It’s not easy to be a local band trying to get off the ground, but The Beautiful Monument are doing a damn good job of it. Formed in the rainy little city of Melbourne, the outfit are making a name for themselves in the scene with a slick combination of easycore and pop punk. Ahead of the release of their debut album later this year, they told us about their new tunes , “Girls Being Girls”, and why getting female artists on line-ups isn’t just the festival’s problem.
Your upcoming tour will be the last time that you play your first EP. Why have you decided to shut the door on that one for now?
We’re currently anticipating the release of our first album, and making way for new songs to be played live, although it won’t be the final goodbye to old favourites.
Is there anything different about the new album that has seen you shift away from who you were, or what you sounded like, on that EP?
There are certain elements of ‘The Lost’ that are prominent within the new tracks, however, we as people and as a band, have evolved. Collectively, in every aspect, we’ve all matured which is evident in the upcoming release. Listeners are in for quite a shock when the album drops.
You describe yourselves as easycore on your Facebook page – have you witnessed the recent easycore revival and if so, what are your thoughts on it?
We have definitely seen a lot more bands coming out with music that have heavy aspects combined with pop elements. Music and genres are constantly changing so it’s hard to pin point what we would define as “easycore” when someone else may have a completely different opinion. We’ve described ourselves as easycore because our music is heavy but doesn’t ignore pop-punk elements either.
Your music is very direct and you’re very involved in the local scene: have any themes in the new music come from your experience in kicking the band off the ground?
Not so much – our new music focuses on more universal topics that have come from personal experiences and struggles.
Speaking of touring, the run of shows you’re about to embark on is called “Girls Being Girls”. What does that mean exactly?
Liberties, the band we’re heading out on tour with, actually came up with this one. It was taken from Bob’s Burgers, hence why Tina is on the tour flyer. It’s just a bit of fun, as it is our first tour. Hopefully we’ll get to see the boys in Liberties embrace their femininity! [Laughs]
There’s been a lot of dialogue in the scene about safety at shows, especially for women. Have you guys had any experiences where you would point that out as an issue that needs to be discussed?
This is a pretty deep-seeded issue that definitely needs discussing. It’s unacceptable that some women can’t feel safe at shows and that so many women have had experiences that now make them feel uncomfortable and unsafe in the scene. Realistically, this stems from gender inequality and it is important that steps are taken to ensure everyone feels secure, safe and happy. Some members of TBM have experienced these issues in the past. We haven’t had to deal with these scenarios while being in this band and we have had great fun at shows meeting people, discovering new bands and making friends in the process.
Some of that dialogue has included criticism of line-ups not having enough female musicians on them particularly relating to the recent UNIFY announcement. Do you have an opinion on that?
Festivals will put on bands that people are keen to see and have reached a certain level within the scene. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be more diversity including females on festival line-ups, however it is hard without support which is why we need to get behind these musicians from the start. It’s not primarily the festival’s responsibility but of everyone in the scene to make sure that all musicians get a fair go. It’s a supply and demand situation. As UNIFY goers ourselves, we have always been excited about the bands on the line-ups.
Is it frustrating for the focus to shift away from the music and onto those social issues a lot of the time or do you think that these kinds of conversations need to be had?
It can be quite frustrating that this conversation is always arising, mostly because this shouldn’t have to be a topic in 2016. However, it’s important that people are talking about this in order to make everyone aware of the situation and hopefully change it.
What does the rest of the year potentially hold for The Beautiful Monument, and if you had your way, what do you want it to hold?
We’re hoping to release a few singles prior to the release of the album, we’re heading to Adelaide in September to play at Flight, and we’re hoping for an Australian Tour.
You can catch The Beautiful Monument alongisde Liberties on the “Girls Being Girls” tour this month.