Duck and cover! The wild Tel Aviv thrash trio, Monotonix, are headed to Los Angeles for a show at the Echoplex on Thursday, January 27 in support of their sophomore full-length, Not Yet, via Drag City. These guys are the real deal and will give you an unforgettable show experience. Full of crazy energy, wild riffs, sweat, hair, tree climbing and WTF stage antics (but not on the stage), Monotonix will make you a part of their performance whether your like it or not.
Check out our interview below with Monotonix guitarist, Yonatan Gat. And do not miss their show at the Echoplex with Ty Segal, Devin Therriault and Tijuana Panthers!
Interview by: Sandra Burciaga
GG: So why did you guys pick the name Monotonix? What does it mean?
Yonatan: It’s hebrew slang for “I wanna urinate in your eyeball while your mother is taking video”.
We always took great pleasure from people not understanding that reference. But now it’s all gonna end.
GG: Three words to describe your music?
Yonatan: Sexy (if) you’re perverse.
GG: Are any of you married?
Yonatan: Ami and Haggai are both married. Ami has a six-month year old son called Adam.
GG: You were supposed to open up for Faith No More a couple months ago at the Hollywood Palladium, what happened?
Yonatan: The LAFD watched videos of our shows and freaked out, and the Palladium wasn’t gonna argue on our behalf. After a week of negotiation, at the day of the show we heard that we were off the show. I can understand why our show would not work at a place like that, it’s even flattering judging what we do. I’d rather watch a band at the Echo or the Smell anyway. Luckily the show was sold out before we were even announced but I got a couple of emails from people who paid $100 just to see us, that sucked a little bit.
GG: The last time we saw you guys perform was at the Culture Collided Festival where you climbed trees and played in the middle of a crowd. Have you ever fallen out of tree while performing?
Yonatan: Never a tree luckily. Although falling down a tree is pretty poetic. It’s a good way to go.
Ami broke two shoulders and a leg at different occasions. I had my head burst open by a steel trashcan, and Haggai got a disco ball to his face in Houston once. We’ve been pretty lucky so far though.
GG: What were the shortest/longest shows you’ve played?
Yonatan: Longest … Sometimes when the place is not that packed and people aren’t killing us we can actually go on a little longer and play a couple of the slower jams. Rarely, but I remember a show in Wilmington, DE where we played “Set Me Free” at the end and Ami surveyed the audience afterwords about the quality of the song. They said they liked it. Shortest was probably ATP 2010. Pavement invited us to play that festival they were curating, but the festival had a bad experience with us in 2009 when the Melvins invited us. That show ended outside and half of the people were stuck in. When one of the festival organizers walked up to Ami to tell him we need to stop the show, he was tackled by this punk from the audience and had a beer spilled on his head by a different guy in the audience. It’s all on YouTube. Anyway, when we came back in 2010 they asked that we’d play on stage. We usually refuse to that, but we decided we’ll try to play our new record from beginning to end, no shticks, no acrobatics. So we sat on a small stage they built for us in the middle of the room and asked the audience to sit down and listen. The audience sat down, but after three songs they got up and started dancing and going all nutty. ATP stopped the show the moment it happened. It all lasted less than 10 minutes.
GG: What were some of your favorite albums of 2010?
Yonatan: I think that Gil Scot Heron record is my fav from this year. I haven’t been listening to a lot of new music though. I’m bad at that. It’s easier when time just narrows the shitty stuff for you.
GG: What do you guys like to do when you’re not making music and performing?
Yonatan: I try not to know what Ami and Haggai are doing when we get a break from work on music or tour. I did a lot of traveling in the last few years. Now I’m kinda learning to relax and read more again, watch movies and go to plays. I like taking pictures and reading about astronomy and history.
GG: What kind of jobs have you held aside from being a touring musician?
Yonatan: I met this guy in a bar once and started working for his Internet company for a couple of years when I was much younger. It was a strange experience working in an office and I had to quit after two years. Other than that I used to freelance as a musician, mostly a bass player in Israel. I’m glad that those days are over. All the other jobs I had I was fired after 2 days. I don’t like working for the man. And he returns the same sentiment.
GG: What was the thought process behind your new album, Not Yet? What inspires the lyrics?
Yonatan: Ami should probably talk more about the lyrics than me since he writes them. Thinking about his words on this record it seems to me like a guy in his 40’s who just grew up and trying to come to terms with tying your life to someone else’s. I think sometimes he writes about what he sees in other people that are close to him and about his past.
GG: Have any chicks ever flashed their boobs or done anything crazy for you guys at shows?
Yonatan: Yes girls have done all sorts of crazy stuff. I like that.
GG: What can Los Angeles expect at the Echoplex on Jan. 27? Should we wear protective gear?
Yonatan: You’ll be fine. It’s our first show since the album came out, so maybe some people will wanna buy it and then listen to it at home.
GG: Are you going to spend anytime in L.A. prior to your show to party it up?
Yonatan: Yeah i’m gonna visit my friend Michael Reich. He used to do this website videothing.com and now he’s working on his first movie. There’s a few other friends. Probably have some Mexican food, go to a Mexican bar and see some of them. Good old LA.