Interview: The Monarques
Christian indie-folk group The Monarques have just released their new album 'In Your Love'. The album features The Monarques' signature harmonies and unique sound inspired by folk, gospel and early rock'n'roll. Louder Than The Music caught up with the group and asked them how they started out in music, the message behind their songs, and their plans for the rest of this year.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and how you got involved in making music?
Laura and I have been playing music our whole lives. When we met on stage in NYC back in 2011 we immediately knew we shared a passion for storytelling through music. Our songs are written by me and arranged by Laura. Without her, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. We have a room in our home with many instruments. We play, sing and have an amazing time creating the purpose God has instilled in us. Music is a great way to communicate through a heart. Both by the musician and by the listener. That’s what happened when we heard Melanie’s voice too, we were both touched and inspired and had the same idea without even talking about it, we knew we wanted to meet her and ask her to sing with us.
Tell us about your new album 'In Your Love' and what the inspiration behind it was?
“In Your Love” is about the love that God has for us all. To know God is love. He is the originator of love, and without Him, we can't truly know love. I was away from God for the longest time. Because of what I know now, I just want to stay forever, in his love. God forgives us. Our relationship with Him is based on love. With that comes contentment and an understanding of His grace and purpose for you. Our music reflects this. The peace and love that comes from submitting to God’s word.
Which is your favorite track on the album and why?
I like “13”. Laura likes it too. It’s uplifting and fun to sing. “Dear Father” to me is a prayer. I like that also.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
Our message and our music exists to glorify God. But it’s not about religion. People have a misconception about who Christ is. The religious institution has failed in educating the masses on who God really is. I’m not saying all institutions. There are some great churches out there that teach the true message of the Gospel. God is visceral and you can experience Him everyday in your life. A relationship based on love. Paul writes that, “All that counts is faith expressing itself through love’. Faith is a powerful gift that God gives you when you accept who He and His son are. Faith is tangible. But first you have to walk with God’s word and allow it to grow in your heart. There’s a design to all this. If you follow the music you’ll see there is a redemption story in it.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Wow. Okay. Laura calls us “spiritual folk rock”. I would say more inspirational. Right now if you call your style "Christian" people assume you mean the Contemporary Christian genre and that's not our style. To us "Christian music" can be any genre, as long as it shares the message of God, and that is what's most important to us.
As for our influences, we get asked this all the time. It’s the Beatles. That’s for sure. We would also add the Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas, ELO and a sprinkle of Elvis. Laura has a strong folk influence and we both love gospel and spiritual music and the harmonies of groups like The Persuasions or the Sensational Nightingales. Melanie grew up in the church and has introduced us to some newer Christian artists that have been influential in her musical journey.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I would work with Jeff Lynne. He is a genius. His production is off the charts. But I’d love to sing harmonies with ABBA. I know that sounds strange but hey… I’m strange. Laura’s songwriting heroes are Joni Mitchell, Judee Sill and Leonard Cohen.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
I would define it by being sanctified in God’s grace first. Knowing that He has my back is all the success I need. Plus my wife is the only thing I want. But when we play and see the hearts of those that are touched by the music and the message... that’s success.
What is your favorite album of all time?
I’m stuck on this one. I’ll give you my favorite 3 and you can decide for us. Abbey Road, Sgt Pepper and Magic Mystery tour.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Come on! This isn’t fair. Okay… I pick “A Day in a Life”. Laura? She is walking away and not answering this one haha.
What does the rest of the year hold for you?
Now that places are opening up, we’re excited to be able to get out and play again! We’re performing at Samantha's Li'l Bit of Heaven in East Northport, NY on May 7. We’ll be at the Chapel of Four Chaplains in Philadelphia later this summer.
Our music video for “The Way” has been showcased at several music and film festivals across the country. It is nominated at the International Christian Film Festival coming up in Orlando May 19-23. We’re nearly finished with the music video for “All You Have to Do” and look forward to sharing that story with you all soon. We have a couple of film projects in development in partnership with Sparrow Lane Productions, and a theater piece in the works as well, called “That’s Life”-- a story of spiritual redemption in which a suicidal rock n’ roller meets his guardian angel through a Karaoke machine.
"In Your Love" is featured on CMOTH (Christian Music on the Horizon) and Christian Servant Outreach Ministry Radio. Please check out the awesome ministries of these radio stations. Of course we continue to create music, we’ve already begun working on some new songs for the next album.
Finally, starting Easter Sunday, we’ll be leading worship at Santa Monica Church. You can join us online for the service starting at 2pm EST. We’re excited to plan the worship set with a blend of traditional hymns, gospel, folk music, and of course, The Monarques.
For more info and updates visit themonarques.com