LE MONNIER is a female fronted power trio from the U.K. Their line-up consists of Alexandra Le Monnier (vocals & bass), Matt Keil (guitars & piano) and Terry Anderson (drums). Their debut album, "Cynic Sister" was released in September 2009 and features a great collection of songs, ranging from metal to classic rock and some nice orchestral moments as well. LE MONNIER are far from a one dimensional band, as the songs on "Cynic Sister" will attest to. Recently, front woman Alexandra Le Monnier was kind enough to answer some questions for Metal Maidens and give some insight to a band that are sure to be heard from in many years to come.
You have recently issued your debut "Cynic Sister". Please tell us about it.
Alexandra: “We decided to make our album “Cynic Sister” in order to form a solid foundation for the band to build upon. With fourteen tracks, packed full of gratifying hard rock and spine tingling metal riffs you’ll definitely be left feeling fulfilled! Also, our classical influence is ever present and we think “Cynic Sister” is a great insight of what’s to come and is worth a listen by any rocker or metal head.”
How did the band first get together?
Alexandra: “Matt (guitarist) and I met through university friends, that were in the first line-up of the band. Late 2007, Matt and I decided to form a new band/direction for LE MONNIER. Matt having been the former drummer decided to switch guitar to pursue his more melodic side. It was only a matter of weeks before I got a call from a drummer, who’d recently moved near the rehearsal studio we practice at and seen our advert. After an audition and a funny yet needed Spanish inquisition Terry Anderson joined the band. Matt and I were surprising happy to have found the right person so fast and importantly, wanted to keep the pace going.”
How did you come to name the band LE MONNIER?
Alexandra: “In the beginning I was very much the driving force of the band. While we were deciding on a name I would use my surname Le Monnier to book gigs, rehearsals, etc. It basically stuck, because the other members in the band really liked the name. It was also proving difficult to agree on a great alternative that was available. LE MONNIER is a Jersey French name. Like many names it came from profession. It translates to ‘The Miller’. It means to us ‘let your passion be your life’s work’.”
How would you describe the overall musical direction on "Cynic Sister"?
Alexandra: “The album’s roots are well and truly set in metal. We tend to describe Cynic Sister as the love child of James Hetfield (METALLICA) and Cristina Scabbia (LACUNA COIL). That said, there is a lighter side that comes out in the orchestral accompaniments and a couple of softer songs.”
Who, would you say are the bands biggest influences?
Alexandra: “We are all big fans of METALLICA, LACUNA COIL, ALTER BRIDGE and EVANESCENCE, but some individual influences also have a big impact on the band. I have a great love for the Seattle rock sound including NIRVANA, SOUNDGARDEN, etc. and Matt likes a lot of classical.”
You also filmed a video for "Black Dot" (solid choice!). What was that experience like and are you happy with the results?
Alexandra: “Thanks to Terry, who coordinated the whole thing, it turned out to be an amazing weekend and a great success. We shot it in February in Terry’s hometown, Bristol. Two extremely kind landladies/pub owners agreed for us to use the attic room in their hotel. The pub next door was a bit of a bonus, and helped with the new experience of a camera lens right up in your face. We are very happy with the outcome and have been getting great feedback.”
Are you currently working on new music? If so, how is that coming along?
Alexandra: “Yes, we actually have a few new ones already. It’s important to keep things fresh. We are naturally coming up with the next albums material which will probably be written by the end of the year. We have already started talking about a music video for one of them.”
What musical direction do you see your future material heading in?
Alexandra: “At the moment the second album material is sounding much heavier with some nice twists whilst continuing with our raw style. There is one particular track we are excited about and hopefully it’ll turn a few heads. We want to keep it fun and passionate.”
How has the reaction been from fans and media to "Cynic Sister"?
Alexandra: “We have had great support from reviewers and fans. Publicizing the album has been great. We released “Cynic Sister” on the 9th September, 2009. We took our time on the album, making sure we experimented with different ideas and sounds. We learnt lots about the recording process and a fair bit about ourselves.”
How do you go about writing songs and where do you draw inspiration from when writing lyrics?
Alexandra: “I do write a lot on my own, bringing riffs and lyrics to rehearsals, which the band then brings to life. We also write together and always work on the structure of the songs together. The lyrics are always about my personal experiences and when Terry gave me the lyrics for "Bad Dream", I just added links into how I feel, so that when I sing I can really relate to it.”
Have you played many shows? What can fans expect when they come see LE MONNIER live?
Alexandra: “We have played a number of shows and recently been building our fan base in our local area. You can expect to see a confident and thirsty band, eager to give pure energy from start to finish. We keep you watching and engrossed in the songs offering the relief of a ballad here and there and keeping the tempo when needed. The tightness and chemistry we have shows on stage and leaves everyone wanting more every time. We don’t just stand there and regurgitate what we know; we purposefully put in the performance one would expect from a live show. All we want is to see your head banging or transfixed. We will be adding some festival slots soon to this year’s tour.”
What bands would be ideal for LE MONNIER to share a stage or tour with?
Alexandra: “The gigs that we find the most entertaining and successful with majority of fans are alongside other rock and metal bands. We offer bright and forceful songs which may lean to the paler shade of metal. To share a stage with bands such as FLY LEAF, EVANESCENCE, LACUNA COIL, ALTER BRIDGE, ALICE IN CHAINS, PEARL JAM, MUSE or AVENGED SEVENFOLD I think would go down well and would be a dream come true.”
What would you say has been your biggest highlight so far?
Alexandra: “It would have to be our music video. We want to circulate it as much as possible. It’s great to have something more visual than the band artwork for people to see. Really helps show LE MONNIER’s personality. It makes us want to do more and will hopefully move us closer to traveling with our music.”
What's next for LE MONNIER?
Alexandra: “Currently, we’re trying to get our music out to as many people as possible, so the immediate future is gigs, gigs and more gigs. Keep an eye out for us!”
Prior to forming LE MONNIER, were you in any other bands of note?
Alexandra: “We have all been in other bands and recorded music. I did an album, when I was fifteen years old back home in Jersey. It’s great to have that to look back on and it enforces the decision I made in pursuing this dream.”
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. In closing, is there anything you would like to add? The final words are yours.
Alexandra: “Make sure you check out our new single “Black Dot”. You can view the music video via the link below. Thanks for your support and hopefully see you out on the road soon!“
Visit LE MONNIER's official website at: www.le-monnier.com
or My Space: www.myspace.com/lemonniermusic