'Making Music For The Peeps!'
SONY/RED/SELECTRIC rock band MONDAY MORNING made quite the impression with teen and rock press as they came for a special day of press to advance their upcoming release on April 4, 2006. This was a special treat for the guys of MONDAY MORNING due to their long awaited time to showcase their talent to the world.
MONDAY MORNING (lead singer Derek Stipe, guitarist Justin Blythe, bassist Kevin Stipe (Derek’s brother), and drummer Kent Rector) warmed the hearts of the editors at TEEN VOGUE, COSMO Girl!, Twist, J-14, M Magazine, X- Radio Networks, and Yahoo’s SBC’s Blue Room with several acoustic renditions of their hit songs- “Sunshine”, “Wonder of it All” and “Tonight.” Many of the girls were left with the heart throb charisma that transcends from the band.
The band took over the excitement of editors, publishers, radio programmers and played to sold out shows at Arlene’s Grocery and The Lion’s Den in New York City’s Lower East Side to a diverse crowd of teens, college and critical acclaimed type audiences. The guys continue to tour across America and will make several stops back here in New York for Fashion Week and well as playing for an audience of fashionistas in this acclaimed week of style and music.
Chatting recently with Monday Morning's lead singer and primary lyricist Derek Stipe, I first wondered that as it seemed that they had had a rather tough road to travel before they finally got their CD out, if there had ever been a point where they were close to giving up on the whole thing? "I think we all had our moments where we got depressed, somewhat fed up, and tired of spinning our wheels, trying to move forward, and always sliding back. I'd have to say quitting was probably in the back of our minds, I know I thought of it. But it was never mentioned. We kept playing, working hard practicing and improving our show. The "in between" time just made us stronger individually and as a band. We never felt it really was time to quit."
Your album title suggests a jovial stab at the precariousness of a band within the structure of the music industry ... or, perhaps you have a different take on it?! "There's a definite meaning behind the title. I'd definitely like people to draw their own conclusions about what it means as they listen to the tracks, but for me it means we are too easily pleased. In so many ways, we settle for less than we could have, just because thats what we're told to do."
As young musicians growing up together in North Carolina, what were those early days like and what was your first stroke of musical luck? "I'd say our first stroke of luck was really getting together. In our small town, its pretty cool that we've gathered the four of us that we have, and stuck with the original members. Other than that, we've just been really blessed with people who care and work with us and for us."
Tell us more about the second time you signed for one of David Bach's labels ... and that scenic moment at a Subway, over a meatball sub! "Ha! How much is there to tell about a Subway? I will say the yellow tables were littered with papers as we went over the details of the contract, discussing them with our manager. Not a contract signed in blood, more like marinara sauce. Dang, that meatball sub still never tasted better!"
Out of the 12 songs on this new album which one truly stands out to be your go-to favorite when recommending it to first time listeners ... and why? "'The Wonder of It All' would be my recommendation. It seems to have the widest appeal, and a very singable melody. One that sticks inside your ears and wont go away. Plus the song is very personal, and emotionally powerful, at least to me. Everyone I've played it for has really enjoyed it."
For fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'These Eyes' - What is one of the most glorious things that your eyes have ever witnessed thus far? "For me, nothing has been more 'glorious' than standing at over 14,000 feet in Colorado on a clear blue sky day. Seeing nothing but snow covered peaks in the distance, and tiny little people far far below us. Amazing!"
'Vanity' - Do you have a streak of vanity that flows through you ... and if so, just how big a flow are we talking?! "I wouldn't say I'm a vain person, but then again, I have my moments. I think we all do. We get a little too concerned about what we look like to everyone else and neglect what people actually "think" of us beyond our appearance."
'Blind' - If you were left blinded tomorrow, what would be the one thing that you would miss seeing the most? "Myself in the mirror. Wait. If that's my answer, I'll definitely have to change the previous answer. How 'bout puppies? They're really adorable. Or hot chicks. Every guy LOVES looking at them! Or we could go with the band answer, and that's our fans smiling faces as we rock the stage. Ha. Yeah, that sounds pretty awesome. I'm going with that answer!"
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "Bon Jovi - 'Living on a Prayer.' Because crowds still love that song, we've already covered it some, and that means we know how to play it now. Less effort on our part."
If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other known musicians (no one from your own band and dead or alive!) to aid you in the project, who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the NEW song be?! "Hmmm, let's see, ... a song for charity. Not Michael Jackson or Bono, they've already had their fair share of charity songs. Dave Grohl would play drums. Matthew Bellamy from Muse would play keys or guitar. And Flea on bass. Thats one insane group of charitable contributors. I'd call the song "For the Peeps" and forego all vocal duties to let MC Hammer try and make a valid comeback. I know thats 4 people, but I'm not counting Hammer as a musician. No offense!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Of course. Who doesn't like an animal that well dressed?!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Monday Morning's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: According to Justin on the bands record label website, how many people did they play to at their very frsit show?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before April 15th with your answer and the subject title 'MONDAY MORNING SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
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