Mono Inc. is a band based in Germany founded in 2003. Their first album, Head Under Water, was self-released in 2003 and re-released a year later through their record label NoCut. This coincided with the release of their single Burn Me.
The band’s original lead singer, Miky decided to leave the band in 2006 and was soon replaced by Martin Engler. Current drummer Katha Mia joined the band shortly thereafter and has done all backing vocals for the band since their 2008 album Pain, Love & Poetry.
After eight albums and 18 singles, the band has decided to re-release their 2013 album Nimmermehr as a Limited Tour Edition. This release will be available on the 29th of November and is the only album by the band that is entirely in German.
In addition to their forthcoming release, the band also released An Acoustic EP, which is available for download on their website. You can listen to their acoustic track Twice In Life at the end of the interview.
Disclaimer: The following interview with Mono, Inc. was initially conducted in German by one of our German-speaking writers. The answers shown below were translated from their original language (to the best of our abilities) and were edited for clarity for the article.
Anyone who goes through life open minded will find enough material to create the work of a lifetime.
Altwire [Prici]: For people who haven’t heard of your band or any of your songs yet, how would you describe your music?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: A mixture of melodious catchy music that is peppered with melancholic lyrics that upon closer inspection, deal with even deeper issues than one might assume from their first impressions.
AW: How did Mono Inc. form?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: Mono Inc. was founded in 2003, and the band emerged out of a desire to make a new kind of music that would stand out from the other music styles that were popular during that period. We wanted to bring attention to serious subjects while still being fun.
AW: You’re touring around Germany at the moment and you already have a rather large following there in terms of your fan base. Are there any gigs planned in other countries?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: Apart from Switzerland and Austria, we are always looking at whether any other countries would be interested in having us play there. Hopefully, 2014 will open some new doors for us. As talks in this matter are always ongoing, specific plans haven’t been set, but when something happens, it will be posted on our website and social media pages.
AW: Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: The inspiration takes place every day. You just have to open your eyes and look at life. Whether it be some shattering news from around the world, the unhappiness of relatives, or political topics that make you go mad. Anyone who goes through life open-minded will find enough material to create the work of a lifetime.
AW: What advice would you give to young musicians?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: Music is work, work, work. Nothing comes from doing nothing. You always have to hold on to your dreams and never give up. Find people that share a common interest, and that will stand behind you. You can’t hold on to the things or people that don’t support you or that don’t fit in. If you work long enough and you believe in yourself, then you’ll be able to convince other people to believe in you, too.
AW: What is your personal favorite Mono Inc. song at the moment?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: The songs often change for me. When I’ve listened to a song for too long, I need something fresh. Our free acoustic number “Twice In Life”, which is available for download on www.mono-inc.com, is currently one of my favorites and it brings to me a mood of Christmas and reflection.
AW: Has there ever been a moment where you thought about giving up making music?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: Honestly? No. Going back to the point of “advice for young musicians”, it’s not easy to find the right people, but there’s no “or” for us. We want to make music, and we stand behind it with all our strength. There’s nothing else for us. I personally have been wishing for this for way too long to just give it up.
AW: How important is it for you to stay in contact with your fans?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: Contact is very important to me. Without it, there’s no way to learn what the concerns and feelings of our fan base really are. As an artist though, you can’t let everything affect your heart or mind and let it get you down. I personally would find it boring if there weren’t fans to interact with us and we always interact with the fans after we perform to get their feedback.
AW: Which artists would you like to work with?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: I don’t have any concrete plans at the moment, nor do I have any wishes. Some collaborations develop spontaneously anyway and can be unpredictable. For example, the current collaboration with Joachim Witt. Who could have guessed that Martin and Joachim live so close together and are getting along so well? We will see what the future brings relating to collaborations – or not.
AW: You have already played at a few festivals. What do you think about such gigs in contrast to normal concerts?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: I love them. The views, the crowd, the fans loudly singing along…these are the things that are priceless. In addition, you meet and befriend so many artists, and you’re able to exchange ideas, chat or make new plans for CO-OP. During the summer, festivals are simply a must!
AW: How would you persuade people who don’t know your band to listen to your music?
Manuel Antoni [Mono Inc.]: Ask your friends and acquaintances if they have ever heard of Mono Inc. before and what they think about the music. Also, if you want to see some behind-the-scenes footage, you can take a look on our YouTube or watch a few episodes of Mono Inc. TV on our website. (We film every concert and show insights into our daily lives.)
Either you’ll like us or you won’t. If you do, we will see each other on tour and drink a beer together. And when you see me, don’t hesitate to remind me about this interview!