Monks of Mellonwah have been a consistent force in their native Australia ever since their 2006 inception, but it wasn’t until last year when their hit album Turn the People catapulted them into worldwide recognition. All that subsequent success led to the terrific Music Video for the single “Ghost Stories” as well as performing with mainstream artists like Scott Stapp and Saving Abel. The up and coming Alt-Rockers answered a few questions to FDRMX, and professed their undying love for fried chicken while they were at it!
FDRMX: What exactly is Mellonwah and what about it is so important that you all decided to become monks for it?
Monks of Mellonwah: Haha I don’t think there is really a straight answer to your question. I suppose Mellonwah in itself is not a place or a word in the dictionary, but its meaning to us is a little deeper than that. To us it represents our collective love for music and for what we are doing. I suppose you could correlate it with ‘slaves to the music’ or something like that!
FDRMX: You all met at the Kings School in NSW, Australia. What influence did the school have on your music?
MOM: As the place we all met and jammed together, you could say that the school was fundamental, without it, we may never have crossed paths!
FDRMX: A previous band we interviewed claimed that Melbourne wasn’t only the best city in Australia, but the world. What do you Sydney based guys think of that?
MOM: Trust a bunch of Victorians to say that! Melbourne is a great city though, it’s our music capital of Australia and looks a lot like Seattle, surrounded with cafes and restaurants and the like. But there are some unreal cities in the world. Sydney is one of them, but some of the places we have traveled to have been unreal. Seattle, New York City and Los Angeles are a few.
FDRMX: What do you like to do in Sydney when you are not performing?
MOM: The nightlife and pub scene in Sydney is pretty cool, so we all get out and about a fair bit! A couple of us are movie buffs, a couple are sporting fanatics (cricket, soccer, rugby).
FDRMX: What was it like performing with Scott Stapp on the last section of our tour?
MOM: Incredible. The man is a machine, his touring band was incredible and his touring party were the definition of professional.
FDRMX: What was the biggest difference between the concerts with Scott Stapp and Saving Abel?
MOM: Both tours have been very different, but I suppose the crowd has probably been the biggest difference. Scott Stapp’s crowd were a little older, and possibly a little more ‘die-hard’ like, where as Saving Abel has attracted a younger crowd! Both are great, whilst the older folk are more likely to immediately dig your tunes and buy a CD, the younger crowd are the ones that’ll follow your social media pages and look out for future tours and releases!!
FDRMX: The music video for “Ghost Stories” is wonderfully trippy and has a few ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ parallels. Was mental illness an influence when writing the song?
MOM: I’m not sure mental illness in its true form is the core driving point of Ghost Stories. I mean, we weren’t trying to display the drastic and painstaking effects of schizophrenia had on people for example. But the image we were trying to portray is the often inescapable thoughts of one’s self and how you can literally torture yourself. Like trying to escape a girl who is bad news, or an addiction of some sort, but you cant, because that girl or that addiction follows you wherever you go. That’s the image of Vik in a straightjacket tied to a chair and being forced to watch footage of himself, he literally cannot escape his own torture.
FDRMX: Was it painful bashing into walls with a straightjacket on?
MOM: Haha yeah most likely but you will have to ask Vikram that. He put on a brave face and having to deal with a drop dead gorgeous nurse probably helped him along!!
FDRMX: What do you as a band like to do in your free time? Any sports or group hobbies?
MOM: Haha I suppose you could classify eating fried chicken as a hobby. Being on the road, I suppose our free time is taken up by driving, so we have been listening to a s— ton of music together.
FDRMX: Congrats on the worldwide success of your newest album Turn the People. How does this newest album represent the next step for the band?
MOM: Thank you! I tell you it feels good to finally have it out in the open ‘for the fans’. We wrote the majority of Turn the People in late 2012 and early 2013, a long time ago, and releasing the album initially as three EP’s across six months has meant that the release process has been quite long. The album is definitely our biggest music statement to date, it channels a number of our core influences with our distinct touch over the top. Someone once told us that listening to the album from start to finish sounded like ‘a walk through Monterey; each block would take you to somewhere completely different from the last, but you always knew you were in Monterey.’ That’s kind of how it feels for us! In saying all of that, we are avidly writing and can’t wait to get some new music out there to follow it all up!
FDRMX: What are your top three favorite foods to eat whilst being creative?
MOM: Fried chicken, burgers… I’m not too sure actually, whatever’s quick and easy, so we can jump back in the studio as quickly as possible.
FDRMX: After the tour, what’s next for the Monks of Mellonwah?
MOM: New music!! Looking to record an extended EP or ‘mini-album’ before the end of the year, to release in the USA Spring next year. Probably a single before that too… And then well be back in the US and on tour !
FDRMX: What is the best piece of musical advice you have ever received?
MOM: Enjoy yourself! Otherwise, what’s the point of all the hard work? And how can anyone else enjoy watching you if you’re not?
Wise words from a wise band. Keep up with the latest by checking out their Facebook and Website. FDRMX will let you know the moment the Monks of Mellonwah unveil their newest batch of wonderful music.