A six-piece ensemble can only lead to one thing… Groovy tunes and groovy moves. The Lectric Monks did exactly that and I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t familiar with this 6-piece band before. However, after listening to their newly released single “New Man” from their debut EP “The 6” I was intrigued to know more about THE six behind “The 6”. This African-upbeat-groove band consists of Francois van der Merwe (rhythm & vocals), Gary Peacock (harmonica & vocals), Henk Oosthuizen (lead guitar & vocals), Cynthia van der Mescht (keys), Duncan Potgieter (drums) and Dylan du Toit (bass).
Q: First and foremost, it’s been almost five years that you’ve been on the music scene. Why the long wait for an album (EP) release?
A: Hi, Thanks for having us! All good things happen in time. This EP has actually been in development for a year or two, being in and out of studio over the last year, until we achieved the pure essence of ‘Gruuv’
Being a big band, we spent a lot of time in the pre-production work, after that, it took one week at Audio Culture, with an incredible engineer, Jaco Naudè. But it’s finally here, and we are excited to share it with you.
Q: Your first single from the album, New Man, took you about two years to finish and the final concept of the song just dawned upon you during a jam session. Was there something specific that triggered your inner muses and was the writing/producing of the other songs of the album as challenging as New Man?
A: The challenge lay in perfecting the song, not in the inspiration. There is no bound to creativity when all the Monks are in the same room. Being a big band demands a lot of fine tuning, so we meticulously thought through all the pre-production work until we had perfected the soundscapes that truly reflect the emotions of when the song was concieved.
Q: The title of the EP metaphorically suggests the band members, but to what extent was each member involved during the making of this album?
A: Primarily the songs were written by Francois and Gary, but the musical composition was definitely a group effort. The art work was conceptualised by the whole band and illustrated by Gary and Duncan. Each member added their own sigel to make it a true Lectric Monk production.
Q: You have described New Man as a “self-discovery in one’s life; [where] a new perspective leads to a new lease on life.” Would you regard this as the main theme of the EP?
A: The band has gone through a lot of change from where we started to now. One thing that has been constant is our obsession with trying new things. I wouldn’t say this EP is about “self” discovery, but about discovering something new, in whichever form or flavour.
Q: Lastly and likely the most important question, give listeners ONE word to describe this EP or to give them a reason why they simply must get their hands on this album.