Monica Strut – Interview
Interview with Monica Strut and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
MS: I’m a vocalist in a melodic metal band called The Last Martyr!
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
MS: What’s up I’m Monica and I’m from Melbourne, Australia! I have been playing music and in bands pretty much my whole life. I started as many musicians do, singing in the school choir and playing piano and clarinet since I was around 8 years old. I started my first band at 13 and have never looked back! After working as a digital market and music journo for the past few years I recently also started my own consultancy company helping bands with marketing and business strategy. The music scene in Australia is strong but since finishing music college I’ve seen far too many of my talented peers give up on their dreams and I want to do as much as I can to support the scene to prevent this from happening!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
MS: My favorite vocalists are M Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), Janet Gardner (Vixen) and Courtney LaPlante (Spiritbox). I love vocalists that have a lot of different colors to their voice, power and big ranges! In terms of music I love Bring Me The Horizon, Asking Alexandria, Spiritbox…anything heavy but melodic and interesting music-wise. Non-musical influences would have to be author Cara Alwill-Leyba, Gala Darling and a number of entrepreneurs in the business world that would probably take me all day to list! Oh, and Tony Robins!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
MS: To live a life where I get to wake up and create every day on my own schedule from anywhere in the world. Always has been.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
MS: I write the lyrics and most of the vocal melodies for The Last Martyr. I only write songs based on things I’ve experienced personally as writing has always been an escape and I know being true to myself and own experiences is the only way to be able to help others through my music.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
MS: Being a digital marketer I could probably talk about this forever. But social media is definitely a massive part of any promo we do for shows. We try and leverage each show capturing awesome photos and videos to help hype the next one. Selling pre-sales is always a good way to ensure turn-out is the best it can be and nothing helps the vibe more than a packed room. In the end, good vibes make people want to watch you again so the circle of gig life continues!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
MS: It’s all part of being in a band in 2019. I don’t think musicians should fight this but just try and roll with the times and innovate as we always have anyway!
PD: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
MS: It’s constantly evolving every day. The problem is many musicians in heavy bands are basing their business strategy on the strategies that were around in the 80s because they’re reading Motley Crue and Guns n’ Roses biographies and basing their perception of the industry on that. At the same time, I believe there isn’t enough transparency on how today’s modern music industry works – perhaps as everyone is constantly playing catch-up as it’s so fast-paced! But I feel positive about it because there are many examples out there of bands having wild success. It’s just that the path may not look like what people expect!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
MS: “Love Is A Killer,” by Vixen. The vocal range and melodies are perfect and everyone loves an epic power ballad! I also wish I wrote the whole album Sempiternal by BMTH.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
MS: Musicians that winge about the music industry without making an effort to learn about how it works and how it can work for them. Playing the victim doesn’t help anyone, it only spreads negativity.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
MS: Probably getting back on the horse after my band of 6 years disbanded. It would have been so easy to give up on music but instead, I found 5 amazing guys and started The Last Martyr. They’re driven and talented and helped me find my joy in music again. I feel very blessed to find such musicians who are not only good players but savvy and focused.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
MS: We’re heading into the studio but hopefully have some exciting shows coming up soon for later in the year! In the meantime find us on Facebook and Instagram and follow our shenanigans! We’d love to hear from you!