The Psychotic Monks - The Fresh Pots! Playlist
Eerie, jarring, and all out raucousness. Just a few words to describe the sounds of one of the most exciting bands we’ve heard in a long time. Hailing from the city streets of Paris, France we bring you The Psychotic Monks.
They’ve just released their record “Private Meaning First”. This record showcases a band that has found themselves through camaraderie, risk tasking, and an ever burning desire to rock the fuck out.
Fresh Pots! got a chance to speak with them about music, life in France, and as always coffee. Make no mistake these guys are on the attack and are making sure you’re listening. Enjoy.
Fresh Pots!: So who are the four monks and how did you come together to form The Psychotic Monks?
The Psychotic Monks: Paul and Arthur are brothers (so they know each other for a long time), Martin met Arthur in primary school, and i met the three of them 8 years ago when i arrived in Paris.
So first of all, the four of us are very good friends. This is a thing we can’t forget ! We’ve spent lots of time together, and one day, after lots of discussions we decide that it could be good for us to create the band. We’ve never left each other since this day, that was 5 years ago.
FP: I love the term post-orwell, and your sound definitely evokes the soundtrack to a dystopian reality. What were you trying to convey with “Private Meaning”?:
TSM: We had a first period of production during July 2018. This is where everything started for Private Meaning first. We were isolated for three weeks in a house in the centre of France, a little town call Sermur with nothing to do but music. We didn’t see much people, we were alone, the four of us with two good friends, Tchaz and Yann who helped us a lot. Most of the songs took form in this house.
Then we had 10 days to record those songs in a studio called «Vega Studio» in Carpentras. It was a very stressful period and we were not at the best of our mental condition. It was the first time for us in an actual recording studio. We were recording, then touring and then we’ve mixed the record and toured again, that was exhausting. It was an actual quest for us, we’ve learned a lot. We took lots of time to talk about the band, reconnect with ourselves, we’ve worked very hard to have the record we wanted. Before his released, we were completely lost and not sure about this music, but it’s good to take risks!
So we didn’t plan anything, we see every record as a certain moment of our life, so we’ve just conveyed who we were at this time and tried to be the most honest we could. Today, thanks to this record, we are much more concentrate and devoted to our music in a good way i think.
FP: It’s cool to see bands sharing roles, you all take turns singing. How do you decide that, is it whoever writes the song has to sing?
TCM: We were all singing in our previous band and we didn’t want to be in a band with one leader. It permits to share roles, to create 4 characters or one character with four consciences. We jam a lot to create our songs, this is the one who sings who writes his own lyrics. Everyone can have a look to the lyrics to see if they can defend the song in his own way. We like to write lyrics full of imagery so that everyone in the band and the audience can have his own interpretation of the song, it gives us a lot of freedom. We talk a lot, we try to be the most democratic we can, we always debate a lot about an idea so that everyone can defend the music completely.
FP: Being French, do you ever feel at times you’d rather write songs in French vs English?
TCM: We love french music, we’re big fans of Alain Bashung, Serge Gainsbourg, Clarys, George Brassens (the first french punk). But we’ve been listening to english and American bands since our childhood. So our music is much more composed for english sounds than french sounds. English is a beautiful language that can even be an instrument. French is more aggressive and hard to mix with the sound we have. But we don’t exclude that one day, we will succeed in singing in french, it’s just not the right time.
FP: Paris is no doubt one of the coolest cities I’ve ever visited, how do you guys feel about it and how is the music scene over there?
TCM: Paris is strange, you have so many great venues, great underground spots, great museum and places to read or just hang out. It’s also a great city for walks. But this is a very closed city for hobbies. I mean it is expensive, and not so open to mix people together, you always have the same kind of people, you see gentrification everywhere. You have a terrible social violence, it is very frustrating. Sometimes you can see some people drink a beer somewhere and have plenty of homeless people or migrants all around them and they don’t even care about them, as if it was normal. It is very strange. It’s more about capitalism than about Paris but it is crazy. Paris is the city of capitalism and gentrification. We’re feeling fine in this city, but sometimes we don’t understand what we’re doing here, so we put this misunderstanding in the music.
For the music scene, in Paris, it is also very strange. there is not really a scene, bands are doing their own stuff in their own corner and don’t really mix together. What is cool is that you can see a show every day of the week, from Monday to Sunday, you’ll always have plenty of shows and great opportunities to discover bands from Paris, from France or from the rest of the world. In Bordeaux, Nantes or Rennes, you have a very welcoming music scene, they help each other, everyone is playing in every bands, this is great !
FP: Have events like the Bataclan shootings deeply changed things in Paris, or France in general?
TCM: It has just increased the number of military soldiers, more control at the entrance of music events or museum and in the everyday life. I’m not very comfortable with talking about this event, I remembered the two weeks that has followed this shootings, there was a lot of tension but slowly people were going back to their own life. Of course, it is an event you can never forget.
FP: Tell us about your playlist and why you chose these bands/songs?
TCM: Neil Young is as intense as Dara Kiely It’s not the same kind of music but they share the same feelings.
FP: What are some of the best shows you guys have played so far?
TCM: The best shows often happened in tiny venues or spaces. When people are very near to us, it creates lots of intensity and in those places, we can share a lot. The bigger venues are great for the lights and the sound but you can’t seize people like you could do in small venues.
FP: What’s in store for the future for the monks? Any plans to tour in the U.S.?
TCM: We have a big tour in France, England, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium until the end of December, and at this time, we are jamming to play some new stuffs during our shows. No plan for a new album.
And yes, we have plans for the U.S in 2020 but nothing is confirmed. If this US tour happen, a dream will come true!
FP: Lastly, being French no doubt you enjoy coffee, how do you drink it?
TCM: Noir et sans sucre (Black and no sugar) . Thanks!