Interview: Monogamy Party
Some bands set very lofty goals when they form, but for Seattle’s Monogamy Party, the band simply wished to get on the road and tour.
“Kennedy [vocals] and I were in other bands and we both knew we wouldn’t be able to go out and tour with them,” says bassist/vocalist Yos-Wa. “So we quit those bands and formed our own so we could get out of town and tour.”
When they first came together, the founding members of Monogamy Party didn’t have a clear idea of how the band would ultimately sound, as for a time it was just the two of them, playing open mics and small sets. Eventually, they found a drummer in Keith and their lineup was complete.
Taking inspiration from heavy bands such as Big Business and Lightning Bolt — who were able to make some interesting music without the use of a guitar player — Monogamy Party never intended to secure a guitarist. They wanted to keep it simple, heavy, and driven by bass and drums. Judging from the band’s debut EP on Good To Die Records, Pus City, the guitarist isn’t missed.
Over the course of six tracks, this unconventional power trio lay down a blast of noise that is heavy, angular, and caustic, fitting perfectly with the other Seattle artists and Good To Die label mates, such as Sandrider, Brokaw, and the Absolute Monarchs.
“I’d known [Good To Die label owner] Nik [Christofferson] through his blog and through some mutual friends,” says Yos-Wa. “I told him that we had a record, but didn’t think he would be interested. He asked to hear it and liked it. So he was really into the idea of putting it out.”
The EP’s odd title has special significance — at first, people might think it’s about Seattle, but to Yos-Wa, the title has broader meaning.
“Pus City is a reference to a place where things have become stagnant and fail to move forward,” says Yos-Wa. “It’s not necessarily just about Seattle. ‘Pus City’ could be any city where these same things are happening.”
Regarding Seattle — and the resurgence of its heavy music scene — Yos-Wa is quick to note that the scene never entirely vanished.
“It’s starting to get popular again,” he says. “People just didn’t care to hear about it once the folk thing took off and became a national trend. But it is stronger than it has been in a long time. You see, to imply a resurgence is saying that it completely went away, which it never did. It’s starting to get more of a focus.”
Due to their sound, Monogamy Party have managed to avoid pigeonholing. They have played with noise rock bands, metal bands, and even art rock and New Wave acts, too. The variety of bills the band ends up on proves their wide appeal.
“Seattle has a lot of bands, so usually we can play bills with a certain type of band. It’s interesting when we go into a small town because you see a lot of integration — they put the best bands of every genre on one bill. You’ll play with the best metal band, New Wave band, and whatever else is good on the same bill. In some ways, it’s a little bit better than playing with just one type of band.”
Now that the EP is out, Monogamy Party plan to tour widely, which was the original reason they started the band: to play outside of Seattle. They plan to hit the road in late winter/early spring for shows up and down the West Coast, and will hopefully make their way to the East Coast.