The following is an interview conducted with Christian Savill and Sean Hewson of Monster Movie from 2005. The interview is being resurfaced mostly because I think it’s interesting. Nothing in the interview — aside from formatting — has been changed, though multimedia content has been added in for user interest.
As a child, were you around music much?
Sean: Only when I got to school and started learning instruments. I think we’re just classic geeks and we spent a lot of time at home listening to music when we were teenagers because we didn’t know how to get girlfriends.
Christian: Not that much. My Dad didn’t even know who the Beatles were, he is a bit of an opera man. I was also hopeless at music at school. Aside from kids music like The Wombles, I remember hearing “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush when it first came out and being really interested in it, but not knowing why or what it was. After that I loved listening to the radio and taping the Top 40 singles charts every Sunday night. Those cassettes would literally get worn out. I didn’t get a guitar until I was about 16 or 17, my Dad bought me a right handed guitar, I’m left handed.
Monster Movie – “Letting You Know” | download
Why (and when) did Monster Movie form?
Sean: We were originally The Geeks in 1989, then we were Eternal. Then Slowdive happened. In the mid-1990s we kind of messed about but we still weren’t old enough and close enough to death to take things seriously. By 2000 we were old enough and we formed Monster Movie because we were bored at work and we hated every other band — it was all that Travis and Coldplay nonsense — music for people who found Radiohead too difficult and read the music reviews in fashion magazines.
Christian: There was a whole bunch of us indie kids who would hang around in Reading town centre and were all about the same age. I think most people had guitars, but Sean was about the only one who could actually play it. Because of that Sean got roped into playing in The Geeks after I had arranged a gig when we hadn’t ever practiced and couldn’t even play. So in a way that was the start of Monster Movie. I suppose our first ever original song was played in that farcical gig “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, No” maybe it was also our pinnacle.
Sean: When we went in the ‘dressing room’ after our set the headlining band were all taking the piss out of us.
What are some of the struggles you’ve had in your years as a band?
Sean: We’re too lazy to struggle. The continuing fight is to get enough money to record and then to get enough people to take notice of the recording to create money to record again. The other struggle is to not be rubbish, I think we’re not rubbish more than we are rubbish but I wouldn’t like to look at the percentage breakdown.
Christian: One of the up sides of being completely unsuccessful is that there is no pressure or people trying to exploit you. Our struggles are fairly minor, like trying to sing a song in tune or trying to finish recording before the money runs out. Having said that, getting a record sleeve designed seems to be a huge struggle for us. They hardly ever turn out how we want them to.
You probably get this question a lot, but… Lon Chaney or Boris Karloff?
Sean: We took our name from Can. If you’re talking horror films my favourite monster this week is Doug Bradley in the Hellraiser films.
Christian: I don’t know. I would love to see this one horror movie again that I saw when I was about 10. I think it was called Bug. The bugs could create fire and electricity.
When do you plan to have your third album released?
Sean: Definitely before the end of the year and hopefully before the end of summer. We’ve just got the vocals to do but we also want to get some of our friends to play on it so there’s still a bit of organising to do.
What have you been listening to lately?
Sean: At The Drive-In, Depeche Mode, “The Process” by Skinny Puppy, Einsturzende Neubauten, Nick Cave and David Bowie. Today I will be listening to Teenage Fanclub and Neil Young because I want to rip-off some of their ideas.
Christian: My favourite songs at the moment are “Number One Song In Heaven” by Sparks, “Big City” by Spacemen 3, “Who’ll Stop The Rain” Creedence Clearwater Revival, & “Bleecker Street” by Simon and Garfunkel. Flotation Toy Warning’s Bluffers Guide To The Flight Deck was my favourite album last year, I reckon Dreamend and Black Moth Super Rainbow will release great albums this year.