The London-based progroove metal quintet have assembled their arsenal,
ready to challenge the way you look at the world. The band recently
released their debut album “Gnosis”. Formed in the UK by guitarist John
Browne from the ashes of the pioneering technical groove metallers,
Fellsilent, MONUMENTS starts somewhat were Fellsilent left off.
Browne honed his craft, both as a songwriter and producer and has
brought MONUMENTS out of the underground, prepped and ready for
Having found guitarist Olly Steele (Cyclamen), bass player Adam Swan and
multi-instrumentalist / drummer Mike Malyan, the final piece of the
MONUMENTS puzzle was vocalist Matt Rose. Rose was discovered whilst
singing with UK drum ‘n’ bass act The Qemists – collaborators with the
likes of Enter Shikari ,Mike Patton and In Flames among many others. He
also plays in a jazz/funk band and this fusion of styles is what helps
MONUMENTS stand out from the crowd. The result is “Gnosis” – nine
tracks of thoroughly modern progressive metal that has as many hooks as
it does important political messages.
MONUMENTS have created a sound that is as deeply rooted in the
here and now as it is in spirituality. A balance can be found in the
thought processes and the music. “Gnosis” is the result of years of hard
work. After the release of “Gnosis”, MONUMENTS will be part of
the first instalment of the Euroblast tour feat. Jeff Loomis, Vildhjarta
and Stealing Axion that is scheduled for a European run mid October to
In order to get to know this band a little better, we tracked down
singer Matthew Rose to answer some questions. Here you can read
what they had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com
Your debut album ‘Gnosis’ was released recently, so of
course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it!
Ok a couple is fine but this is way more than a couple lol
First of all, how are you doing? Congratulations on your
new album ‘Gnosis’.
Thanks , we are all cool and really happy to have the album finally out
Can you start this interview off with a short
introduction of the band, the origin of its name and how you guys got
The band is Browne Gtr, Olly Steele Gtr, Mike Maylan drums , Adam swan
bass, and Matt Rose Vox, The name Monuments came from Browne and was
inspired by all the great ancient monuments like The Great Pyramid of
Gizeh, puma punku and the ancient Sumerian temples. We got together by
Browne knowing Mike and Swan and forming the band as a side project
while he was in Fellsilent , Monuments then grew and grew and Fellsilent
ended and along the way we picked up Olly and finally Matt .
What were the goals you had in mind when you started this
To make groovy sexy as hell music , that was it really .
Which approach did you choose to create ‘Gnosis’, did you
go for a more raw exposition, or something altogether different?
I would say it was pretty raw , there were lots of ideas for riffs from
Browne in a big melting pot and he and Mike made sure only the best
riffs got used.
What was the song writing process like for ‘Gnosis’? For
instance, did someone come in with just a riff, or complete songs?
Browne did the majority of the song writing instrumental wise , he came
up with the Riffs and arranged them and worked on them. Matt then wrote
the Majority of the vocal melodies and lyrics, they both had some input
from the band along the way on a few songs especially if help was needed
. Browne handed finished complete songs though to Matt to work on and he
wrote to those instrumentals.
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
record ‘Gnosis’, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the
We wanted to have a lot of Groove mainly and after that great riffs and
Vocals which combined both screams and clean singing and I think we
achieved this pretty well.
Could you describe the implications of the title
‘Gnosis’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind
The title refers to a higher level of spiritual understanding where one
stops to answer the questions about one’s existence rather than ignoring
the issues and simply following the crowd. The message is distilled to
its essence in “Doxa”. The message is simple: don’t believe everything
you’re told; think for yourself.
Can you tell me a little more about the lyrics, did
anything in particular inspire you?
The lyrics were inspired by the writings of Christopher Hitchins, Noam
Chompsky and Bill Hicks and there are a few beat poet influences in
there, the likes Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, also the blatant
ongoing lies we are fed by the media, Government , School teachers and
even our parents made me wanna write some of the lyrics on this album .
How important is it to you that people pay attention to
the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
I feel the lyrics and music on this album should be seen as one whole
piece of art/music and not two separate things.
Can you give us a little background information on the
songs, are there any stories behind them?
Each song is really asking a lot of questions about humanity , I could
talk about them all which could go on pages and pages but the few that
stick out for me are “Doxa” which is about how we all think the same as
that’s all we know and how we should start thinking truly for
ourselves. This one lyrically was really inspired by Christopher
Hitchins. “Empty Vessels Make The Most Noise” is a song about Mugabe
and his murderous regime, he’s a real monster who I felt more attention
should be brought to. Another song to point out is “Regenerate” as it is
the only song on the album which has a positive message: that humanity
will rise and realize what it has to do and do it ..
If someone was only going to read the lyrics and not
listen to the music, what would you hope they would take from them?
It would make for a really depressing read but I would hope people would
start asking all sorts of questions to there teachers, parents,
government leaders and to themselves. I would also hope it would inspire
the reader to seek the real truths of our history and our present as
it’s all mostly been presented to us inaccurately or just blatantly
How did the recording process proceed and how much time
did you spend in the studio?
The recording process instrumentally was mainly done by Browne , he
actually finished it 2 years ago and it’s been sitting there on his
computer until we found the right vocalist i.e. Matt Rose. He then came
in and we worked with Dan Weller of Sikth on recording the vocals and
producing them but Browne pretty much wrote , recorded, mixed and
produced the album himself on a home set up.
Which song is your favourite one to play live? Which song
do you find the most challenging one to play live?
I cant speak for all the band but a real favourite is “Degenerate” , I
fucking love the energy and the anger in that song, also “Regenerate” I
think is one of the most perfect songs on the album for me and is a real
pleasure to play and one you never get bored of. The challenging ones
for me would be “Doxa” , it’s a beast with lots of little intricate
syncopated parts that come in and out between everyone and if you’re not
on it you can be thrown off the groove and you never want to be off the
groove , also “Blue Sky Thinking” is a real bitch to sing for me , it
has soaring clean parts and quickly turns into brutal screams, it’s a
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of
things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics?
What are you personally into?
I get motivated by real life mainly and I keep a keen eye on what’s
going on in the world around me I’m trying to write about actual
reality. There’s so much corruption and distortion of truth committed
by people everyday who we are meant to just trust and believe, be it a
politician or a school teacher or parent. Most of these people though
are just badly educated themselves and are only following the crowd and
repeating what has been preached to them since birth without really
thinking for themselves.
Could you respond to the following terms in just one word
Underground : London
Internet : Information
Religion : Why?
Politics : manipulation
The Netherlands : Weed
England : Green
What is your opinion on the metal scene these days? What
do you think of the overload of bands at the moment and is there
anything missing in the scene?
Personally I think that a lot of bands lack heart in their music at the
moment with regards to the metal scene, as for it being overloaded with
bands I would say there are many bands but very few ‘great’ bands .
What makes Monuments different from the other bands out
there, and why should we buy your album?
We are groovier and angrier but we have a real sense of heart and
melody. We also have great hair in this band. You should buy our album
only if you want to.
Which goals did you have when the band started out and
how do these goals stand now?
The only goal we have ever had is to make groovy music, and that’s still
the same goal now .
What does the future hold for Monuments?
More tours and writing the second album , and trying to avoid certain
Anything you want to say to our readers?
Big dick grooves
Thanks for your time,
John Browne - Guitar
Olly Steele - Guitar
Adam Swan - Bass
Mike Malyan - Drums
Matt Rose -
2012 - Gnosis