I Monster: “We Would Have Already Sampled It!”

The Sheffield electronic music duo I Monster (Dean Honer and Jarrod Gosling) will be visiting Istanbul for a concert on April 27. So we contacted the cult legends for an online interview.

How are you guys? How is it all going with the start of the new tour and all?

Hi. Our first show in 20 years was in Dublin and it’s probably the best show we have ever played. An amazing response from the crowd. The second show in Glasgow was unfortunately cancelled as the van with our equipment and crew were on a ferry from Ireland to Scotland which broke down, and was delayed and didn’t get to Glasgow in time for the show. We are hoping to reschedule that gig.

I admit that I first heard your music around 2016 when “Daydream In Blue” was played on Mr Robot. During these last 8 years, what was the craziest moment for you to witness as you were carried along into the thin border between the cult and the mainstream?

Our music has always been popular for use in film and TV. The real change came with the song “Who Is She” going viral on TikTok. This led to many new young people discovering our music. Which we are obviously delighted about.

Since your name also comes from a Christopher Lee cult classic, let’s talk about film. How are you with cult, black-and-white horror cinema? What are some of your favorite films from that field?

We both grew up with a love of horror films. On British TV there would often be late-night screenings of British horror classics made by studios such as Hammer and Amicus. These are the films we watched when we were kids in the 1970s. 

Hammer were notorious for their use of saturated colours, the brightest reddest blood you could ever imagine! Amicus were well known for their portmanteau horror anthologies. 

Time to dig up old memories: Among your collection of tracks, can you name two random songs, one really easy and one really hard to make, with stories attached to them?

Jarrod: Easy: “Heaven.” This one was written in a day or so. The sample was in our archives from a previous track called “The Jardine Boys. We always loved that bit of music. The vocal melodies were done between us in a few hours using a Digitech Studio Vocalist effect. The tune just flowed!

Difficult: “Hey Mrs.” This one was written pretty quickly at the same time as “Heaven”, but we ended up going backwards and forwards with the label on how it should have sounded. We did lots and lots of different versions, to the point where we lost the plot with it!

Dean: Easy: “The Blue Wrath.” We hammed this one out in around an hour as we felt the album needed a short instrumental track.

Difficult: “Daydream In Blue” went through a few changes, different versions, with and without vocoder vocals,  before we settled on a final mix.

You are both producers who use the sampling technique a lot in your music. Can you each name one song that you would like to sample one day?

Jarrod: That’s tricky as we would have already sampled it! There’s a beautiful rare track by The Seekers called “Paper Bird” that I love.

You also work with instrumentalists and vocalists in a lot of your songs. In what ways is that band dynamic better or worse than the duo dynamic you mainly incorporate into your music?

We usually ask vocalists and instrumentalists to do what we require. Of course, we like them to add their personality. It’s fair to say that the main ingredient of a vocal performance is personality.

Sometimes we work with musicians who can play an instrument better than we can ourselves. I enjoy the process of inviting guests in to add their own flavours to a track.

Time for a little game: Can you each name the last three songs streamed on your music platform’s search history?

Jarrod: Yes, as we are putting a playlist together to play before shows!

“Didn’t You Hear?” by Mort Garson, “I Float Alone” by Julee Cruise, “Aurora Spinray” by Syrinx

Dean: “It’s My Party” by Leslie Gore, “The Trip” by Kim Cowley, “Human Fly” by The Cramps.

What plans are coming up ahead for you?

After the tour, a brand new album!

Any words you’d like to add to our readers ahead of your Istanbul concert in late April?

Thank you Turkey for supporting us! We will put on a special show for you in beautiful Istanbul!

You can check out I Monster’s Bandcamp profile here.