Interview: Monterey

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Monterey is: Matt DeBenedetti, Carter Henry, Chris Beninato.

The Story of Our Name: We are named after the Monterey Pop Festival, which we believe was a catalyst that helped spark rock and roll music as we know it.

We’re based out of: We are based out of Belmar, NJ. (Kinda)

Any new music coming out: We don’t have new music coming out yet, we actually just released a four song EP titled Sailors a few months ago.

You’ve seen us before [in other bands]: You may have seen our guitar player Matt in his other band, Toy Cars, who play in the New Brunswick/ Asbury circuit quite frequently.

Our sound has been likened to: well, to be honest we hate this question. We try to avoid steering people to believe that we “sound like” another band, because we love hearing other people’s opinions and what they think we sound like without us telling them. So you can make that call!

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Can you talk about the artists that have inspired you? Also, what people in your life have inspired you to create music?

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The Gaslight Anthem is definitely a mutual influence we all share. We all kind of grew up listening to them and definitely drew from their style and overall attitude about music. As for people, something that inspires us is seeing people who work very boring, typical 9-5 desk jobs and knowing that we never want to do that. In a weird way, those people inspire us to work hard enough to hopefully one day be able to support ourselves while doing what we love.

There are so many bands out there in the Asbury scene to check out — outside of your sound, which no one else really has, what do you think separates Monterey from everyone else?

Yes, there really, really are so many talented bands in our scene right now that we are lucky to be able to say we are friends with. What separates us from them, is the mixture of different influences we have as individual musicians that we think give us a unique sound as a band.

You guys are also staples in the New Brunswick scene – can you talk about the difference between the two scenes right now?

Asbury and New Brunswick share a lot of similarities, but are also different. New Brunswick is a bit more underground, literally, as in the shows are mostly in basements. It’s a different works, where a lot of newer bands are accepted more. In asbury, it’s more of a “big stage” world, with some of the more popular venues being homes to a lot of national touring acts.

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If someone read this interview and never heard you before, but decided to check you out, what song would you recommend they listen to in order to understand what Monterey is all about?

Definitely “Sailors” the title track off our last release.

What can the people coming out to see you guys perform expect to see from you guys in terms of a live experience?

We really pride ourselves in our live performance. We try to give it our all and play every note from our hearts, and we hope the people coming to see us can see that.

What’s on the horizon for Monterey in 2015?

2015 will be an interesting year for us for sure. We will be doing some extensive touring, and we are hoping to release another EP. We’re taking it one day at a time.

Monterey performs with Nottingham and In Our Glory for the first Happy Monday of 2015 at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. There is no cover.

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Bill Bodkin is the Owner, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beauty daughter, Sophie. He is beyond excited that Pop-Break will be six years old in 2015 as this site has come a long, long way from the day he launched in it in his bachelor pad at the Jersey Shore. He can be read every Monday for the Happy Mondays Interview Series as well as his weekly reviews on Law & Order: SVU, Mad Men and Hannibal. His goal, once again, is to write 500 stories this year (a goal he accomplished in 2014). He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom
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Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites