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The Beautiful Monument interview: Lizi Blanco “This lineup was the best thing to happen to us”
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The Beautiful Monument interview: Lizi Blanco “This lineup was the best thing to happen to us”

by Stephen Charlton2016/08/31

Melbourne’s The Beautiful Monument are not your average pop-punk band. The four-piece gave the Australian scene a shot of attitude with their 2015 EP The Lost. The EP won them fans across the country with a powerhouse mix of pop-punk, hardcore and alternative rock. The band travelled to NSW in May to record their debut album. Producer Evan Lee made the EP jump out of the speakers at you, so the girls stuck with him for the LP.

The Beautiful Monument had some personnel changes prior to recording the EP. Speaking to SoundReview, frontwoman Lizi Blanco explained that the current line-up is the best thing to happen to the band.

Some typical “Taylor Swift heartbreak lyrics” find their way onto the new album, but it’s not all love affairs. One album track is about “people having the perception that [she’s] an absolute asshole”. You know that song is gonna be one to look forward to, especially after Lizi’s barbed lyrics on The Lost.

The Beautiful Monument tackle new territory on debut album

Where did you record your album, and who handled production, mixing and mastering? What influenced your choice?

“Our album was recorded at STL Studios in the Central Coast. We chose to go there because Evan Lee produced and recorded our EP and we knew we worked really well with him. Honestly the best decision we ever made. It was a real learning curve as musicians and we definitely came out with so much more knowledge of the whole recording process. Sonny Truelove and Evan Lee did all the mixing, mastering and production of the album.”

Why did The Beautiful Monument head to NSW to do the album?

“We knew we worked well with Evan and thought it was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up. It was also not as tense in a way, being in a different state, work couldn’t get in the way, people couldn’t disturb the process or add extra stress on us because we weren’t close by haha.”

What did you learn during the recording process?

“I wouldn’t even know where to start! We learnt so much about writing and making a song come to life and also learnt how to work as a collective and with other people. It’s not an easy task to be able to create something that you’ll be judged on hahaha.”

What can fans expect from the new material? Is it a natural step forward from the EP or have you really branched out into new territory?

“We’ve certainly moved away from the EP! Of course there are still some elements of The Lost in this new release but I believe that we have grown so much as not only musicians but a band in total.”

Writing lyrics for the album: “People have the perception that I’m an absolute asshole”

What inspired your lyrics for the LP?

“Hahaha, the typical Taylor Swift heartbreak lyrics definitely make an appearance in some of the tracks. They’re not as nasty as the Purrr lyrics though. It also focuses a lot on our journeys as individuals and fighting whatever demons we have. There is also a song about the struggles of judgment and people having the perception that I’m an absolute asshole but they don’t know me from a bar of soap haha. My favourite track that really hits home for me in particular is called Ashes and it’s about my brother and the decisions he makes as a father and as a person that has a negative impact on everyone around him but he’s just so jaded that he doesn’t notice.”

Can you tell us the name of the album and the release date? Is there any label backing?

“These things I cannot yet reveal, but I can definitely say that rad things are coming soon!”

The current line-up of the band hadn’t been together for all that long when you did the EP. Having been playing as a unit for a longer period, did that affect the sound of the album?

“This lineup was the best thing to happen to us. Shelby and I were really lucky that Laura and Andy actually liked the music we had or else the EP probably wouldn’t have even been a thing. We had also been playing together for almost a year before we recorded the album. I mean, the bond we have as a band is really something that tends to trip people out a lot of the time. We all live together, work together and play music together. We are essentially all sisters and working together is what we do best.”

Lizi Blanco on The Beautiful Monument’s first national tour

How was your first tour experience with the Girls Being Girls tour? How did interstate crowds respond to the material?

“Oh my God, tour was amazing. Meeting new people, seeing different faces and playing to different crowds. It was gnarly, people responded really well to us everywhere we went even though we weren’t the heaviest band on the lineups haha. I don’t think there was a single night where we didn’t have someone approach us in complete and utter shock. People didn’t expect what they saw from us.”

What was the craziest thing that happened on the tour?

“Brisbane. Brisbane was the craziest thing that happened on the tour. Going to our hometown was nuts, the turnout was insane and I don’t think any of us were expecting it at all. We had to get family to jump in and help with selling merch. It was insane and kind of overwhelming haha. I ran into this girl into the bathroom there and she had the realization of who I was and had a complete fangirl moment. That was pretty rad I must say hahaha.”

Metalcore guitar tones meet pop-punk riffs

You guys really achieved a unique sound on the EP. Did you set out with a vision in mind for what you wanted to achieve when writing it or was it more you just wrote whatever came to mind?

“Definitely wrote whatever came to mind and then decided to add very A Day to Remember-inspired guitar tones to it hahaha, which oddly enough worked with the songs, even Nemesis, which I was really surprised about.”

Can you tell me about how the music is written in The Beautiful Monument ?

“I usually write the basis of the song and take it to the girls to fiddle around with and we make changes from there.”

What are some of the albums which you have been inspired by or just really digging lately?

“I’m personally inspired by anything that A Day to Remember do, I’m super keen to get my hands on Bad Vibrations so I can start seshing the shit out of it. I’ve also been listening to The Ghost Inside non-stop for a solid six months now; old goodies and new! Crystal Lake’s album The Sign is also banger of an album that I’ve had on repeat a fair bit too haha.”

Other than the album release, what future plans does The Beautiful Monument have cooking at the moment?

“There are some plans to go overseas, which should be an awesome experience. Aiming to do a hell of a lot more touring around the country and hopefully get over to Perth at some point!”

Busy touring schedule lined up for The Beautiful Monument

The Beautiful Monument interview Lizi Blanco live

Lizi Blanco (and Andrea Skoumbri) playing live. Picture: Andrew Bromley Photography.

The girls really know how to put on a kick-ass live show. If you want to see the proof, they are playing six dates throughout Victoria, NSW and South Australia in September:

  • Thursday, September 1: The Irish (Knox O-zone), Melbourne.
  • Saturday, September 3: Flight Nightclub, Adelaide.
  • Friday September 16: ECP Studios, NSW Central Coast.
  • Saturday, September 17: CC’s Campbelltown, Sydney.
  • Thursday, September 29: Plastic, Melbourne.
  • Friday, September 30: Musicman Megastore, Bendigo.

The September 1 show at The Irish also features massively talented Melbourne post-hardcore band Drown This City. SoundReview recently spoke to their frontwoman Alex Reade here.

 

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton
Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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