When: 10 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Pearl Street Pub, 1108 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-939-9900
Pearl Street Pub on Yelp
Since forming in 2010, indie folk quintet Monocle has hit nearly every music spot in Boulder and ventured out into the rest of Colorado, too. Check their schedule, and you’ll see they have tons of shows coming up in Boulder. Here are singer and bandleader Monica Whittington and guitarist Bill Huston (both of whom are also the primary songwriters) in their own words:
What has the band been up to lately?
MW: We just started breaking into the mountain scene. We played a show in Steamboat a couple weeks ago. Coming up in April, we’ll be in Jamestown and Nederland. Just playing around the small venues in Boulder.
BH: We’re about to do a little run up in the Vail Valley, as well. We’ve played about 50 shows in the Boulder area in the past year … We’re getting a little momentum.
Any plans for recording?
BH: We did a demo that’s pretty solid. We’re in the preliminary process of recording an album sometime in the next four months. So we’ve been hitting the gigs pretty hard in the last four months and playing a lot. At some point in the next few months we’ll dial it back and try and get into the studio.
You’ve worked with a lot of big local names (String Cheese Incident, Big Gigantic, Leftover Salmon). Tell me about some of those collaborations.
BH: I’ve lived here for just over 10 years and Monica’s been here since ‘07, and a couple of the other players in the band met in the jazz program up at CU. The Front Range music scene is just one of those things where everybody knows each other and is supportive and they play together. We haven’t made records with those folks, but we’ve had people come sit in on projects and we’ve jam with folks at parties over the years. Especially in the acoustic scene out here, you can show up at a pick and there are really good players there who are well known and renowned.
MW: Yeah, it’s a small world.
Several of you have background in jazz and there’s definitely a jazz influence in your music. How do you keep that up-to-date and interesting?
BH: You know, it’s interesting. Our bass player Eric Wiggs and [drummer] Josh Moore went through the jazz program and Eric and Josh gig all the time on jazz gigs … Our music, it’s more of a subtle thing. We don’t play jazz, but we have a couple tracks that have the elements, some swing or things like that. We all went through that world and built our chops and got comfortable with the musical vocabulary and stuff like that. All that’s kind of dialed back and we’ll play simple music. It’s a subtle thing. The jazz background formed the way we play and the way we can communicate with each other and improvise to some degree. It’s more kind of in our background and something that we can draw from.
What do you like best about being a band in Boulder?
MW: Well I think that because we’re so close to the mountains, that there’s a big influence of mountain music and with that comes a large group of people who love music and mountain music. The scene is pretty driving here. There’s so many great players around. It’s so easy to network, and make friends, and jam. It’s just fun.
BH: Everybody around here is really talented and, for the most part, really unpretentious … It’s just so fun to play with everybody around here because everybody is great, and really open, and just in it for the music.
MW: I sort of have the propensity to leave … but what keeps me here, honestly, is the music scene, working with Bill, and working with the band.