The rising genre-bending collective talk their ever-changing sound and creating music in lockdown.
New group on the block Monster Florence are shaking up the scene with their boisterous new single “Walls Of Jericho”. Boasting a bold and pulsating production, the hip-hop collective go back and forth with the distinctive and progressive flows. Laced with raw lyrics and slick delivery, the six-member Colchester group channel old-school beats and pop-punk elements for an addictive and menacing tune.
Speaking on the tune, the group revealed, “After diving deeper into the musicality of the band in the latest EP and exploring more into our own artistry, we made ‘Walls Of Jericho’ as a solid reminder that we can still just make a tune that tumps, a hard-hitting, brash kick in the d**k track from start to finish.”
Dropping continuous heat this year with previous singles “26 Ghost” and “Picture Frame” featuring Miles Kane, catching the attention of various tastemakers, the group are gearing up to drop the deluxe version of their much-loved EP “Cowboys and Idiots” on December 11th. Making their mark on the UK hip-hop scene, we caught up with the group talking early beginnings, their progressive sound and what we can expect from the EP.
Check out the interview below…
Hi guys – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
Like most acts, we had a whole bunch of gigs and festivals lined up for the summer that got cancelled in the space of 5 minutes, which wasn’t great… and then the lockdown meant none of us to meet up at the studio. We were lucky in the fact that we already had the “Cowboys and Idiots” EP ready for release plus a whole bunch of videos. So we were able to keep releasing stuff. We also threw a lot of musical ideas about on our group chat, so when we were able to meet up again we just cracked on. Up until lockdown we were in full album writing mode, and it kind of spun us when it all stopped.
How did growing up in Colchester influence you sonically? Who are your musical heroes?
In terms of influences on the Colchester scene we’ve not had a huge amount of breakthrough acts other than Blur… but them and Gorillaz have had a big influence on us as a collective. It’s hard to list all of our influences, because there are six of us, and it’s incredibly diverse. I would say the streets, Kendrick and James Blake that we all listened to and take influence from.
How all six of you meet and come together as Monster Florence? Also, what does the name mean?
Jonny and Cam knew each other from the music scene and had worked together for many years leading up to the formation of Monster Florence; Alex, Wallace and Dream all grew up together and had been making music since the year dot. I happened to see a post-pop on Facebook back in 2013 of one of Alex’s videos and was totally blown away by in and equally confused that our paths hadn’t crossed, so I dm’d the shit out of him for about a year until he eventually came down to my studio… he bought dream and Wallace with him and we made a mixtape. We had a session where I bought down Cam and Jonny, we got super high and made some really fucked up music… and that was the birth of Monster Florence
How would you describe your genre?
Kind of Hip-hop and punk fusion?! I dunno really, we change from week to week depending on what we feel like making.
Congratulations on your new single “Walls of Jericho” – what was it inspired by?
WWE Wrestling, another influence on all 6 of us
And you’ve recorded live renditions of your singles at London’s Abbey Road Studios – what made you want to offer fans this alternative?
One of our unique selling points is that we’re a band, and playing live is a huge part of our sound. We wanted to give our listeners a different take on the songs… we pulled in all of our musical mates to help out, so we covered all bases with strings, horns, etc… no backing tracks, no edits, no click tracks. I think being on the hallowed grounds of Abbey Road really made the performances that much more special.
And it’s taken from your new EP “Cowboys and Idiots” coming up – what is the project trying to say and what ties it together as a body of work?
The EP release in December is actually an extended version of the original “Cowboys and Idiots” EP we released back in May. We’ve taken it from 7 tracks to 18. Some new tracks, a remix featuring some of our pals and a bunch of live tracks from our time at Abbey Road. Scribbler our artwork guy who does all our big releases flipped the original artwork from the EP for the extended version. It’s pretty special.
What’s the most unusual place you pull inspiration from?
Sometimes when we’re stuck for inspiration, Cam will play YouTube roulette… he’ll search for most ridiculous niche music and then shout stick or twist. We end up going down a rabbit hole of 60s Japanese psychedelic jazz or Tibetan Nose flutes.
What do you want fans to take from your music?
Just to enjoy the diversity of it all.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
New album in 2021 and hopefully pandemic permitting, some big tours.