I got hooked up with the chance to ask a few questions of Moneen's Kenny Bridges. Moneen is pretty much one of my favorite bands, and I thought The Red Tree was one of the best albums of last year. Needless to say, I was stoked for this interview. So read on to see how Moneen do what they do, why they love the Hippy, and how to stay friends with other bands.
PPJ: To start with, can you tell our readers your name and what you do in the band?
Kenny: My name is Kenny...I play guitar and try to sing.
PPJ: What does the name "Moneen" mean?
Kenny: It means we stole a French girl's name and will never give it back.
PPJ: Tell us a little bit about your songwriting process.
Kenny: I sit alone in my basement getting really frustrated with myself until something good happens. Then I get really excited and keep writing until I get frustrated again. Then I stop. After that I take what is not terrible and show it to the guys...they either laugh or like it. Then we all argue a bunch about how the one is in a different spot for all our ears. After that we all agree that we are stupid and turn on our delay pedals which makes everything ok. Decide what we are angry or upset about in the world, write it down on a piece of paper then sing it over the still delaying guitars. At that point we think we might have a song.
PPJ: Did you do anything differently while recording The Red Tree than you did for your previous releases?
Kenny: We did not throw as many temper tantrums as usual. This recording was actually one of our favorite times recording. It was really laid back and creative.
Brian McTernan was a great allie for this recording. He encouraged us to try any idea we had without worrying if it was bad or not. We took alot of chances we would have not normally taken. We are proud of this record and would not want to really change anything about THE RED TREE.
PPJ: What bands did you listen to when you were growing up? Do you think those bands still influence you today?
Kenny: Yeah some of them do for sure. I had a long talk about one of them today. Jimmy Eat World was a huge influence on me. they were the band that I saw and said to myself, "I need to steal everything they do." Radiohead and Muse are both big influences as well. The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" changed my life. That record will always be a favorite of mine.
PPJ: How do you think Moneen has progressed over the years?
Kenny: We are kind of a good band now. We used to be not so good. We got better.
PPJ: What would you like to see Moneen become in the future?
Kenny: Still be a band making music the way we want to.
PPJ: What's your favorite song you've ever written?
Kenny: That's tough. It changes. I am usually the most proud of the quieter songs. That is why I wanted to do that "Quieter side" EP. I love moody quiet music with lots of dynamics. I love playing the songs with piano and lots of layers...it makes us feel a little more than just another rock band.
PPJ: Why did you decide to release The Red Tree on vinyl?
Kenny: We have always wanted to release vinyl...and now we finally did.
We also put a song we recorded with Red Tree but had to cut from the record due to too many songs. It is nice it has a home with the record now.
PPJ: Are you still planning on releasing the "The Start To This May Be The End To Another" DVD?
Kenny: Yes. We have gathered so much footage, we just needed time to put it all together. We are relasing it in the fall with live footage and all the clips we put up on our site.
PPJ: Can we expect any other songs from The Red Tree to be released as singles?
Kenny: We are finishing the last tour for the red tree right now in Australia. Not so bad if you ask me. It is also sad to say goodbye to the times we have had with this record. But as far as I know we are moving on now from this record and start working on the next.
PPJ: You've mentioned working on material for a side project. Has anything come of that?
Kenny: hahahaha. The side project has popped up again. This is something I work on completely on my own. But since we tour so much and it is all piano based I get no time what so ever to actually work on it. But we have the summer off and I have a piano in my house...so only the constant fix em up jobs of the house and laziness can stop me now.
PPJ: Watching all the videos you guys have put on YouTube, it seems that you do some pretty crazy stuff while on the road. What are your favorite memories from being out on tour?
Kenny: There are too many. We have shared some great time with some of the bands we have toured with. Alexis and us always do weird things. We also make a big mess of the vagrant office when ever we go there too. That's tough. Too many to pick one. You said it...they are all on you tube, so they are kind of there for everyone to see for themselves.
PPJ: How long has Hippy been growing his dreadlocks?
Kenny: About 10 years or so. Friggin hippy. I just realized the other day that if I saw him on the street wihout knowing him that I would think he was homeless...that rules. I love the hippy.
PPJ: You do a lot of stuff with Alexisonfire. How did you guys get to be friends with them?
Kenny: We know them from before they were Alexis. Good friends stay good friends unless you sleep with their girlfriends.
PPJ: Do you think being from Canada has provided you with any noticeable advantages or disadvantages?
Kenny: For one we are Canadian. Canadians are usually nice so people dont want to fight us. That is not always true. A lot of security guards have wanted to fight me. I stick up for the little guy. Sometimes that little guy is me. We have had some good luck in Canada, Slowly it is spreading to be good luck other places, but that takes time.
PPJ: Have you written any new songs for a future album yet?
Kenny: Parts and bits...but nothing full yet. I always wait till we get home...I dont like to stretch myself thin.
PPJ: Do you know what your summer tour plans are yet?
PPJ: Lastly, tell us three bands you think we should listen to other than Muse.
Kenny: MUTEMATH, THE END, CHOKE, ATTACK IN BLACK
PPJ: Thanks so much! -Casey Bridgers
Kenny: By the way...I love your last name...it is better than mine.
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