The DIY band | MonobrowMP

It’s better to do it yourself, say Lukas Grech and Jorje Bosios of MonobrowMP, a Gozo-based indie-rock duo who will be releasing their debut album Carpet Clown on June 2, with a gig at Victoria’s Aurora Theatre.

Lukas Grech (left) and Jorje Bosios, performing as MonobrowMP. Photo by David Schembri.
Lukas Grech (left) and Jorje Bosios, performing as MonobrowMP. Photo by David Schembri.

When did you first get together as a band, and what made you click as musicians?

We got together in our previous band The Imagery, where we started writing songs together. We got along well as friends, we have the same sense of humour and interests, including a fascination with all sorts of facial hair, which is where the name comes from. All that seems to translate well into a musical partnership

What were your initial goals as regards to formulating your sound, and how has this developed over time?

The initial idea was very innocent, in that we didn't think very much about the songs we were producing. It was just a matter of recording the songs as they were being written. After this quick and direct approach, we started producing our songs more. That meant listening to the initial demos, reworking and rewriting parts, adding instruments and so on. That is how this album came about and its from here that our sound starts. We will probably settle into certain instrumentation and structures that will become our own, but for now we're still in the exploration stage.

Would you define yourself as a 'Gozitan' band?

We don't think there's enough difference between the islands that we could call ourselves a distinctly Gozitan band. We actually both live in Malta and we do not feel that the surroundings affect us. Songs we've written in Malta and in Gozo sound about the same! The difference with Gozo is that it is usually up to the band to put together a gig - there isn't a push for a musical scene to exist.

A lot of your songs already have videos - presumably made on a shoestring budget with a DIY ethos. Is this the way forward for bands nowadays - even, or especially, bands who are based in small countries like Malta and Gozo?

DIY will work provided you're willing to put some proper time into it. Doing it casually will get you up to a certain point, but when things get bigger it is important to have certain skills like a proper grasp of the business side of it. On the local scale, in our scene, it is in our opinion the only way to do it. It is not worth getting involved with bigger things such as a record label or management because with some extra effort and dedication on your part you could do most of the things yourself, and on your own terms.

What listeners expect from the new album?

More interesting arrangements and what we think is a 'circus-y' sound.

Are you looking forward to performing at the Aurora? What are its advantages as a venue?

Yes we definitely are, because we've never played there! The gig isn't going to be in the main theatre, we're using a smaller music room which doubles a dance studio. The place is the right size for our current audience so it should be a comfortable fit.

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