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The Mons Talk Split with Fastplants, Best Chicago Bands, & Future Plans

To say that Chicago-based Punk band The Mons is anything less than a Midwest supergroup would be an understatement. However, to an outsider – perhaps one of those coastal dwelling types – the five faces in the band may not be as easily recognizable. But being comprised of ex-members of Apocalypse Hoboken, Lynyrd’s Innards, The Arrivals, and The Mashers, the band as a whole has had more of an impact on Midwestern music than some of the more recognizable Chicago bands out there.

On July 23rd, 2021, The Mons released a split album with Chicagoland’s Fastplants. But as we have all become FAR too familiar with over the last few years, many things – releases included – got lost in the COVID shuffle. So, I sat down with Andy and Karl of the band to talk about the split, how COVID threw a wrench in their normal recording gears, the best bands in Chicago, and more!

Stream The Mons’ side of the split below!

Kendra Sheetz

The album came out just under one year ago today. What was the band doing at that time?

ANDY: That may have been the week where everyone thought COVID was over, so likely playing in Karls’ basement, getting ready to play shows again. In early July last year, we recorded a handful of our new tunes, including those from the split LP, at The Jam Lab with a video crew. We have two videos from this session on Youtube (but there’s a lot more). We also started working on a bunch of demos Karl recorded during the COVID shutdown.

Kendra Sheetz

Since the split’s release, what – if anything – changed on the band front?

ANDY: We wrote and recorded a new album with Matthew Barnhart at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Our tracks on the split LP were recorded there, so we kept working with Matt and now have 15 more tunes, all recorded and presently being mixed. Oh yeah, and Dave and his lovely wife, Lyndsey, had a beautiful baby girl.  Little Dave’s a daddy!

Kendra Sheetz

Tell us all about Fastplants. How did you meet? How did the split come about?

KARL: We’ve known Matt from Fastplants since way back when he led Lunkhead, and all of our various bands have probably played at least one show with one of his various bands at one point or another. We had fun playing with Fastplants a couple of times (they’ve been nice to us even though none of us skate), and when we posted something about our recording session at Electrical, one or two of them posted comments, and then Pat from Beercan Records added to the thread that he’d put out a split record with the two of us. Thus was the project born – thanks, social media!

Kendra Sheetz

Were there any differences in the way that you’d written/recorded the songs off the split versus how you’d written/recorded songs in the past? Basically, did COVID make the band switch gears in any way?

ANDY: We usually write songs with the full band in the room, throwing ideas around. Now, on the rare occasion we got together, it was hard to concentrate on doing something new when we were still shaking off rust. So this time around, a lot of songs were initially just riffs that we were saving.

Karl recorded a lot of demos. For whatever reason, songs got a little longer, a little less frantic. We recorded everything we did when we rehearsed, so we could make revisions outside of practice and spend a lot more time getting a song right. We used to just bash them out, typically going with what sounded good that day and moving on. Now, we had time to try different ideas and arrangements.

Kendra Sheetz

Name names! Who are the best bands in Chicago right now?

Drilling for Blasting. WIG. Wrong War. Salvation. American Draft. Thundershirt. There’s more.

Kendra Sheetz

Give us those sweet, sweet future plans for The Mons! Where can we see you this year? What else is on the band calendar?

ANDY: New album!  It’s almost done – we’re just worried that it’ll take 9 months to get vinyl. But first things first. We need to mix it and we may be recording a few extra tracks in Karl’s home studio. And then shows. Big, hot, sweaty ones.

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  • Jay Insult says:

    I did not hear a better song in 2021 than “Follow Your Leader.” This record rips! Excited to see it getting some attention, and looking forward to new stuff from the Mons!

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