Moneen

Interviews | May 17th, 2006

Never in the history of music has there ever been a band nicer than Moneen. Maybe it’s because they are from Canada (Canadians seem to have a tendency to be genuinely happy) or maybe it’s just because they are such an amazingly talented band; but either way, they were the most energetic and genuine band featured at this year’s Bamboozle. Despite their early time slot on Sunday at 1pm, the guys from Moneen gave the most amazing and energetic main stage performance. With their new album The Red Tree not even a month old, their set featured some new songs like “If Tragedy’s Appealing, Then Disaster’s An Addiction” in their set. They also wowed the crowd with older favorites like “Start Angry, End Mad”, “Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?” and, of course “The Passing of America”. Due to some problems with the PA, the band even worked some radio static into their set.

Despite the lack of cooperation from their label, Vagrant Records, singer Kenny Bridges not only agreed to an impromptu interview, but was so eager to answer questions. It went a little something like this:

You were just in LA, shooting a video for “If Tragedy’s Appealing, then Disaster’s An Addiction”, how did that go?
It was scary because I had to go by myself, we didn’t have the opportunity to all go because it was right when we were still on tour and when it came down to it, we didn’t have the money to all fly out there. It’s real expensive, so I just went since the video called for only one of us. There’s a bit of singing in it, so obviously we couldn’t sent Peter, because then it would have just been weird, because he’s tall and weird, in a good way… the tall part, and the weird way.

Is there a concept for the video?
Yeah, it’s kind of like it’s not a performance video at all. We’re not playing in it or anything like that. It’s a video where I basically live out the same day but in a split screen so you see the same day, going through the motions except different outcomes and different situations happen because of a decision made early on. So it’s kind of this weird thing that hurts your brain a little bit to watch. But, it turned out really good, we just got the edit of it, and it actually turned out really good. I was afraid of my acting because I’m so bad. Every emotion just looked like I was a zombie. He’d be like ok, act a little confused… look like a zombie, act upset… zombie. Then he starts asking me to act lethargic, I have no idea what that means, so… but yeah, the magic of editing helped me immensely.

Do you turn into a chicken at the end of the video?
Oh God no. Don’t even talk about that, I don’t turn into a chicken.

Will it be on the website?
Yes, it will be done in the next week.

You just finished a tour with Saves The Day. You seem to play with them a lot, is this just a coincidence, or do you really like them?
We went on our first tour with them and Taking Back Sunday, and we just got along so well with both bands. We were just lucky enough that they wanted us to come back out on tour. Our album came out the same day and we shared a lot of the same promotion and press. Us having the new records come out together was such an awesome thing. It was amazing because we’re both sharing the same excitement. When you have a new record, it’s almost like starting over, you get a fresh new start, and this fresh new start, we feel like we were reborn into a new band, it’s amazing. We could not be any more proud of this new record, or any happier.

You took a lot of time to record The Red Tree?
Yeah, we took a lot of time. Too much time. If we didn’t take as much time, it wouldn’t have come out the way it is so I’m glad we took the time, but yeah… it took us a while.

There’s a documentary being made about the making of The Red Tree?
There’s a little movie. We don’t know what’s going to happen, we wanted to get the record out and then deal with out. But there’s a movie and it’s done.

The release date is still TBA, how long did they film you guys?
Over the last four or five years. There’s a ton of old footage and recent footage and weird footage. Too much footage of me running around half naked. I don’t know why I equate raising the bar of humor with nakedness.

While you were on tour, you injured your shoulder?
It’s so embarrassing. Harris our tech, he and I are kind of partners in crime where if one of us starts doing something stupid, the other is going to follow. So, we start jumping in the backstage room, to kick the ceiling and we did it fine. And then we decide ‘hey, let’s kick the ceiling with two feet’. He went first, and he’s taller than me it’s a lower ceiling so, he made it and kind of spun around like a cat. Then I went. I gave it my all, everything I had. One foot connected, second foot just missed which means I was completely upside down, and I landed probably an inch away from the pillows, directly on my shoulder, and I heard a crack and crunch. I laid on the ground for a while and everyone was laughing, just because we’ll hurt ourselves a lot, but we don’t usually ever get hurt. So, as I’m laying there, I ask Harris, ‘what does it feel like when you dislocate your shoulder?’ and he’s like ‘what?’, starts shaking me, as if that’s the best thing to do, to shake a man that’s broken. But then, and I asked him ‘why are you shaking me?’ and he said ‘because if it was dislocated then this would hurt’, I’m like ‘well yeah, it hurts a lot’. So, it wasn’t dislocated, but I think I really screwed something up bad, because it still hurts.

Did you go to the hospital?
No, we were in the United States of America, so, going for medical attention was not an option at the time. I figured it would just heal itself, then I figured it’s probably healing itself badly because I can still feel it when I move it. I’m so stupid. The worst thing is is that I failed! I didn’t even hit it with both feet. I’ve never hurt myself like that before, I usually just bounce back, but that time was bad. I had to play the show like a little gimpy dude. I had to play five minutes after that happened.

Are you going home at all before Europe?
We go home tonight. Oh my God, I just realized I’m going to be home tomorrow, I’m so excited. We played Toronto on this tour, but that’s not being home. So, it’s been since February. I’m so excited. But the funny thing is we’re home but in two days after we get back, we start basically two weeks of shows around Ontario, and a bunch of stuff. We’re doing this XM Satellite Radio recording, which is going to be really cool, and then we go to Europe. Then we come home, play our headlining Toronto show, and directly from there we start Warped Tour. The funny thing is, Lisa my girlfriend used to tour manage us and do merch, and now she’s tour managing a band Bedouin Soundclash, she’s co-managing them. So, she’s really busy with that and doesn’t tour with us anymore and just for our relationship wise, it’s real hard. If you’re in a relationship with someone, and are so close with that person, but so close more emotionally than time wise and business wise. There’s just so much stress on a relationship that its not the most healthy to be with the person 24 hours a day, every day for… Lisa and I have been together for ten years and for the last five years we’ve been on tour together constantly, which is great but I’m very intense, she’s very intense about what we do. The Saves The Day guys and Taking Back Sunday guys had no idea that Lisa and I were boyfriend/girlfriend until the last day of tour, and that tour was three months long. We keep it very separate and I’m just not overly emotional, like touchy feely guy in public. So, long story short, we realized that to progress in life, we need to dial it back a little bit as far as… you’ll never miss someone if you’re around them all the time. These are the first tours we’ve done apart from each other so, it’s a weird dynamic for Kenny Bridges because I have this band that I completely love and this girl that I completely love so now I actually have to balance the two whereas before, we were just always on tour, so it was easy to put the band first. But now, I’m realizing that I want to put my own life also ahead of this band that is part of my life, but there is more to life than just playing music. It’s funny because we took so long to write this record, and our lives were really stable the whole time we were doing it and that’s why we wrote a lot about a lot of issues going on in the world rather than our own life all the time. But, more stuff has gone on after this record has been finished, which brings new meaning to a lot of the songs that do relate to life issues. This record now means more to me than it did when we were actually writing. It’s cool because it’s grown with us on this tour. We feel like we have grown as people, and as a band because we just don’t want to suck anymore. We don’t want to play songs just to play songs and have lots of fun , we want things to mean something. and that’s why we took so long with this record. I didn’t want to just write some dumb ass record that kids can have a mosh pit to, there’s more to it than that… hopefully.

Does the title The Red Tree mean anything?
It means nothing. I’m just kidding, I just thought it would be funny to say that as I’m saying everything has to mean something. It kind of goes more with the actual artwork than anything else, because there’s kind of a whole theme of loneliness and helplessness on the record. Not all us, we didn’t particularly feel that way but a lot of this record had to do with other people rather than just ourselves. The Red Tree felt like a significant and special image just in the fact that there could be this one tree, this one person, whatever you want to relate it to, and it just sits there. It doesn’t seem all that relevant to the world and if its gone, it won’t really make that much of a difference, but in the end that’s not true because everything and anything we do kind of has a ripple effect and will effect the next person, or the next thing. It kind of has a lot to do with that, but also I couldn’t call it The Red Bush, so I went with The Red Tree, just thought I’d throw that in, because it sounds a little rude.

And, you’re selling your album for $5, that’s really nice of you guys.
We don’t care about anything. I don’t want anything to hold people back from being able to enjoy our music. I don’t care how many CDs we sell, and we’re not doing that just to sell lots of CDs. It’s the least we can do for people who have supported us over the years and for new people who might be interested and want our CD and are like ‘take our five bucks’. Who cares? If you don’t like it smash it. People were telling me the first week they were buying it for $5.99. It’s good that that there are some stores that can actually still help bands. Even if some people think that they’re evil corporations. In the end, they helped us and I’ll probably buy an XBOX 360 from them at some point, who knows? Now I just seem like some corporate whore.. Ok, I will steal the XBOX 360 from Best Buy.

On Warped Tour, you’re playing the Vagrant stage, do they have their own set times, or does Warped dictate those times?
It’s all up to Vagrant, but they’ll still do the whole Warped Tour flip flop. There’s going to be first half of the day bands, and second half of the day bands it will kind of flip flop like that. No one is going to be stuck opening up, and no one is going to be stuck headlining every night. Its really even with the bands like ourselves who are still building, and not well known like From Autumn to Ashes, Reggie, The Bled and those kind of bands. I don’t think anyone wanted to dupe the smaller bands or make the bigger bands that are drawing a lot of people play early, so it’s kind of doing half and half I think. That’s what I hear, but in the end we’ll probably open every day and cry… no, I’m just kidding.

Are you happy with Vagrant, are they treating you well?
They treat us so well, they’ve done so much for us on this record it’s ridiculous.

How psyched are you to play the Warped Tour since its your first time?
Well, if this (Bamboozle) is anything like the Warped Tour… I was a little scared today to be honest. It was very, just like – ‘ok set up your amp’, ‘ok, you got a signal? go go go’. Which is fine, but I think my guitars kind of hated me today. I really don’t think they’re ever in tune and I rolled with the punches, and I had to punish the guitar, I had to surf on the guitar and show them who was boss. My guitars are like, ‘dude, you surf on me, fuck off I’m gonna go out of tune, what do you expect?’

Were you all going for a uniform red shirt thing, three of you were wearing red shirts during your set today.
Are you serious? That’s so lame. It maybe sounds a little gross saying this, but I have worn this shirt every day this whole tour. Here’s the secret, I have some decoys. I have three or four of the same shirt, so I wear it till it gets to the point when I can’t wear it anymore. I didn’t know the other guys were wearing red shirts, what are they doing? That must have looked real lame. I don’t really bring clothes on tour anymore, there’s just no point. I don’t even know what underwear is anymore, but I know what rashes are.

THE END

Right after the Bamboozle, Moneen heads to Europe for a few dates before they take the entire country by storm with their Warped Tour debut. They continue to promote their new album, The Red Tree which is an amazing display of Moneen’s unmatched talent.

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