Negatives is an attention-grabbing album title. Is there a reason for it or a story behind the title?
Negatives refers to the negative of a photo, the blueprint or most basic form of that photo, and in a way, that is how we see this project. The album is the blueprint of the direction we’d like to take and the standards we want to uphold, but it also refers to certain feelings and emotions that went into the album – something that has always been there and will always be there.
You performed at Innibos recently. Did the crowd receive you well?
Yes, we received a warm welcome. It was our first time performing there and our show had a wonderful vibe. It’s surprising to hear people singing along to songs like “Smiling”. It’s a great feeling that comes with the work we do.
Do you have any interesting rituals that you do as a band before taking the stage?
It’s not that we really have a visual ritual, but we mostly talk through the songs we’re playing and make sure we know the songs’ names. We also speak about our setlist and ensure that we have a game plan.
Tell us a bit more about the album. Are there any specific songs that are especially close to your hearts? Or is it tough to choose a favourite?
“Smiling” is definitely a favourite, especially when we perform it live. “You make” is also special in terms of the writing process behind it and the lyrics themselves.
The video for your single “Something” was released a short while ago and the concept behind it seems really interesting. Could you elaborate on the video’s concept?
The idea behind the video is that there are many people portraying their own careers and their own emotions. It ends up looking like absolute chaos because everything happens at once, but every now and then the camera focuses on one person. The director’s idea was that even though everyone goes through different situations and has their own vocations, and even though it looks like they have nothing in common, everyone goes through the same things emotionally.
You were already firmly rooted in the music industry before the formation of the band. Would you say that this has made it easier to get the project off the ground?
The industry really is tough, and just like there are people who drive the industry forward, there are people in the industry who are only interested in making quick cash. It’s hard for a band to “make it” among such people, and there’s always a certain expectation of what a band should be. Sometimes it’s hard to adhere to these expectations, as there’s always a certain direction a band is expected to go. Many people expect you to be a rocker – regardless of what your music is like, you have to have that image. But really, all we’re trying to do is make music, because that’s all that matters.
Do you have a specific song-writing process, or is a different method used for each song?
The idea behind a song is usually very personal and individual. Usually one of us will come up with an idea and maybe finish the song as a whole, but when we come together, we rely on each other to get the song arranged and to push it into a certain direction. This is the hard part of song writing and there are many variables involved, like different tastes and ideas. When you sit down at 03:00 to write a song, you feel a specific emotion and you have a specific idea in mind, but we have an unwritten rule that when we sit together, we try to get our ideas to correspond. We also have it within ourselves to understand what each other’s emotions are, hopefully.
Photo: MonArk’s Facebook page