did you have a very specific vision for Since Monroe?

We just wanted to have fun doing what we were doing, it never occurred to us that we would have an E.P released so soon after it all started. We just want people to enjoy our music the way we do. Although if people want to pay us thousands to perform for them that would be nice too….

How have you broken up the songwriting roles within the group?

Well James and I have never really been given writing privileges in any of the previous bands we were in, which is one of the reasons why we started up Since Monroe in the first place. We knew what we wanted to do and did it well, it was pop rock we knew could catch on. When we introduced Trig and Matt with there grunge influenced backgrounds we blended the two together to get the sound we have now. James and I tend to come up with the riffs and commercial side of the music whereas Trig and Matt add the grunge and clever musicality to it.

Sonically who brings what influences to the table?

We all share the same music taste although we each have our own individual influences. You will be able to hear bits of Weezer, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Nine Black Alps in our music. Trig is a very clever song writer and  heavily influenced by the Manic Street Preachers. James is inspired by people like Dave Grohl and it shows through his drum style… he has had one too many bags of Haribo and is on a sugar rush! Matt has great musicality and can adapt to any music style no matter what his influences are. I like to play any style of music, although I am very much riff driven, like the Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters. Although it was artists such as Jimi Hendrix that made me pick up a guitar so given the chance I like to throw in a face melting solo every now and then!

Who would you say is the overall defining influence on the group as a whole?

We would love to be spoken about in the same category as Weezer and the Foo Fighters, so I would say that they are the defining influence.

If you had to describe Since Monroe to a stranger, what would you say?

Like a two for one in a strip club.

Why the name Since Monroe?

Ahh…well originally we were called ‘Younatee’ for namesake but we never really felt it had the impact or the edge we were looking for. We wanted something more memorable and intriguing. We liked the name Monroe, which then became Since Monroe. We expected people to think it has some relavance to Marilyn Monroe, and most people do, but the way we see it is if people are interested enough to speak about our name in anyway then it can only be a good thing for us!

You have just released your debut EP-why the ‘Lost Generation’?

Easy answer is because it is the opening track! Although I suppose you could say it relates to the lack of bands making proper music these days. The music industry is full of manufactured bands and puppets so I guess you could say its the generation between the 90’s until now that has been lost.

The EP contains four tracks-how did you decide what material best showcased you on your debut?

They were the catchiest and showcased the sound we were after the most. It was difficult as we like all our songs but think the four we chose best showed the genre we would fall into.

Any live favourites that were nearly but not quites?

“Dear Deirdre”. It is a great song to play, catchy, fast paced and fun, but sounded to heavily influenced by the Foo Fighters, which is great in one respect but we didn’t want to be seen as copy cat band.

The EP is garnering incredible critical feedback-do you feel the pressure for the follow up?

Yeah proper bricking it! Nah not really, we will just keep doing what were doing and hope it goes down well. We will spend a lot more time writing and recording the follow up so we can at least say we tried our best with it. We think we have enough in our locker to keep people happy.

What is Since Monroe’s next move?

Write some more catchy tunes and hopefully get an album out either before the year is out or early 2013.

Words and Images by Jeremy Williams


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