Today’s band of the day doesn’t really need any introduction other than that it’s Imonolith and legendary drummer Ryan “RVP” Van Poederooyen is here to tell you more about them…
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re all from Canada. Myself, Brian, Scott and Kai live in Vancouver, British Columbia and Jon lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
How did you meet?
Brian and I met each other over 18 years ago through joining the Devin Townsend Band. We also played together in the Devin Townsend Project. We both knew Kai through the Vancouver Music Scene when he played in Noise Therapy. Kai introduced Scott to us all. Kai and Scott played in Econoline Crush together years ago. As for Jon, he was introduced to us through a mutual friend in the music industry.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We have been a band since early 2018.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We had a big list of band names we were deciding on. One of the names was ‘Monolith’. We liked the word and all but that name has been used for album titles, other bands and so on. So I started thinking of different words to add to the name, that didn’t work. I then decided to just put letters in front of the word to make it sound cool. I thought the name sounded cool when I added the letter ‘I’ to it. ‘Imonolith’. It doesn’t mean anything but sounds cool and having the word ‘Monolith’ in the band name somewhat resembles something heavy, dark and powerful. I brought it up to the guys and they all dug it…. and the band name was born.
What are your influences?
The influences in this band are plentiful. We all appreciate different styles of music and genres. The Beatles, for example, are my favourite band of all time but my favourite metal bands are Pantera and Faith No More. Jon loves Alice in Chains. Beav loves Mastodon, Scott loves Primus and Kai is a big Nine Inch Nails fan. To be honest, we all like the bands mentioned above but there is a varied influence throughout the band which makes it interesting when it comes to writing music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music is driven, catchy, heavy and melodic. We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel of metal music. We’re just focused on writing, what we think, are great songs. It’s the honesty of our writing that I think makes us unique. We also decided to record our entire album organically instead of using auto-tune for vocals, DI’s for guitar/bass sounds and samples for drums.
It’s all naturally mic’d up and real sounds. No digital sampling at all. That definitely helped make our debut album stick out a little more. There’s nothing wrong with samples or DI’s at all, we may use them on our second record, who knows? We just wanted to come from an organic place for our debut album and be natural and raw which we believed helped us be unique in our own way.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
I wrote the lyrics for the album with the exception of “Instinct”, which Jon wrote the lyrics for. For this album, State of Being, the theme came together without really knowing it. It wasn’t a planned theme, it just happened to come out that way. I was just in a certain headspace when Brian and I were writing a lot of the music before the band was actually put together.
State of Being is about the various states of being all people go through in their lives. How we deal with the ups and downs of life. How we mentally battle the positive and negative sides in our heads. How we worry about what society thinks of us. Learning from our mistakes and so on… The thing is, there is a positive message in each song. You may read the lyrics and think it could be pretty dark but there is always a positive message embedded in each song. Same goes for Jon’s lyrics for “Instinct”. We didn’t plan for him to write lyrics that way, it’s just what he was feeling after singing all the various lyrics I wrote for the band. I came up with the album title once I saw that every song on the album related to various states of being.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve only played 3 shows to date to support our first single, ‘Hollow’ back in early 2019. Once State of Being is released on March 27th, 2020, we will be touring everywhere and anywhere we can. We’re an energetic band. We all have a lot of experience in playing live shows. We know various ways of how to get a crowd going and keep them engaged. That’s our goal no matter the size of the crowd. We always want to leave a lasting impression. So, people can expect an energetic, well played show every night.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
When I was playing with Devin Townsend Project, we played Brutal Assault Festival in Czech Republic back in 2011, I think. It was pissing rain outside and there was thunder and lightning going off everywhere. As we were playing our set, rain would literally come in sideways onto the stage. The guys were slipping everywhere, getting shocks from the microphones while thunder and lightning was going off above. I seriously thought some bad shit might happen that show. Fortunately, nothing did, but we were all kinda freakin’ out! Haha.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I’m endorsed with Sonor Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Regal Tip Drumsticks, Trick Pedals and a few other drum accessories companies. Brian is endorsed with ESP Guitars, HeadRush S.I.T. Strings and Darkglass Electronics. Kai endorses Jericho Guitars, HeadRush Pedalboards and S.I.T. Strings. Scott uses Spector Basses, S.I.T. strings, Audio Technica Microphones and Darkglass Electronics. Jon uses Audio Technica Microphones.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Definitely our debut album, State of Being. It comes out on March 27th, 2020. You can order the album on our website along with getting all of our Merch there. Unfortunately, we had to postpone our European/UK 2020 Tour in March and April due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We will be rescheduling that tour for later in 2020. We’re currently working on more tours to announce shortly, so stay posted!
What are your plans for 2020?
Tour, then tour some more and then hopefully more touring! Haha. We need to release this album and support it as much as we possibly can. A pretty straight up plan, but one we need to execute as much as possible.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
That’s a tough question. There are so many great bands out there. I think we’d be a great fit supporting for a band like Slipknot. Another band would be Gojira, who we’re friends with. As for an opening band, let’s go with a band named The Veer Union. They are fellow Vancouver, Canadian boys who are doing well in North America but still trying to break into Europe/UK. We even talked briefly about them supporting us in Europe. Great band, great guys and they put on a great show.