10 for 2011 Interview: Mona

By on Wednesday, 15th December 2010 at 2:00 pm

Nick Brown, lead singer and guitarist of our 10 for 2011 poll-topping band Mona kindly answered some questions for us, including how it feels to be an American band having made a splash on the UK scene…

Congratulations on finishing #1 in our 10 of 2011 poll of bands to watch next year. Unfortunately, we don’t have a trophy or anything to give you, but please know that it was the faithful readers of TGTF that voted to give you your place on this list. How do you feel about this achievement?
I feel great. Anything that has to do with fans ultimately has more of a sense of accomplishment. When it comes to the people factor, it feels like you’re relating to the masses and I think that’s what keeps a band going striking a chord in the listeners, you want to turn on the listeners more than anyone, you don’t want to just be that band that a certain paper or a certain station is kind of their champion you want the people to be their champion, it’s definitely humbling always exciting to win anything but something like that definitely means more.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how long have you guys been together and how did you guys get together as a band?

Well the current line-up is basically been around now for about 8 months. Vince (Gard, drums) and I are both from Ohio, and we met Zack (Lindsey, bass) in Nashville when we first moved down. We actually went through a couple of guitar players and through Zack, we met Jordan (Young, guitar), and they both are Kentucky boys and Vince and I are Ohio boys, and now we all live in Nashville together.

You’re an American band but you’ve already made a big and positive impression on the UK music scene and really quickly. What do you think has made you so successful in Britain?

Rock ‘n’ roll needs a fresh breath and a lot of it is timing, and I think we’re honest about our influences and we’re influenced by a lot of British bands as well as American bands. I think that comes through in our music, the UK is always quicker with music, to us it’s always been one of those things where we wanted to go to the UK first, so I mean it’s a natural thing especially with rock ‘n’ roll I think the UK always ‘gets’ it first.

What singers or bands do you consider your greatest influences?

Bob Dylan.

You have told people that you want to be bigger than U2, what is it about U2’s music or history that you most want to emulate?
Well actually I didn’t say ‘U2’, I said ‘Bono’, I was basically just talking about his ambition and I just basically mean by that. It’s been taken so many ways out of context, I basically just mean, you know, we have a lot of ambition, we’re kind of shooting for it, as a lead singer and as a band U2 have done it big, it’s an example that they’ve set to go big, whether it’s your live shows or your albums or the statements you’re trying to make. I think they’ve lived by rock ‘n’ roll as a big idea. And that’s kind of what we’re following suit with, you know, the ambition more than anything.

So you’re based in Nashville but you’re originally from Ohio what do you like best about Nashville right now and what don’t you like about Nashville?
I mean the history of Nashville is kind of hard to beat, I mean you can just say Johnny Cash and you kind of win. There’s a lot of old soul heritage that old country music and old rock ‘n’ roll music had a lot to do with in Nashville, obviously it’s the land of writing and publishing and brand new shiny country pop which I’m not really that excited about, so there’s the basically two sides of that city. There’s some stuff that is very beautiful and rich about it and there’s some stuff which is very cheesy and temporary.

What has been your best moment of this year so far as a band and what has been your worst moment this year as a band?
Our first show at Koko was quite the moment for us, and obviously Jools Holland. I’d say those were two very different experiences that were amazing and obviously we met some legends on Jools Holland and that was probably definitely a highlight.

As far as the down moments, I think it’s just mentally and physically trying to adjust to the lifestyle and that can be very taxing. As far as the band there hasn’t been any fights or blow outs or anything like that bad as far as personally, I think we’re all trying to keep our heads on straight and be physically and mentally ready for everything.

Name something you’d like to do in 2011 that you’ve never done before.
I’d like to win a Grammy.

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