Monks of Mellonwah

Monks of Mellonwah

Monks of Mellonwah

Winner of the award for "Best Indie Rock Band" at the 2012 Artists In Music Awards and nominated for Best International Act at the LA Music Awards, the Monks of Mellonwah are entering some very exciting times. Dean Cramer of the influential blog Kings of A & R recently listed the Monks in his "Top 8 Emerging Artists", and CMJ featured their track "Neverending Spirit" on their trendsetting mixtape series.

A four-piece alternative rock and indie band based in Sydney, the Monks draw on a variety of influences driving each member to create a fresh and unique sound, blending elements of classic blues and rock with modern indie and alternative rock. Their first E.P., Stars Are Out, is testament to such a unique blend, and has been highly praised since its release in 2010.

Since recording, the Monks have gone from strength to strength, receiving significant radio play and generating a strong buzz. Their debut music video "Swamp Groove" claimed first prize at the 'Harold's Shorts' short film festival. Growing media interest has led to the Monks being featured in an up and coming radio documentary, celebrating 25 years for ABC's music program RAGE.

Monks of Mellonwah released their new EP "Neurogenesis" on May 24, 2012. Contributing to the new EP were Grammy Award winning producer Jeff Bova (Michael Jackson, Billy Joel), Ryan Miller (RM Music) and renowned engineer Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers).

"Neurogenesis" features 4 alternative rock tracks which explore a range of concepts from Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb in 'Neurogenesis' to the longing for life in 'Neverending Spirit'. "Neverending Spirit", an ode to a lost loved one and a tale of the enduring nature of humanity, has a music video that the Monks have teamed up with HIP Video Promo (Johnny Cash, Bon Iver) to release.

2012 Tour Dates
Friday 3rd August 2012: Rouse Hill, The Brewery, NSW
Saturday 18th August 201: Sydney, Sandringham Hotel, NSW
Friday 24th August 2012: Canberra, The Basement, ACT
Sunday 26th August 2012: Manly, Boatshed, NSW
Friday 31st August 2012: Woollongong, The Patch, NSW
Saturday 8th September 2012: Brisbane, Rick's, QLD
Friday 21st September 2012: Melbourne: Grace Darling, VIC
Saturday 22nd September 2012: Melbourne: Revolver Upstairs, VIC
Saturday 22nd September 2012: Melbourne: Pony at 2am, VIC

Interview with Joe de la Hoyde

Question: How would you describe your music?

Joe de la Hoyde: Explosive alternative rock...

Question: How does it feel to see Neverending Spirit on MTV?

Joe de la Hoyde: One word - AWESOME. ... We are so happy that our music is connecting with people all over the world and having grown up watching MTV to now see our video on there is so exciting

Question: What are you looking forward to most during the upcoming tour?

Joe de la Hoyde: To meet new people and connect with them through our music. Performing live is what drives us!

Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?

Joe de la Hoyde: Yes we write our own material. Our inspiration comes from life's experiences and everything that comes with them. Writing music is the ultimate form of self-expression.

Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?

Joe de la Hoyde: We all have different music tastes but they do cross over. We listen to all kinds of stuff from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Muse, Foals, Fleet Foxes, Audioslave, Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers, right down to film music by composers such as Hans Zimmer.

Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?

Joe de la Hoyde: Yes to all of the above after our Australian East Coast Tour we are heading to the USA in November for a few shows. We are also currently in the middle of writing an album which we hope to release early 2013. Before the album we have something special we hope to release, so stay tuned!

Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?

Joe de la Hoyde: (lauging) Yeah many, many times... To be honest we have been through a lot. In 2.5 years; like we lost our singer Will just before recording our debut EP which was a shock. Vikram our co-lead guitarist stepped up and sung on Stars Are Out and then he left the band to pursue a university degree after winning an academic scholarship overseas. But lucky for us Will decided that he had missed the band and decided to come back which was awesome, in between all this we have all had issues balancing University, work, and relationships with all that comes with being in a band. It's tough, but when all is said and done if you love music enough you will cope with anything to keep your dreams alive.

Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?

Joe de la Hoyde: Performing for sure... there is nothing like it!

Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?

Joe de la Hoyde: There are four of us in the band so we all have different loves, tastes and inspirations but I would say two common ones we all can agree on are Led Zeppelin and Muse.

Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?

Joe de la Hoyde: Definitely getting our music out there, breaking barriers and reaching more fans, it's a one step at a time process and you have to maintain your belief in yourself and be patient no matter what other people out there try and tell you.

Question: How's it feel to have won Best Indie Rock Act award at the 2012 Artists in Music Awards in Hollywood?

Joe de la Hoyde: Just fantastic, we don't write and perform for awards but to have some recognition for all the hard work we have put in is really special!

Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?

Joe de la Hoyde: Getting out there on stage in front of a big crowd and letting lose... it makes every hair on your body stand up with excitement!

Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

Joe de la Hoyde: Dave Grohl for sure...He is an absolute legend who just enjoys playing music to such a degree that you never see him without a massive smile on his face. He is a huge talent who realises he is blessed to be where he is.

Question: Do you have a website fans can visit?

Joe de la Hoyde:

Question: Can you tell us 5 things required for a happy healthy & enjoyable life?

Joe de la Hoyde: Love, honesty, family, friends and in my case a Gibson Less Paul

Question: What message would you like to say to your fans?

Joe de la Hoyde: A massive thank you and hope to see some of you on our East Coast Tour. We are really excited!

Question: What is the story behind the band's name?

Joe de la Hoyde: It is inspired by a computer game which we used to play when we were kids. In part of the game you had to beat this character called the Mad Monks of Mellenwah and we thought a name like this would be a really cool band name. We are all mad to some degree so Monks of Mellonwah kinda suits us!

Interview by Brooke Hunter