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XS ROCK: So what’s the latest with Monolith Cult? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Outlaw: We have just released our second album “Gospel Of Despair’ through the great team at Transcending Records. Early next year we will be playing a few gigs with Epic Doom Metal overlords Solstice.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Outlaw: We started Monolith Cult in late 2012 early 2013, Initially myself and Lee were lloking into the idea of restarting one of our old bands ‘Khang’, but after having a jam with Damo (drums) where we played a couple of Khang songs, which we weren’t really getting into. Lee had a set of new riffs, which we then worked on and ended up with the first Monolith Cult song, and the death of Khang for good.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Outlaw: We fucking love music, we grew up going to gigs, listening to bands and from our teenage years, seeing Dio belting it out in his prime is going to make anybody want to grab a microphone, you know what I’m saying. We wanted to get a band going and write our own original songs, a long time later we are still doing this, we do this for love, that’s why we’ve all persevered so long.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Outlaw: We been at this for decades and have been in various bands, Lee has played in Serenity, Solstice, Khang and Lazarus Blackstar all great underground bands. Izak currently plays bass in Solstice as well, he used to play in Chorus Of Ruin and Lazarus Blackstar. Damo played in When Giants Collide, Wayne currently plays in Iron Rat. I used to sing in Khang with Lee, and have done other bands such as Threads. We’ve always played on the underground and enjoyed it.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Outlaw: We would hope that the music conveys the experiences, the feelings and the failure that can be part of life, when you are living within various forms of depression. Hence the title ‘Gospel Of Despair’. Also there are elements of commentary on the real world, which as any one with any sense of empathy or compassion can see is a total fucking mess.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals?
Outlaw: We aim to carry on as normal, write more songs for the 3rd album, do more gigs. We are currently shooting our first video for the song ‘Disconnection Syndrome’ which is the first track of the album.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Outlaw: Long term? I’ve been playing in bands since 1989, where we are now is the long term plan. As long as we are writing songs and have a semblance of originality we will keep on forging ahead.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Outlaw: Why does there have to be a preference, writing songs is a fantastic process, and hearing the culmination of it all coming together in the studio is a total buzz. Playing live obviously has the immediacy of reaction and pleasure, but overall is a much smaller aspect of what we do in the greater scheme of things. Both are the reason we do this, not one over the other.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about?
Outlaw: As stated earlier, these songs touch on a lot of themes surrounding depression and other mental health conditions, and how the struggle to survive in this fucked up world takes it’s toll. Also the current hegemony of society is one of selfish and greed, we cover aspects of this fuckwittery, and hope for it’s demise. Within any of the lyrics that I write is and underlying edge of foreboding, which I blame on seeing the film THREADS on my 13th birthday. If you haven’t seen that film, you haven’t lived.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Outlaw: Ha ha, we are most definitely not Motley Crue. Outrageous to me, is lazy fucking band members over the years, that have a baseless sense of entitlement. Those that want the enjoyment of gigs with carrying any of the gear into the venues, the ones that disappear when its loading in and loading out time, we are our roadies and those without the collective responsibility of all aspects of band life, can get fucked.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Outlaw: We’ve never had a strange request, other than being heckled to play ‘Gypsy’ by Uriah Heep, but those kind of heckles are great.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Outlaw: Ha ha, most of us are parents ourselves, at this stage in life, it’s more about having supportive partners and family relationships.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Outlaw: Currently I enjoy ‘Sympathy for the Living’ Doom Metal with 3/4 timing is a thing of beauty.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Outlaw: For myself, it was Deep Purple, Dio, Sabbath and Maiden, seeing those bands live and listening to there albums obviously inspires you in various ways. Whether that is to listen to them more or then to start writing your own version of the metal that you like. It’s not just artists that inspire, it is life events and how you perceive society.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Outlaw: That would depend on which member of the band you were asking. For me, I’d love to be generally ignored by a large crowd whilst supporting Iron Maiden.
More realistically it would be with bands such as Solstice, Argus, Pallbearer, Procession and us, any mix of those bands would be a night of bleak realism.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Outlaw: Maintaining a semblance of sanity in a world such as this.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Outlaw: The question needs reversing. We all have jobs and careers which more than likely so do 99% of all the other bands, to be part of the 1% making a living out of this is a rarity and to believe that your destiny is to do that as well is somewhat delusional.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Outlaw: For the guitars Lee and Wayne play Gibson SGs, Laney GH100TI amps, Laney and Marshall cabs. Ampeg 8×10 bass cab, we won’t speak of the bass head or bass guitar. Drums are Peavey and vocals are my throat.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Outlaw: As with all scenes they incorporate some great bands and some generic shit. Hopefully we are not the latter.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Outlaw: Left wing, vegetarian for 30 years and vegan for the last year. I don’t just like Metal, life has and music tastes have to be varied.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Outlaw: Our sound is a ‘Gospel Of Despair’, make of that what you will. We definitely deal with negative aspects of the self and society. Musically we are Heavy Metal with elements of Traditional Doom and a sense of melody.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Outlaw: Please check out our latest album ‘Gospel of Despair’ and if you have the funds to purchase a copy if you like what you hear, ourselves and Transcending Records would be most appreciative. Remember you are more likely to die of negative government policy than you are from a terrorist attack, Peace!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Outlaw: Thank you for your questions and thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this.
Purchase CD: https://goo.gl/1vumrV