They won’t let go without their mask according to their latest soundtrack.
Newly known for their music they wish to remain anonymous and take on the
challenge to express themselves though their creative proposals. Swide has had
the opportunity to catch up with the duo Ra (singer) and Andrew (producer) about
their just released album and their aesthetic approach.
Incognito they remained even if we feel now that we know them a bit more.
1/ What is the concept behind Monarchy?
Monarchy: We'd be lying to you if we said we don't have a concept or a manifesto, but it's a manifesto directed by feelings, it's constantly changing depending on our creative moods. One of the principle concepts, which a lot of people relate and resonate to, is our anonymity and the mystical aspect of it. We pu on costumes to no reveal our identity in press shots or videos, and on stage we wear masks.
2/ What do you want to say by remaining incognito?
Monarchy: Part of it is personal. We really enjoy being able to hide behind our music. We are not making music to be recognised orto become “famous”. We are doing what we love which is music for the sake of it. We do not appreciate the overload of information about so-called famous people. Pop stars tweet hourly about what they are eating, wearing, how their Mum is going, what their socks look like. We feel there's just too much information about these people.and as a result, pop stars these days are really uninteresting. Gone are the sordid sex lives and other well-kept secrets. Now they have to be ultra clean and pure.
On the contrary, we treat our audience with intelligence and respect, we talk to people about creativity and art, about what inspires us. By wearing masks we underline the primary importance of what we create over who might be.
Mystery in music is a thing of the past; people like David Bowie were very much inspiring and fascinating. We love myths as their are rich sources of aspirations.
3/ How would you qualify your music?
Monarchy: It's always a hard question. We could describe it as being a more electronic Phoenix, or as the Guardian described us “like Scissor Sisters meets Daft Punk”. We definitely bring together elements of disco, French house, and modern productions with vocals and a certain pop sensibility. We listen to bands like Friendly Fires, Hot Chip, Radiohead, Cut Copy, Lykke Li and Robyn.
4/ Where would you like us to listen to it?
Monarchy: One of our listeners tweeted that “Listening to Monarchy with a broken heart was too much emotion to handle”. We do feel being listen to with a broken hear or when alone: on a train across Europe in the winter, the isolation of insomnia, the loneliness felt in an unknown grey city. But iif you can manage it the MIR space station would be the perfect location.
5/ What kind of memories would you like to be attached to it?
Monarchy: Our songs are how we deal with different aspects of our humanity. It's a struggle. Each one of our songs refers to a conflict, a situation or something we have experienced, and so it's a kind of therapy for us, it's how we went through that journey. So we want people to pick up our songs and to know exactly how we felt at these various moments. We want it to recall breakups, first loves, summer flings and winter blues.
6/ Your new album is out, but you are still covering your face, will
you reveal your identity sometime soon?
7/ Is self-expression not meant to have a face?
Monarchy: We are very self-expressive. You don't need a face to be self-expressive, you need a medium and to capture the ephemeral nature of emotions and to convey them. Banksy is one of the most expressive people in modern art at the moment, but he never reveals his face. To be honest, I prefer to think of Thom Yorke as faceless, I feel more empathy towards him, and understand him better.
8/ Do you feel Londoners or simply citizens of London?
Monarchy: I actually do feel like a Londoner, even though I was not born here. I know hardly any people in London actually born here; it's a truly global city. But as I walk around the futurist concrete nightmare of Barbican, I feel so inspired and at home, I know this is my city.
9/ You won’t let go according to your latest released track,
Monarchy: Because love is a hard thing to let go. It keeps you warm at night; it's a blanket when everything else in the world is going bad.
Swide’s 5 Q/A:
1/ Face it or face-lift?
2/ Monarchy or democracy?
Monarchy: Democracy is a fallacy to keep people in line. Most people don't vote... At least Monarchy is prescribed.
3/ Music for you and him or for all?
Monarchy: Definitely for all.
4/ “One for two” or “two for one”?
Monarchy: Two if it's 6b, but otherwise one.
5/ A crown or a cherry on the head?
Monarchy: Cherry popped.
Follow Monarchy on Facebook.
Interview by Delphine Hervieu.