Words x Interview: Monograms // NYC

The new EP, Silencer, is made up of four tracks recorded during different sessions, with different lineups, over the past twelve months, so each song represents a slightly different side of Monograms

So stoked to finally have a chance to talk to this amazing Brooklyn-based band! Monograms started as the solo bedroom project of Ian Jacobs, but has since grown into a four-piece live band. Their new EP Silencer, is four tracks of fuzzed-out guitars and insanely catchy hooks that are currently stuck in my head. Check out their new EP (out today fuck yeah!) and the interview with us below xx.

Left Bank- First off, thanks for chatting with us! So Monograms started out as a solo project and then expanded, can you tell us about that process and how the rest of the band formed?

Ian– I wrote all the songs from the first EP in my bedroom and recorded them as a side project… I played a few shows solo with drum machines and backing tracks until a good friend of mine saw a show and asked if he could play drums. I eventually accepted, after a short IQ test and some contractual vows written in blood.

At that first rehearsal, it took me about 2 seconds to realize the songs felt way more fun with other people involved, so I kept adding more members soon after that.

For this new EP, did you write all of the music or did the rest of the members contribute/help?

On this new EP I wrote everything same as the first. I usually do write most of the arrangements and parts like the origins of the project. Most of the heavy lifting is still done at my little home studio — but honestly everybody in the band contributes a lot. Anything they do live, as far as tone, presence, or things like drum fills is all them and I couldn’t replicate it on my own.

We also do have some new material coming down the line that we’ve already started recording that’s based much much more on collaboration as far as riffs or ideas go,  which has been a pretty fun next step.

Any track that is your favorite?

That’s a tough question for me to answer. Don’t really have a favorite and I honestly don’t really listen to any of my music much after it’s done, mixed and mastered. But I’d say ‘Sharp Teeth’ is really fun to play live though.

Band names say so much about your personality, interests, and the type of music that you’re putting out … Like naming a baby? So, ‘Monograms’- how did that come about?

Lots of people ask that. That word means to use your initials as a logo, but I just wanted a name that was one word and Monograms wasn’t taken, and I liked the phonetics of it. Also as a solo project “Mono” made some sense to me but I also remember thinking that Monograms also sounded kinda like a blank canvas and I wanted a name that could morph into whatever I felt like doing. I’m actually way more interested in what other people think it means though. I’ve heard a couple of interesting things so far.

What’s your first memory around music?

5 years old, scratching and trying to play my Dad’s vinyl collection. I remember getting in a little bit of trouble but loving the sound it made when I scratched and played it backwards and stuff. Plus he had an epic collection of classics that also ruled when I played them forwards…helped me become a music fan long before I ever thought about playing music.

Might be a difficult question, but what does success mean for you as far as your music is concerned?

Seriously, Just making songs that I like and would wanna listen to. Sounds simpler than it is. Also, I think people pick up on the honesty of that and other good/fun things can happen after you get that going.

If you could perform anywhere in the universe where would you and why?

Everywhere: In the middle of the Roman Coliseum, Radio City Music Hall, The International Space Station, Walmart, your living room. Cause why not.

(P.S. y’all are always welcome to play in my living room!)

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing slash what’s your ideal day job?

NYC Bar / Restaurant critic. Free food, free drinks…and would be cool to let someone else sweat the small stuff for a while.

Lastly, what have you been listening to lately?

This: Rockabye Baby Lullaby Renditions of Nirvana 

Also been digging the new Kendrick Lamar and Car Seat Headrest in addition to my regular 90s diet.