There is going to be be another album?
Sean: It was both our idea. We wrote some songs separately and then got together and figured we had the makings of a pretty good album. Then we tried not to mess it up.
Christian: We’d been through a lot of changes since ‘All lost’. Collectively we’d been through moving, divorce, marriage, kids, and job changes. So with all that going on as well as full time jobs it was initially quite hard to find time to focus on a new album. I moved to America and despite the distance we managed to start swapping demos. Once we had a few demos that we liked we started to get motivated to record it properly. Initially the plan was for me to fly back to England in February and record in Sean’s Dad’s living room for a couple of days, then mix everything in a couple of days at Weston Super Mare. It became obvious quite quickly that we weren’t competent enough to stick to that schedule. We ended up completing the album in September. It worked out better that way because it meant we could get Ryan, Rachel and Sophie involved in the months in between. We don’t have any set ideas about how an album should sound. We just try to make up songs that we like. I guess that might explain why one song can be silly synth pop, then there can be a dark acoustic thing.
Who was in the studio?
Sean: Christian and I, and Martin the engineer. We were joined by Sophie Pittaway who did some vocals. Our friends Ryan and Rachel also emailed their contributions in from the US.
Christian: My daughter also came along for a day or two. Her contribution was to stain the carpet and karate kick me in the bollocks.
Why did you make the new album?
Sean: We just really enjoy making albums. We like writing songs. We’re not that thrilled about playing in the studio but we really like being in the studio and building the album up.
Christian: During recording I just want to have the album finished, and as soon as it’s finished I don’t like it anymore. Maybe we keep recording in the hope that one day we’ll end the process and really like the album. I suppose it’s just natural that you hear something so many times that you get sick of it?
Who funded the new record?
Sean: Ryan at Graveface records will probably be in debt for his whole life because of us.
How is the label treating you?
Sean: Ryan treats us very well indeed. He’s kind of become the third guy in Monster Movie.
Christian: We didn’t know Ryan when we first got involved with Graveface, but now he’s a dear friend to us. He’d give you his last dollar if he hadn’t already given it to someone else. Probably shouldn’t say much on the off chance that he might read this and get all embarrassed.
Don’t they know they should be treating you like royalty because you’re ex-Slowdive?
Sean: I’m pretty sure Christian doesn’t want or expect to be treated like royalty.
Christian: Back when I was in Slowdive, either nobody in England had heard of us and if they had, they would want to abuse you. So I’m happy with anything that’s not abusive.
How did the one off singles come about?
Sean: The Crash Landing EP was pretty much our demo tape, but Clairecords wanted to put it out and we were just happy to release something. The split with Dreamend was a way for us to try some new stuff out and also work with Graveface, and we’ve been working with them ever since. I think Graveface have released the split single on ITunes now.
Do you consider yourselves a ‘singles band’ or do you just see them as good for promotion?
Sean: We’re old enough to remember the days of great singles and we certainly write most of our songs with the intention of them being pop songs. But, I think if we released singles they would just disappear.
Christian: I think we generally think in terms of albums. Each album just becomes a project for us. I like the idea of us having lots of albums. Even if nobody ever hears them or likes them.
Where are you guys based now?
Sean: I live in Reading in the UK.
Christian: I moved to USA in 2008. Initially I was in Jacksonville, Florida. I really didn’t like it there. I now live in Asheville, North Carolina. I want to come back to England though.
Why aren’t you on EMI with a huge bank role & on Top Of The Pops, cause your stuffs so great?
Sean: Thank you but, realistically, it’s never going to happen. Aside from the obvious things like the fact that EMI wouldn’t make any money out of us, bands need a driven person – like Blur have Damon – and we’re pretty much the least ambitious people ever.
Christian: I would really love to be able to record one album with a decent budget and producer and have some dough to do a support tour or something. If only to get out of having to be a janitor for a while. Sean’s absolutely right though, it’s never going to happen. I’ll have to fit recording our albums in between cleaning up after hippies.
The Ooby & Crash Landing singles; can you please go into detail about those 2 great songs?
Seam: Thanks. That was a long time ago as both tracks were on our first demo. I remember we were really enjoying being back in the studio. I also remember sticking the Neu bit on the end of Crash Landing.
Christian: Cheers, nobody has even mentioned those songs in years or possibly ever. Those two songs are a bit ropey sounding as we really had to record them very quickly. Sean and I had just started to toy with the idea of doing some music. I booked the studio because I knew that if we didn’t have some kind of deadline we’d never actually sort anything out. After Slowdive I didn’t really feel like being in a band. Those were a couple of the first tunes I’d made up in probably a few years. Those two songs were our fledgling attempts.
What are they about/what fueled the writing of them?
Christian: Going to have to try to wriggle out of this question. It’s a long time ago. I wouldn’t say they’re about nothing, but I’m not a protest singer or anything.
Who wrote them?
Christian: I have to take the blame for those. Although Sean and I write tunes separately we do work things out together. So on all our songs we take equal blame.
What is the public response to them?
Sean: Public response is negligible. We’re not bitter about that, we’ve never tried that hard to be popular.
How has you being in Slowdive impacted on how people see Monster Movie?
Sean: I think it had a detrimental effect at first as people wanted us to be like Slowdive and we really weren’t. But, on the other hand, people wouldn’t listen to us if Christian hadn’t been in Slowdive.
Christian: It totally defines how people view us. Even now after 10 years we’re still called a “shoegaze” band. I don’t have anything against that music or it’s followers. Not many people listen to us, and the majority that do are Slowdive fans who want to hear something similar. There’s nothing wrong with that. We just don’t sound like Slowdive. The problem is that some people assume that is a failing on our part, like I’ve forgotten how to work a delay pedal and a reverb unit. On the other hand it could just be that we’re rubbish.
There are many, many people we know that hold the first Slowdive record on the same critical level as “One of the best albums ever made” and in a class of its own surpassing a time & place as a masterwork of its own. How do you feel about this?
Christian: Thank you. It’s totally amazing that our first EP came out nearly 20 years ago and there are people now still liking the records and even kids just hearing the records for the first time. That’s scary, but good scary. We were kids back then, and at the time we would have been knocked out if someone had told us that there would be people still listening to our songs 20 years later. Slowdive was great fun. The trend is for all these bands to reform. I’m totally broke so I’d be up for it. Sadly I don’t think the others are.
Do you get this a lot?
Christian: Not too much to be honest. But it’s nice to meet people who are enthusiastic about Slowdive., or even Monster Movie. Now that really is a rarity. ‘Pygmalion’ was a natural progression for Neil. He was getting interested in electronic music and also Talk Talk. Recording ‘Souvlaki’ was a long process and at the time of release it received a bit of a lukewarm reception. The relationship was a bit tricky with Creation by this stage too. I think the band itself was also getting a bit disenchanted. I suppose it was a difficult time for Neil as I don’t think he received much enthusiasm from us during ‘Pygmalion’, having said that I think it would also be fair to say that Neil’s interest in our contributions had diminished rapidly. We were all broke by this point. Nick and I got jobs. There was no actual end to Slowdive, but I remember getting a call from Rachel to say they were starting a new band and they didn’t think I should be involved. We got stitched up in signing to SBK. I think Creation just needed the money. At the time we were just excited about playing in the US. The audiences were so enthusiastic. I just don’t think we were a priority for SBK. I can’t remember how long it took them to release ‘Souvlaki’ but they may as well have not bothered. I don’t think they wanted anything to do with us. It’s strange but we seem more popular now than we did back then. I met my wife whilst touring with Slowdive in 1993. We decided to move out here two years ago. We might move back to England though. One thing that upsets me with bands is how they just feel it necessary to write about how brilliant they are, and how brilliant other people think they are. We are just a bit more truthful. Thanks for the kind words. The chances of Monster Movie being successful are zero. Maybe not even as high as that. We’re not bitter about that. Just realistic. We’re old and ugly. Our records are a bit amateurish. And we never play live. We are making another album though. And we might play live at some point. If someone will let us support them.