Monsters Are Waiting
By alexander laurence
The band Monsters Are Waiting has emerged out of the LA scene recently. The
fuse new wave pop with moody music. They played a show with Giant Drag earlier
this year, and then things have exploded. That interested in the band
culminated with the release of an EP and their first proper album Fascination (2006).
They have played almost twenty shows in the past two months, including a few
on the east coast. A few appearances at Popscene and at the Hammer Museum were
among some highlights. I caught them at the end of this stretch of shows. They
were headlining a sold out show at Check Your Ponytail. While we were talking
in their touring bus, we were hit by another car. Some of their fans were
excited to see them I guess. I was able to have a brief chat with Annalee Fery
and Andrew Clark. It was the A-team tonight.
Eric Gardner: drums
Jon Siebels: guitars
Annalee Fery: vocals/keyboards
Andrew Clark: bass guitar
AL: Where do you live and how did you meet?
Annalee: We live in Echo Park. We all met down in our basement where we
rehearse. I have known Andrew and he was playing with the other two guys. They were
practicing. They had heard some songs that I wrote. They said: “Let’s all
play together.” We played together and was seeing what would happen.
AL: You were neighbors?
AL: I noticed that there was a fifth member at the beginning. Who is that?
Andrew: When we first started, we had another guy who was the singer. Anna
came by and watched us when we practiced. She started singing and we thought:
“That was awesome.” Originally we were going to have two singers. We were fans
of The Pixies and Blonde Redhead. We wanted to have both a guy and a girl
singing. It never really worked. Everything gravitated towards having just a girl
singer. And Christian wanted to sing more.
AL: He got the boot?
Annalee: He didn’t get the boot. He wanted to do his own thing. His songs
didn’t really go with what we were all doing. He didn’t play on our record.
Andrew: He was there when we wrote the songs.
AL: I like that name “Less Than Zero Music.”
Andrew: That is Jon’s publishing name. Mine is Pretty Much Music.
Annalee: Mine is Snapper Juice. That is my grandpa’s nickname. He would say:
“You can call me Snapper.” He is from Portland, Oregon, where I am from. He
had this funny name. We are playing up there in a few days.
AL: Where is the rest of the band from?
Andrew: Jon and I are from Los Angeles. Eric is from Boston.
AL: How long has the band been together?
Annalee: For about a year and a half. We have been playing seriously for
about a year.
AL: What were some of the first shows like?
Andrew: The very first show was the only one with Christian, the other guy.
It was all right. We just had to get the first one out of the way. Part of the
reason that we booked the show was because we didn’t have a band name. We
would be forced to come up with a band name. We are putting the ad in, what are
you calling the band? We had a song called “Monsters.” It was something that
Anna started singing in the chorus. I don’t know where it came from.
AL: What does it mean?
Annalee: It has so many meanings. The first thing that came into my mind was
“Monsters in a skirt.” I was thinking about all these bitchy girls who walk
around with their heads up their butts. They seem like they are waiting for
AL: What kind of monsters are they?
Annalee: Whatever you want them to be.
AL: They have no superpowers?
AL: How do you write songs in the band? Do one of you write songs, or are
things created in the practice studio?
Annalee: I think that is pretty much how it happens. We get together and turn
on the recorder. We see what we get.
(A close friend interrupts us.)
AL: How do you decide which songs go on the record?
Annalee: We are always coming up with new songs. It is never planned.
Whatever came out on the record was what we had done at the time. We practiced a lot
by playing shows. We would try things and change things around.
Andrew: We recorded the first batch of songs. We released it ourselves as an
EP. We printed them up and put it on a credit card. We were hoping to sell a
few. Amoeba started selling it. We sold them all. We hadn’t been on a label
yet. We had some new songs. We played them and they felt part of our set anyway.
We added them to the new record. That was what came out just now.
AL: How many shows have you played then?
Andrew: That’s a good question. I have no idea.
AL: How did the residency at Spaceland go?
Andrew: It was good.
Annalee: Surprising really good. There was a new sound guy there. We are
taking him with us wherever we can take him.
AL: How did the shows go out in New York City?
Annalee: It was fun. The place was packed every night. It’s weird that people
know your stuff that live that far away.
Andrew: We did two shows at Pianos and a show in Boston. There was a show in
AL: Those shows were good?
Andrew: The Boston show was good. We had a lot of people there. People were
saying that was good for a first show in Boston. I was surprised.
Annalee: There was about 15 people at the DC show.
AL: Who have you played with?
Annalee: We have done a lot of small tours. We have played a little bit with
She Wants Revenge and Editors. We have played with Stellastarr*. We have
played a few times with Giant Drag.
Andrew: Editors was the only real tour. We are going to play more with
AL: You played with Forward Russia?
Annalee: Did you see them before?
AL: Yeah. That show in San Francisco at Popscene was the first time I saw
them. Are you going to do a headlining tour soon?
Andrew: We have played the West Coast and in New York. We haven’t been in the
middle of America yet. I don’t think we are going to be headlining soon.
(Some car hits us at this moment, and we get out of the van to look at the
AL: What about the look of the band?
Annalee: Yeah. We all decide what we look like. We are all moody people. At
first we were like brother and sister: “Do you like this?” We don’t call each
AL: What happened out there?
Andrew: We know those kids. They came to see us. They were like “How much
money do I owe you?” We will talk about it later.
AL: When are you going to have jumpsuits?
Annalee: Is that what you want to see me in next?
AL: Yeah, sure.
Andrew: I don’t think we have done jumpsuits yet. I would like to get one.
AL: Maybe you can get one by Santino Rice? You have been in San Francisco a
lot this year?
Annalee: Yeah. We like that club, Loaded. They have good sound there.
Popscene has some sound issues.
AL: You guys switch instruments on a few songs. Why is that?
Andrew: That is how we wrote the songs. I play bass guitar most of the time.
We switched a couple of songs. We have a few new ones. Eric the drummer wants
to play guitar.
AL: Do you write all the lyrics?
Annalee: Pretty much. I like when songs don’t spell things out so much. I
like when people come late to it or have a different angle. It all takes shape
once you feel it. Every song is different. I am thinking about stuff that is
happening at that moment. Sometimes it just happens when we are writing. I start
to sing something and a word comes out here and there.
AL: What about some of the rumors about the band?
Andrew: What are they?
Annalee: I don’t think we have any. There is a rumor that Andrew has three
AL: Do you have a message board?
Andrew: Yeah. It’s there somewhere.
AL: What do you think of the reviews so far?
Andrew: They have been good so far. We have been lucky. Sometimes I am not
sure what they are talking about. They have been fairly good.
Annalee: I did have someone say that I gyrated my hips. Yeah. I was like
Damn! They are sure paying attention.
AL: Because in reality you are innocent and child-like?
Annalee: No. Not at all. That is what my mother would like to read.
AL: So let’s set the record straight.
Annalee: I am very innocent. And I am a child. I am a child of God!
Andrew: Anna is wearing the monkey finger puppet.
AL: What is going on?
Annalee: Touch it.
AL: Okay. (Laughter.)
Andrew: It’s getting kinky.
AL: Okay. I guess that is it.
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