First, congrats on your new single which it’s a rock anthem indeed. Well done! Tell me more about the beginning of your musical journey.
Well, I’ve been playing the guitar since like 7th or 8th grade, I can’t remember. A guy named Scott Rosen who was a youth minister at the church I went to loaned me his guitar and I think a year later asked if he could have it back. Funny story, I found Scott on Facebook a couple of years ago. He totally didn’t remember me or loaning me his Hondo II guitar The only thing I can think of I’ve done consistently most of my life is play guitar. It’s something you can always get better at which makes it fun. I learned “Hurt So Good” by John Mellencamp a few months ago, I’ve heard that song my whole life and never knew how easy it was for me to play and sing it. There are always new discoveries whether it’s a song like that, or doing something you’ve never done before while the tape is rolling and you capture the moment it happened. I have a song “Forgive Me When I’m Gone” I wrote about Chris Cornell on the day he died. It’s a powerful song sung from his perspective per say. I did the guitar solo in 1 take, the 1st take. That’s never happened and that’s what I think about every time I hear that song and wonder if Chris was there that day in the studio with me in spirit. Makes you think.
You shared the stage with many iconic musicians, in your opinion, how does this help in your career as a musician?
Well, it helps show talent buyers you’re a professional and you can play at that level. It’s helped there for sure. Also, it’s humbling. It keeps me in check by reminding me I’m not at that level because they’re not there to see SuperMonkey. But I can gain their respect as music fans and completely win over a crowd that has little or no expectations of the “opening act,” then it’s a win for SuperMonkey. And I do it every time I get the opportunity. I’m going to rock your socks off for 30-45 minutes and you’re going to walk out of that concert-going “Ace Frehley was awesome but that opening band SuperMonkey, man they were great too I really liked them.”
Christian – ‘Elisa Bonita’ music video is very simple, it’s really nice. Did you collaborate with Ray Mongelli on the video idea?
Absolutely, I let Ray do his thing. He’s a creative mixed media genius. I had a basic idea and concept, I would articulate it to Ray, and then he made it happen as you see it. I didn’t see any of the footage or video until he was 99% done so it was pretty fun for me too. It’s the 1st time I’ve given another media artist carte blanche to do as they please with my idea and see what happens.
Also, who is Elisa Bonita?
She’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, and apparently, the video IS pretty good because all of a sudden, a year later, I’m lucky enough to get date #2 on Friday. Which is totally cool with me, I’m in. Obviously.
Well, I loved its spirit, but can you tell me more about the lyrical theme?
I don’t mince words Mena, I say it like it is. I think the song is pretty self-explanatory.
I noticed that you cooperated with many musicians until you settled on this 3 piece lineup. Would you consider adding new members again, or this is the final lineup for the band?
I like working as a 3 piece. It’s hard to pull off live what you do in the studio sometimes, but it’s easier when it comes to getting work done, touring, everything.
As a label owner, what advice do you give for newcomers to release through a record company instead of using digital alternatives only?
Well, record companies are businesses, set up as businesses. So if you’re interested in working in the Music Business, which I can assure it IS a business, then wouldn’t you want to work with a team of people who can help you get where you want, or do you want to figure it all out yourself? I believe Bon Scott said, “It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock ‘n Roll.”
On Spotify, there were no releases since 2014, isn’t it just updated yet, or you were on a hiatus?
Interesting question and interesting that you noticed. So I started my label in 2012. I got a grant in 2016 to open my label storefront which due to Covid is closed until we decided to reopen it in a new location. For now, we’re all remote. But my label started to take off so I really buckled down on the business around 2014. I started promoting my own shows, landing sponsorships. Also, I became partners at Tonic Recording Studios in 2016, which gave me the opportunity to bring in my favourite musicians in the region and start making new music with no limits or expectations. So I started some new projects the 1st of which was AquaRocket which we did 3 tunes in the studio there’s a 4th that needs to be finished but who knows if I’ll ever get to it. We did some shows, it was fun, but the lineup all had other obligations so it was hard to do anything live. But when we did, it was very powerful. Then I started Hot Metal Bridges with some guys from the bands on my label and my backup singer Laura who I thought was pretty talented. We were in the studio and Rocky my current SuperMonkey bassist and bassist for Hot Metal Bridge is friends with Keith Nelson from Buckcherry. They were playing in town the next night, and Keith came down and cut the lead tracks for fun after hearing the songs he dug it and just did it for fun. He lives in LA, and again everyone had different projects so it was never something we could really do live. Also, I had 2 kids during this time. I think all of the above kept me pretty busy. But eventually, all things lead back to SuperMonkey and I decided when it was time to record new music, I wanted to do everything I could do myself, and hire musicians for bass and drums. Which I did. You can check out all of those other bands on all media links are right here at ilovesupermonkey.com They each have their own page on the Artist Roster, as well as SuperMonkey has its own page.
Well, tell your fans, is Elisa Bonita a part of an upcoming album?
I’m going to just keep releasing singles until I have enough new songs out to press the vinyl. Honestly, I’m just doing them one at a time. I might go cut drums for 2 new songs, polish up one, release it, and go back and work on the other. Bring in the band, record 3-4 new songs, polish them up, release, etc. When I have 8 songs done I’ll press the vinyl. I want to get it done, but I’m not in a rush. I want them to come out when they are ready to be released and I’m happy with the way they sound. My next single is ½ done and we’ll finish it this month and have it out with the video in the fall it’s called “You Can’t Lie To God” and it sounds a little bit like saying something like “No Excuse” by Alice in Chains, or a rocking Tom Petty or Foo Fighters but with some Acoustic guitars. I’m excited to hear where it finished up working with Dave Hillis. He’s really good at capturing and helping create the sounds and songs that are in my head.
Finally, the COVID effect still threatens our live music scene, tell your fans about your promotional plans in 2021.
Well, we are able to play live here in America and we have played several great shows already this year. Whether that is good or bad, I’m not sure but the pandemic seems to be slowing down as the vaccines are being distributed.