MONOLITHIC ELEPHANT: Generating Sensations and Feelings

Monolithic Elephant

Milan-based psychedelic/progressive rock trio Monolithic Elephant debuted in March with their self-titled album, a six-track epic journey through the unknown. In a new interview for Prog Sphere, the Milanese band introduces our readers to their world.

Define the mission of Monolithic Elephant.

Playing as much as we can to make people feel good and enjoy our music

Tell me about the creative process that informed your self-titled debut album and the themes it captures.

We didn’t have any idea in mind once we started jamming. You can hear what came from individual taste and different musical identities. Describing our flow is not easy; you can see there’s a lot of dynamic variations that brought us to complete some songs in a strange way. Playing with a lot of musical freedom brings many moods inside the same song.

Themes really depend on listener, everyone can get a specific vision, there’s a lot of interpretative effort and that’s because of the compositional freedom we felt during creation process.

Also titles, they’re linked to a sensation we got from single songs. Talking about rhythms, melodies and ambients.

Monolithic Elephant album cover

What is the message you are trying to give with Monolithic Elephant?

We hope people can get lost in music, in a positive way. There’s no particular message besides generating sensations and feelings.

Generally speaking we like the exchange between music and audience in which song’s meaning find its completeness.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Just some private recordings and written notes.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Not intentionally. There’s no significant input to achieve a straight result. At the end we only got some pieces and linked them together but we already felt what could be good as and ensemble or not.

Obviously the result is nothing expected even for us.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

The creation process was purely freedom. The recording process was quite the opposite in the meaning that we put a lot of effort into details and performance to get a specific technical result. Practically we refined every aspect; of course you can still experiment something but the final result has to sound good.

How long the album was in the making? 

As a trio we only play together since 2 years and started immediately to put together ideas you actually can hear in the album. Then we recorded it in different sessions between may and September 2016.

Monolithic Elephant

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

A mix between Pink Floyd‘s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Led Zeppelin‘s Physical Graffiti. Obviously each one of us has a different musical background and let the personal influences bring something to the final product, from alternative rock to movie soundtracks.

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology nowadays helps bands connecting with a wide audience but it can also be damaging because having too much musical choice ends up with a shallow listening sometimes.

Also physical supports are important when you think about contents that go beyond pure musical purpose.

If we talk about musical instruments and gear, we used both vintage and contemporary. Technology can be a nice help to fix some gaps between ideas and a specific result but only if you know how to handle it.

Some sounds you can only achieve with specific tools.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Hope it’s not a simple listening but that people may have changes in their mood even as a vent.

What are your plans for the future?

Play a lot, we love playing music and won’t absolutely have a stop.

Monolithic Elephant is out now and is available from Bandcamp. Follow the band on Facebook for future updates.

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