Let's talk a little about the history of your band. When did you originally form and is this the original line-up?
Ashten Banks: I originally started this band in January 2016. No it is not the original lineup, we ended up in need of a new singer right around the time we were wrapping up our would be very first album at the time. (That album won’t be coming out) however Julian Comeau was our knight in shining armor in the perfect place at the perfect time and stepped up to plate and has been knocking it out of the park ever since. And I literally couldn’t be happier about it.
Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?
Ashten Banks: It came up in many different ways for me, I’ve always been predisposed to be a musician since I was 4 years old jamming out on the upright piano my mother owned, I was actually naturally good at simple melodies and song structure at that age. Upon seeing that my mother threw every instrument she could get her hands on at me, I went from piano, to drums, back to piano, to violin, trumpet LOL, and ultimately ended up finding my number one true love to this day the guitar.
I’d started actually recording my works around the age of 13, even then though I thought nothing of it. It was just a hobby, but with that and time my love and passion for music of course grew exponentially.
There were a few things that ultimately made me hit “fuck it” and decide to go for it. For example there was a time I was upstairs in my room playing guitar and there was a contractor in our basement doing some floor work, and he went out of his way to come up the stairs to tell me how much he enjoyed my guitar playing and insisted I had something with what I’m doing.
I’d started quietly releasing some of my music to YouTube, not saying much about it and one day I got hit up randomly from the youtuber now known as Vitalyzdtv on YouTube asking to use my song in his first ever YouTube video, I believe he was going around scaring people dressed as a zombie in Miami right after the Miami bath salts zombie thing LOL actually brilliant. Even then! I still didn’t think anything of it, just lacked the confidence really I suppose. I even had the principal of my school pull me aside and say “look man, you think I wanted to be a highschool principal? Hell no. But I listened to my parents and now here I am completely unhappy. If you have something that you’re good at, that you absolutely love doing then please for the love of god do that, I don’t even like kids, I don’t belong here.” After that STILL not totally convinced. It wasn’t until somehow that *expletive* Ben Bruce in Asking Alexandria and I became buds and chatted every now and again. HE convinced me. It is a whole different story when you’re hearing it from someone who actually does it everyday that you have something with what you’re doing, and to keep at it. I watched those guys literally start at the bottom and climb their way up to being the very top tier of Rockbands playing shows with some of my old school favorites like Sabastian Bach. There will always be a special place in my heart for that girly man Ben because yeah it was after that where I got the idea to form a band and to feast off the same never ending shit sandwich they had to eat everyday. It’s definitely not easy by any stretch of the imagination but it’s well worth it.
How would you categorize the style of the band?
Ashten Banks: We are capable of making pretty much anything we want. I tend to stick with what I think sounds awesome, what I’d want to listen to, and I’m not really a big fan of how categorizing bands ultimately ends up in the trivialization of them as artists. However if a gun was to my head, I guess I’d have to Alternative, Electronic, Rock . . .
What image do you want your music to convey to your fans?
Ashten Banks: That perseverance is absolutely possible, that even when things feel totally hopeless you can and will be able to see your way through it.
Who are your influences and how have they shaped your bands’ sound?
I have a broad spectrum of influences ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Def Leppard all the way through to Bring Me The Horizon, Asking Alexandria to Architects, and Gojira alllll the way to Billie Eilish, and Drake. Each group has something about them and their music that’s super original that also makes me want to come back, almost like they’re bio terrorists of infectious songwriting in their own right, I’d like to believe that’s helped shaped our sound hahah
Let's talk a little about your latest SINGLE what are the listeners in store for with this release?
Our latest single “Close Encounters” is a very morose, somber toned, romantic and emotional song. Featuring a larger than life arena style chorus, tons of darker catchy synth tones debuting throughout the entirety of the track with an absolutely incredible vocal performance from our beloved vocalist Julian Comeau.
Where did record your latest release at?
Producers are a very important factor in recording a good record. Who did you use to produce your record?
The latest and greatest, Matt Good (Sleeping With Sirens, Asking Alexandria, Hollywood Undead)
Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?
Sean Mott: Of course, if everyone’s not totally happy with the music then we won’t release it until they are.
How do you feel the band has evolved musically and personally over the last year?
As of writing this we just hit 50 thousand monthly listeners on Spotify! I am extremely excited to see where things go from here!
Where do you draw the inspiration for the songs you write?
How important do you rate the lyrical side of your albums?
Sean Mott: 10 out of 10. Lyrics should very much be a part of the music, not just something to be laid over a music piece like a side note.
What are your current tour plans, if any?
Sean Mott: No tour plans quite yet. We're working on a lot of material and want to make sure everything's ready to put on a good show.
Describe your live performance for those who have never seen you live?
Dom Ruiz: We like to try to put on an energizing show that gets everyone pumped, no one wants to go to a boring show.
Do you see as we do that most local radio rarely support the up and coming new bands and even more local bands just starting out?
Dom Ruiz: Big FM radio stations rarely take risks with new bands. They usually tend to stick to what's popular in maintaining their listener count. They do sometimes have a "New Music" or "Local Talent" section tucked into the week somewhere.
What do you think of the music industry right now?
Dom Ruiz: It's certainly different than it was. I feel like before it was more about the music, labels and sponsors only had the quality of music and the energy of live performances to draw a conclusion from. Now it's a lot of social media. Likes and follows seem to be the new standard.
Did you find it hard to break into the business and what was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
Dom Ruiz: It's not easy. And it's definitely not cheap. One thing you learn when you get serious about being a band is how many other bands are out there. You have to be better, your music has to be better, you have to be better at getting yourself out there.
Tell us about your thoughts on your local music scene?
Dom Ruiz: The local music scene, especially in Tucson, where we started, is very saturated. There are more local bands than I can count, but it's very friendly and supportive. We just had to try that much harder to stand apart.
Are there any new and upcoming bands that you are into?
Ashten Banks: There’s a band I’ve been following for a couple years now called “Rivals” I’m friends with the lead singer on Facebook (Kalie Wolfe) - she has an absolutely stunning voice, her vocal delivery is just original to me, I’ve never really heard anything like it. The rest of the band are extremely talented, they mix electronic, and rock aspects to perfection to complete their catchy as hell dark pop rock sound. Definitely a band I’d suggest you listen to in your free time.
How has Social Media impacted your band?
Hugely and aggressively. It's become essential in getting your name out there and your music heard that days.
Where can our readers find you on the web?
Dom Ruiz: We're pretty much everywhere now. We're on all major social media outlets, have a website (rememberthemonsters.net). We're also doing interviews all the time so you can find us on different blogs and sites and such
What equipment is the band using and do you have any endorsements currently?
Sean Mott: No endorsements just yet, but there are some brand preferences. Right now, if it works then we are using it!
Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments for our readers?
Thank you so much to our fans for your love and support. We truly could not do this without you and I hope I get the chance to meet each and every last one of you sometime soon to extend my thank yous personally.