Adelaide’s Vision Festival is happening in October and you’ll be certain to find these guys giving their instruments a workout. Hailing from Sydney, Brad, Alex and Brendon formed Three Wise Monkeys five years ago and have been jamming and playing around with wonderfully interesting and complex melodies ever since.
TEO caught up with Brad (guitarist) to talk time signatures, inspiring bands and staying proactive.
TEO: How did Three Wise Monkeys get together?
Brad: Basically, we just met playing the local band circuit in Sydney. We started jamming; it was a slow formation but once we’d written a few songs and had a few jam nights, a lot of people liked what we did and it went from there. It was just a natural progression, people from bands would come up and ask to support us and we’d put on shows. Now we’ve got the opportunity to play festivals, so it’s taken five years but it’s been comfortable.
How would you describe your genre of music?
We’re an experimental-instrumental-progressive-rock band. We don’t have a singer so we don’t have to leave room for a voice or lyrical message, it’s just all from our own fingers. We’re writing music to satisfy ourselves in one aspect, but it’s really trying to find a sound that’s unique and that identifies with the three individuals in our band.
Being an experimental and progressive band, do you have a favourite time signature?
Well, I like 4/4 because I’m a guitarist; but Alex, our bass player, writes a lot of things in 11/8 and 13/8 and all those crazy time signatures, and our drummer, Brendon, loves that because he’s always writing in 7/8 or 5/8. We really enjoy being creative in different time signatures; it gives it a different feel.
Is there a band that is most inspiring for you?
[Laughs] Well, the strange thing about us is that we span a wide generation of music. I’m in my 40s, Alex is in his 30s and Brendan in his early 20s, so we each have genres that we like. I’m more of an ’80s and ’90s kind of guy, Alex is late ’90s and 2000s and Brendan is more into the younger bands that are around at the moment. But Pink Floyd and all those great acts and innovators, like Frank Zappa—who started mixing jazz with rock and experimenting with all those different styles—are the basis of what we’ve built upon. But yeah, definitely inspired by all those bands from the late ’60s and early ’70s.
You’re playing Vision Festival, how do you go about putting together a set list?
We’ve always been a totally original band, and we’ve released five albums over five years so the set we’re going to do at Vision Fest will be a mixture of songs from all albums.
Whoa! Is this a goal of yours to release an album every year and see how long you can keep it going?
Oh, not really! I guess in these times, and the level of band we are, we need to keep being proactive and releasing music. To satisfy the fans that we already have, yes, but so we can promote our music to attract new fans; we’re totally independent—we do all our own marketing and promotion. And what we’re seeing is that if people have missed our first few albums, they’ll find us on the fourth or fifth and then they go back and check out our older stuff. So it’s a long term strategy!
Nice! And what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
After that we’ve got a few shows planned for Sydney but we’re mainly trying to get back into the studio to start working on our next album.
Catch the guys live at Vision Festival this October! Tickets are available from Moshtix.
Find out more about Vision Festival here.
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