Photography: George Read

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL | , Sit back, fasten your seatbelts, and get ready to dive into the enthralling world of Monuments!

Welcome to an electrifying edition of the Download Festival interview series! We are thrilled to present a conversation that celebrates the union of raw talent and boundless passion. We had the incredible honour of sitting down with lead vocalist Andy Cizek from the sensational band Monuments ahead of their debut headline performance.

Hailing from diverse corners of the musical universe, Monuments have masterfully crafted a unique sound that transcends genres, leaving audiences in awe. With a symphonic blend of progressive metal and djent, their music surges through the veins of every listener, stirring a whirlwind of emotions and captivating minds. Their ability to balance intricate instrumentation with soul-stirring melodies has earned them accolades from fans and critics alike, making them a force to be reckoned with in the modern rock scene.

Over the past few months the band have been extremely vocal on social media on the current state of rock/metal culture and the challenges faced by the majority of artists in the scene. To say times have been tough for most musicians would be an understatement, with the live entertainment industry having ground to a halt amid the pandemic.

Upon reopening, a glut of tours led to an ongoing shortage of suitable transportation to comfortably hit the road. There’s also been a drain on live professionals, with a considerable portion having stuck with the other jobs and careers they resorted to during the lockdown.

You’re in for a wild ride with this one so, sit back, fasten your seatbelts, and get ready to dive into the enthralling world of Monuments!

So we’re at Download 2023 and we’re here with Andy from a little old band called Monuments. Thanks for chatting with us Andy, how does it feel to be here today? 

“It feels amazing. It’s my first download, and I couldn’t be more honoured as an American to be at this legendary UK festival.

You’ve come across the UK a few times now. How did you find the music scene in the UK compares to back in the states? 

“Honestly, it’s been better than anything I’ve experienced in America. Sorry, I love you, America. You’re my home. But it’s probably because Monument is such a UK London based band and they’ve been around for so long. So the reception was just naturally warm for me and the amenities at the venues are also way better here too, so I love them both. But UK, you win this round.”

Talking about your music you’re known for your range in vocals hitting some of the highest notes we’ve heard in hard rock to the complete opposite. How do you work around this when writing your songs?  

“I think I usually just go with how the instrumental makes me feel because for instance, Brown will come up with some riffs and stuff and I’m like, All right, what mood does that put me in and what life experiences can I apply to that mood? And then from there it’s like the sound of the part determines, all right, I’m going to be like a fry scream here or a heavy part here just sort of comes with that. It’s natural. There’s no formula to it.”

Do you prefer doing the more heavy stuff? 

“I’m bad at playing favourites.This is why the projects have the dynamics. Everything has a special place in my heart when it’s appropriate. I don’t really prefer singing or screaming or whatever. It’s just a what each emotional situation calls for it. And, you know, satisfying to my heart.” 

Before I loop back round to the music scene I wanted to ask which track you are most looking forward to performing today?

“Our new song ‘Nefarious’, which we’ve never played live before.So this one is our live debut and hope it goes well.”

Nice one well break a leg as they say!

Looking back at early this year I wanted to touch upon the post you made on social media calling out venues for their insanely high merch fees. Has this issue changed at all is it still ongoing? 

“Well we haven’t seen any radical changes yet. But I do think that if more bands keep talking about it, we will get there. If we just band together and don’t be afraid to speak up and do our little boycotts, hopefully things will get better. Download Festival is not taking any cuts. So shout out to Download. You guys rule!

But yeah, I just I think we just got to make little moves and keep pushing.” 

Back to your music can we expect anything from this year in terms of new songs? 

“You might get a single or two. We’re currently writing a new album, no promises though, but we will be very active online. We’ll be doing Twitch Stream so you can actually watch our writing process live around us, a lot of that stuff.

So yeah, just keep your eyes peeled. You will see some cool stuff.”

You can catch Monuments alongside German electronicore legends Electric Callboy on their UK dates this October along with As Everything Unfolds!

🇬🇧22.10.23 UK-Portsmouth, Guildhall

🇬🇧23.10.23 UK-Leeds, O2 Academy (Sold Out!)

🇬🇧24.10.23 UK-Glasgow, O2 Academy (Sold Out!)

🇬🇧26.10.23 UK-Bristol, O2 Academy (Sold Out!)

🇬🇧27.10.23 UK-Cardiff, Great Hall (Sold Out!)

🇬🇧28.10.23 UK-Birmingham, O2 Academy (Sold Out!)