The music world fell in love with Starch Monkey, a Los Angeles based rock band that has released four EP / albums, since their inception in 2011. All good things must come to an end though, and Chris Johnson and Brad Wetmore are moving forward with a brand new venture.
We asked Chris and Brad what happened with Starch Monkey, and why it ended. “After the release of our Everything You See EP, differences in our day to day lives made it difficult to keep the train moving down the tracks,” Chris explained.
“There’s always drama in rock and roll,” says Brad. “We had a lot of very strong personalities in Starch Monkey, which led to another guitar player leaving the band. I think going through a rough patch with personnel and a couple of the guys spending more time away from L.A., the momentum was never regained, schedules were tough to coordinate and we all just prioritized other things.”
“There was never a meeting where there was a declaration of ‘this is over’ or some big, drama-filled Behind the Music moment with one of us storming out,” added Chris. “It was a very quiet ending, where none of us really wanted to acknowledge that it looked like it was over. We both look back very fondly on our years with Starch Monkey and we really had some great times together.”
Chris and Brad are collaborating together, to create their new venture, Between The Sun. We asked the guys where the name came from.
“Oh man, we spent so much time deliberating names,” says Brad. “I’ve got a really long list that we’ve bantered about for over a year. We wanted something original, of course, something that would make you think and then it just had to feel right. Between the Sun for me gives a little nod to my progressive rock days as well.”
“The sun is the life-giver to the planet, and we all are that life,” Chris explains. “All of our experiences, learning, joys, sorrows, music — happen between you and the sun.”
“Also, if you shift perspective, in a communal sense, we (on Earth) are between the sun and what? Other life forms? Other planets? Other galaxies?” Chris continues. “So, for me, it evokes a very grounded sense of our world happening between the sun and us, but it also evokes the reality that we are just a blue speck in a vast universe that we have only started to begin to understand.”
Between The Sun is preparing to release their 12-track debut album. That’s right, twelve tracks.
“Yes, twelve tracks,” exclaims Brad. “What an undertaking. But being that the album is a story, a book of poems if you will, we weren’t sure if all twelve would make the cut, but to make the story complete, we kept all twelve! We will be releasing “My Kingdom” as a single obviously, but the plan is to release the record as one complete thought.”
“I can briefly touch on the story of the album, which is fictional, but touches on some very real issues,” explains Chris. “The main character, the voice of the album, is an individual who works in the financial industry and is unethical, takes advantage of people who invest their money with him, and who views himself as a champion at gaming the system. The album opens with a lot of energy and follows these themes, but as you get to the middle of the album, and the main character’s world starts to collapse under the weight of his own lies and dishonesty, he does go through a period of self-reflection. When his facade is ripped away and he is forced to look at himself in the mirror, he realizes that he has no clue who he is anymore. A downward spiral begins, as does a chance for redemption, but let’s just say that not all stories have a happy ending.”
“For this album, Max Cohen joined us on guitar (Mr. Max). Max and I had worked together placing music on a lot video content I’ve been creating and one thing led to another, ‘Hey Max, you want to play on this new record I’m writing?’ and that was that,” says Brad. “Max took the basic guitar tracks I played as an outline, then really just blew it up, so cliché to say I know, but he really took the songs to another level. We’re so happy to have him on the record.”
“My Kingdom” is the first single off the new album, and will be released on September 1st. Colorado Phil will be debuting the new single on his afternoon show, Monday, September 2nd, on #VWRadio.
Chris and Brad describe the new single as “cocky” and “take over the world.” We asked the guys why this track, out of the twelve, was chosen to be the first single.
Brad sums it up perfectly. “We chose this track for our single because it sums up everything we wanted this project to be, rock, bass forward, heavy, and well, bad ass.”