Monuments guitarist John Browne chats to SA Music News

By: Kieron Reeves

In anticipation of their SA visit in August we got to ask John Browne from MONUMENTS a few questions.

  1. What affect has the changing band line up had on the creative process?

Honestly, none whatsoever. The first 2 seconds we’re 99% written by myself musically so the process hasn’t really changed except Olly has gotten more involved which is a great thing. We write the music, pass it onto the vocals and if there’s time we change some things in the music to better fit the vocals.

2. How long did Phronesis take to complete in comparison to your previous 2 released albums?

Phronesis definitely took the longest, and that’s not down to writing time at all, just for some of us to sort out some things in our lives. Gnosis took me around 18 months, Amanuensis was around 5 months and Phronesis took the best part of 3 years!

3. We can hear that a lot of production went into Phronesis, was there any particular concept behind the album?

In between Phronesis and The Amanuensis, I wrote 2 solo records under the Moniker ‘Flux Conduct’ where I experimented with orchestral elements mixed with our niche of metal. I was listening to Hans Zimmer a lot at the time and really wanted to experiment with adding that flavour into our music. The solo records for me were an experiment on how far I wanted to go with it and also refine it while we were having some downtime!

4. Which track on the album took the longest to record and put together?

I would say Mirror Image, I had the first 2 riffs and orchestral intro written to that song in 2015 and we didn’t finish it until 2017! I just couldn’t find the right riffs to put in that song. Leviathan also took a long time to find the right riffs!

5. When writing new material, do you first test it out on the crowd prior to release?

Unfortunately, we’ve never had the opportunity to do that as we usually spend a lot of time and finish the album right when it’s due haha. However, we did play instrumental version of Stygian Blue and Ivory on the US tour with the Contortionist back in 2016!

6. Which of all your tracks is your favourite and most responsive track to play live?

I would say either Degenerate/Regenerate or I, the creator usually get the biggest responses!

7.Could you give us a bit of feedback from your UK leg of your tour with our boys Deitys Muse as supporting act? Were they received well?

They are great dudes! It’s unfortunate they weren’t sharing a bus with us because it would have allowed more time for us to hang out and sink beers, but they were lovely guys, played their music well and went down well in the UK!

8. Are you excited to come back to SA? We imagine you have come a long way since your last successful visit. What can South Africans expect from your tour in August?

I am stoked to come and see more of South Africa! Loads of beers, loads of hangs and lots of heavy!

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Kieron Reeves for SA Music news magazine


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