By Kieran Webber
From time to time I am sent an email that will blow my mind or make me giddy with excitement, when I opened the email regarding Monster Youth I was both of these things. For me there is nothing better than opening an email, following the bandcamp link only to be torn to pieces by the pure level of shred that a band possesses.
Monster Youth are a perfect example of this the moment I heard the first track I was hooked on their music. It is a perfect blend between psychedelia and raw energetic garage rock with multiple layers of energy that ceases to stop giving.
We spoke to frontman Zarkan Mehillab (aka Pauwel De Meyer) about being a band from Belgium and life on the road as a touring band as well as everything else in between.
So to start tell us a bit about the band, how did you meet etc?
We have all known each other for a very long time and grew up in the same city. We all felt the urge to rock out and put our frustrations into songs, we wanna rock hard.
What is life like as a touring band and why did you choose this lifestyle?
We live in Belgium and didn’t do that many shows outside of Belgium, so we sleep in our own beds afters the shows. The Monster Youth lifestyle is poor and hard, but it’s also a lot of fun and gives us a lot of inspiration, basicly we rent each other money and pay it off with the shows we do.
A lot of bands today have to hold down jobs to actually fund their artistic pursuit even ones with success is this the case for you guys?
Most of us work crappy part time jobs.
Are there any key figures who have played a big role in your musical infuence ?
For me personally: King Tuff, Pavement and Velvet Underground are the biggest influences for Monster Youth.
If you could sum up Monster Youth in a sentence what would it be?
We don’t know if we live for the band or if we live for each other: Monster Youth is a lot of love.
The sound you guys have achieved in your music, was it planned or did it develop naturally?
It developed very, very naturally.
What can people expect from your live performances ?
The loud songs are louder, the quiet songs are more quiet, we try to give the best we can, try to invite friends on stage, make it a little Monster Youth world on stage. Yeah, we really try to create our own universe.
As a band you play live a fair amount so I’m guessing you have some funny/crazy stories from shows would you share one with us?
A lot of people dancing on stage, having our driver playing the keyboard (he never played it before, never stood upon a stage before). Once the bar owner didn’t want us to play and tried to pay us of in USD. We never had a stage fight but I remember some shows were those weren’t far of (speaking of hillbilly bars in West-Vlaanderen).
Have you played any shows in the UK ? How do you think they would respond to your sound?
We haven’t played in the UK yet, PLEASE BOOK US. I have no idea how they would respond, we all hope good, we always hope for a good response. We want the people to trip out on our live shows.
What is it like having your album pressed on Vinyl ?
Dream come true.
Are you yourselves record collectors ?
I think we all spent a lot of money on records, that’s why we eat a lot of crap.
What do you think of the Vinyl boom?
Give it five more years and everybody’s listening to CD’s on their discman again.
What is instore for 2016 for Monster Youth?
We don’t have too many shows coming up, we’re working on new material.
And finally what are your future plans?
We hope to play many shows and bring out a new album early 2017.