Name: Black Mono
Formed: August 2013
Genre: Alternative Rock/Grunge
Line-up: Naomi Savage (Vocals, Guitar) – Verity Grant (Bass, Backing Vocals) – Steven Bradley (Drums)
What They Say: “A fusion of 90’s Alt-Rock”
◀ Q & A ▶
▶ What’s the story behind your stage name?
We really wanted a bandname that suited our sound, sounded cool and was memorable. The lyrics to our songs can be dark, black & concealed with hidden deep messages, meant to help anyone suffering from despair. The mono means the 3 of us producing these emotions as one sound. One mono.
▶ When did you start playing music and how would you describe your sound?
Naomi: I grew up around guitars from my Dad & brothers being blues musicians, but I didn’t think I was any good until i was 19, then I realised i was just different. Then the obsession with music developed dramatically.
Verity: I didn’t properly learn to play an instrument until primary school. I learnt the violin at age 7 and played it until I was 15. I never was into it though. Once I got into rock music I really wanted to play guitar so I finally picked it up when I was 17 and taught myself how to play. Five years later I picked up bass and drums. Our sound is hard to describe because we are very different. With Naomi’s unique vocals and our unusual songs it makes us really stand out from other local bands. We really don’t sound like any other band out there. I can boil it down to we sound like alternative rock with grunge roots and heavy distorted tendancies.
Steven: I started playing drums (properly) at the age of 10. Had a few of my own bands then joined Black Mono in August 2013. I’d say we have a unique sound that offers something a little bit different to what most local bands have. None of our songs sound the same really.
▶ What music have you put out so far?
So far we have put out our debut EP ‘Something Real’ which we recorded at the beginning of 2014. It’s a 4 track EP that is available on our Bandcamp for download. It was recorded in Einstein Studios. One of us worked with Frankie in the past and knew we would get the results we needed for our 1st EP.
▶ Is there a particular live show which stands out amongst all the rest?
Naomi: Performance wise would be the gig at the Oh Yeah Music Centre. I felt that we were far more confident than we had been, our setlist was strong & we got to perform our new song ‘Fled’. And that song has a great groove to it with an enjoyable solo at the end.
Verity: For me it was our first gig at Voodoo in Belfast. You never forget your first gig in a band so it was special to me. Plus a girl we knew got totally drunk and came up on stage when we were playing! So it was memorable!
Steven: We had a gig down in Fermanagh which was a great experience as we ventured outside Belfast for the first time and stayed in a hotel overnight. We felt we put on a good show that night as well.
▶ What has been the highlight of the journey so far?
Naomi: Recording our songs in a proper studio had been a long time coming, we felt comfortable and made progress pretty quickly. And getting to use Frankie’s custom guitars and his diezel amp, I was in my element.
Verity: The highlight for me was getting our song ‘Prosecutor’ played on the radio earlier this year! It was a nice surprise and was a good feeling to hear our song played on the radio. Thanks to Rigsy for playing our song on Radio Ulster’s Across The Line.
Steven: The highlight for me personally was recording the EP. I had recorded before but not to the same high level as that of Einstein Studios. It was a great experience.
▶ You are in control of forming a 4 piece ‘super group’ – who is in it and what do they do?
Naomi: I’m going to have Lee Malia on guitar, Tony Kanal on bass, Chris Adler on drums & Amanda Palmer on vocals.
Verity: I would have – Flea on bass, Eddie Van Halen on guitar, Dave Grohl on drums and Johnny Rzeznik on vocals.
Steven: So many choices! But for me it would have to be – Dave Grohl (Drums), Flea (Bass), Jimmy Page (Guitar) and Axl Rose (Vocals).
▶ If you were to go on a world tour and you could pick any 3 acts come along, who would they be?
Naomi: Biffy Clyro, Enter Shikari and Far.
Verity: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aeroplane Flies High and The Marmozets. They’d all be good craic to hang with I think.
Steven: Again, so many choices! I wouldn’t go full out with super/legendary bands but I’d definately take Airbourne just for their pure rock ‘n’ roll attitude then I’d probably take a few local bands.
▶ What would be the 3 strangest things on your rider if you were able to make any demand?
Naomi: Strong coffee, a heavyweight bodhran beater & sambuca.
Verity: A blanket, tea and a Buffy the Vampire Slayer boxset of all 7 seasons.
Steven: Probably a lot of jam doughnuts, old video games and ingredients for an ulster fry.
▶ Who has been your biggest inspiration as a musician?
Naomi: Growing up watching my Dad and brothers play guitar so well, like magic. I was & still am in awe of their talent.
Verity: My biggest inspirations are Kurt Cobain and Flea. Kurt is just an amazing singer and songwriter and Flea was the reason I wanted to learn bass. He is just unreal on bass.
Steven: There’s two really. Mick Fleetwood and John Bonham. Although if pushed for one, I’d say John Bonham. He was immense!
▶ Is there a particular aim or goal which you hope to achieve through music?
Naomi: My particular aim is to help others through despair with music, but on a much bigger scale.
Verity: I’d love for us to get signed so we can make a living out of this. Music is my passion and I’d love for us to go all the way. That’s my goal.
Steven: The aim is always to try to get as many people as possible to listen to our music (to hopefully enjoy) and to progress in the music industry as much as we possibly can.