Colorado, home of Red Rocks, legal weed, and one time Sex Change Capital of the World, Trinidad, Colorado (look it up), can now proudly claim ‘mutant blues’ rockers MONOCLE STACHE. The rock newcomers blend retro bluesy rock with the heaviness of stoner rock (fitting for Colorado natives), resulting in their impressive debut E.P., Prairie Fire. I recently talked to David Accomazzo and Josh Minor from the band about their origins, whats next of the group, and other world changing topics.
KralTunes: While MONOCLE STACHE is a pretty sweet name for a band, the jaded northeastern U.S. side of me immediately sees it as something a douchey hipster band from Brooklyn would call themselves (which you are clearly not). How did you guys come up with the name? (IRONY is the only explanation I can come up with, please let it be irony, cause I like the music too much for it not to be!).
David Accomazzo: If we’re hipsters, we’re the Red Fang type, i.e. we drink a lot of beer and don’t give a fuck. (Whew!)
Josh Minor: Yeah, we’ve definitely considered the fact that the name is fairly hipster sounding, but at the end of the day, we just don’t care. It’s stuck with us for a long time. The name originated from a friend of ours who used to play a game called “Monocle Stache.” The game was essentially the game “Nose Goes.” I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Nose Goes, but someone will say something like, “Who wants to take out the trash?” Someone else will say, “Nose Goes,” and the last person to touch their own nose with their finger loses the game, and has to take out the trash, or whatever the task might be. It’s a stupid fucking game. So with “Monocle Stache,” you have to make a monocle with one hand around your eye, and a stache across your lip with the other. Operates the same way. We just liked the name at the time, thought it would be funny or something… So yeah….Irony. Because, you know, we don’t wear monocles or have proper mustaches, and fuck hipsters. (Yes…fuck hipsters).
KT: How did you guys come together as a group? Have you been playing together for a while?
DA: We all went to Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado. Josh and I were in jazz band together starting at age 14, so we came up together as jazz musicians with jazz training. Arj and I started playing rock music as a two-piece called Moon Chug our senior year, and while Josh jammed with us once, it wasn’t until sophomore or junior year in college (~2006) that we started playing together as a three-piece and named ourselves Monocle Stache.
KT: You guys are virtually unknown in this part of the country, so lets go about this interview Alex Trabeck-syle. (I will play Alex Trabeck, and you 3 are the Jeopardy contestants. As I walk by each podium, I ask you where your from and to reveal some tidbit about yourself..Give me an interesting factoid about each band member that was currently unknown before today).
DA: I’m actually no longer in the band, though I played bass on the EP. I moved to Phoenix last year for a job in music journalism.
JM: As David said, he moved to Phoenix right after we had finished recording the EP. We were debating whether to continue the band for a while. One of Arj’s old friends and former bass-playing band-mate, Ryan Inman (we just call him Inman), moved out to Denver over the summer, so he’s been our bass player for the last few months. I (Josh) work professionally as a movie editor. I’ve worked on a couple feature-length documentaries of note: a music documentary called “Muscle Shoals” in 2013 (it’s now on Netflix), and an environmental doc called “Racing Extinction,” which premiered at Sundance in January. Arj is in a couple of other bands in Denver, “Il Cattivo” and “Black Acid Devil.” He plays drums in our band, but plays guitar in those bands. (I didn’t realize I was talking to some serious Renaissance Men)!!
KT: I see that you’ve gotten a lot of attention from the ‘stoner rock’ press with your E.P., but I am not sure if I agree with such a tag. Do you consider yourselves a stoner rock band? (I would consider you more of a bluesy garage style band, but what the hell do I know) What are some of your inspirations?
DA: We’ve tossed around a lot of genre tags over the years. “Stoner rock” is accurate since it describes our influences pretty well. We created the term “mutant blues” to apply to us, but no one besides us knows what that means. As the years have passed, I’ve started to think of us as “stoner blues,” since while the core of Monocle Stache is riff-based rock, the foundation of everything we do is blues. We used to jam all the time; improvisation was how we gelled together as a group and developed such great chemistry together. I love the concept of jamming because rock and roll can feel so rigid at times; it’s a confining structure to work within. The non-verbal communication we developed through hundreds of hours just making shit up together is one of the things I miss the most about being in the band.
KT: Things that caught my attention when I first discovered the band MONOCLE STACHE:
They have a great album cover!
Shit, this is free!?!
Who’s the hottie on the album cover!!!
Was the idea to give this album out for nothing a marketing ploy? If so, has it been successful? ( I guess me talking to you could be viewed as a positive sign). As a follow up, who IS the hottie on the album cover??
DA: Nah, we just didn’t give a fuck. We basically did nothing to promote but put the EP on bandcamp and announce it to our 80 Facebook followers (at the time) and friends, and the fact that the Youtube channels and the blogs picked up on it was an awesome surprise.
JM: So after David moved to Phoenix, during the phase when Arj and I were debating whether to keep the band going, we still had this unfinished EP just sitting on the shelf. I was determined to get the album out despite the fact that we were possibly discontinuing the band. I figured that we had invested a lot of time and effort into the damn thing, it would be a shame not to let it see the light of day. I took it upon myself to do all of the artwork and social media marketing (or lack thereof). The chick on the front is Jean Shrimpton, who was a British swinger-era supermodel from the 1960s. I’m really into retro models – they were much classier back then. Now, I should mention we have absolutely no rights to her image, so yeah…hopefully we don’t get sued. (Your secret is safe with me) Then again, we didn’t charge anything for the EP, so it could be hilarious if we got sued – free advertising, and they could get all $70 or so that we made, ha… But yes, I would consider the EP a success. The reason for giving the album away for free was mostly because we weren’t even sure we’d still be a band, but also we just wanted people to have our music. I wouldn’t want someone turning away from our music just because they had to pay for it. So the money we made is just the frosting on the cake. The real victory is in knowing that our music is out there, and people are digging it. It’s also a great feeling knowing that people wanted to pay something for our music even though it was free – that’s a sign that we’ve got some awesome fans.
KT: Since your from Colorado, someone from the east coast envious of your position must ask…has legal marijuana lived up to every stoners fantasy in the Centennial State?
JM: Legal marijuana has been a great success here, and for the most part, we are all reaping the benefits of it. I grew weed for years, so for us it’s kind of the same. Although, now he lives in Phoenix, so that sucks. The only downfall is that I can’t sell it for a profit anymore – but I’d rather have it be legal and cheap, than illegal and expensive. It’s nice knowing that I can smoke and possess weed, and it’s completely legal – nothing to worry about at all. That’s how it should be.
KT: What can we expect from you douchey hipsters in the near future (please say more music and expansive touring)?
JM: We are going to continue to rock the fuck out – that is for certain. We’ve been jamming a lot with the new bassist, so I’d like to say we are on the verge of taking the Denver rock scene by storm. Of course, it’s always a lot easier said than done. We’d love to go on tour at some point, maybe show NYC some love….we’re going to need some more funding.
KT: Random MONOCLE STACHE QUESTIONS/FACTS
Any pre/post show rituals?
Since you in the valley of craft beers, what are some of your favorites?
(Fill in any information that you would like us to include)
JM: So the reason that the name of our EP is “Prairie Fire” is because we always do a round of prairie fire shots before our shows. A “Prairie Fire” is shitty tequila mixed with Tabasco sauce. Yes, they are as gross as they sound, and they are fucking awesome.
I love beer. So goddamn much. IPAs are my favorite, but I can appreciate almost any great craft beer. I am a huge fan of Odell Brewery in Fort Collins, and of course Avery Brewing here in Boulder is unbeatable. The Maharaja Imperial IPA is where it’s at. (You guys are quickly becoming my new favorite band! I’ll have to check out these recommendations. For me, Founders Brewery out of Michigan is frickin’ untouchable, especially their BREAKFAST STOUT or CENTENNIAL IPA. Of course, Boulevard’s Sixth Glass Belgium is no slouch (Jeez, this became a craft beer circle jerk real fast)!!
Now onto serious business…
KT: I like a good time travel hypothetical situation, and this one comes from the podcast TELL EM STEVE DAVE. The one scenario that immediately comes up in conversation is always “If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be”?, and the answer almost always is, KILL HITLER. That became the standard answer, and as a result, to make things more interesting, the question evolved into “If you could travel back in time and kill baby Hitler before all of his atrocities, would you do so”? Now, in an attempt to ratchet it up even more, the question has become “You have the opportunity to seduce Mother Hitler prior to his original conception from his actual father, thus sparing the world from his DNA and cruel final solution. (assuming that the child would grow up to be more like one of you, and a lot less like Hitler). Would you be willing to impregnate the future Hitler’s mother to save he future of millions of lives?? Here is a picture of Mother Hitler to help (or hurt) your response… ￼
JM: I would have given Hitler’s father a swift kick in the balls the night he fucked Hitler’s mammy. I would have told him, “I’m saving lives.” But seriously, don’t fuck with the past…. (short and sweet)
KT: MAYWEATHER VS. PACQUIAO… has Mayweather been ducking ‘Manny’ all these years? Who do you expect to come out victorious??
DA: Fuck yeah, Mayweather’s been ducking Pacquiao. Manny’s gonna rip him a new one. (You don’t know how right I wish you were about that).
KT: These slang words have apparently disappeared from the American vernacular:
What are some current slang words/phrases you hope will be forgotten from the American dialogue in future years?
DA: I’m pretty sure I called someone a dingus within the past year, so I question the veracity of the prompt. (Dingus is a good one. I heard ‘awesome sauce’ for the first time in years the other day…I couldn’t stop laughing).
KT: The BATMAN V. SUPERMAN teaser has been catching a lot of crap lately, but I think its going to be pretty good movie (better than AVENGERS, at least). Thoughts??
DA: Nothing will be better than the Hanna Barbera Birdman cartoon. Nothing. (Can’t really argue with that, well maybe Harvey Birdman; Attorney At Law)
Find Monocle Stache here:
Official Bandcamp page (Again, ITS FREE)!!
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