METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Tanya. So glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. How are you? How are things going?
TANYA BEICKERT: Yes of course, super happy to speak with you! And I am doing great, the album’s release reception has been so overwhelmingly positive. Very thankful.
MPAP: By the time people read this interview, your debut, Pneuma, will already be released May 3rd. And with the rave’s all of your fans have been posting on both of the band’s YouTube videos, I’m sure you have been waiting for this moment, correct?
TANYA: I couldn’t wait to finally release it. We worked so hard on this and couldn’t wait for everyone to see the final product!
MPAP: Before we talk about the new release, let’s first introduce your band to everyone that might not have heard of you just yet, shall we? Monochromatic Black is a group that hails from Long Island, New York. The band members are seasoned in the music scene having been in other previous projects, but Monochromatic Black is reasonably new, having formed in early 2018. The lineup consists of vocalist Tanya Beickert, guitarists John Gribbin, and Dan Rivera, along with drummer Eddie DeCesare, and rounding things out, bassist Arthur Erb. Would you like to add anything else to that that people need to know more about?
TANYA: I am very lucky and thankful that we all work together so well. John, Eddie and I started this band in January of 2018 and ever since, whether it’s financial, creativity, shows, whatever decisions need to be made; we all come together and try to always do what’s best for the band. It’s very hard to find other members that you mesh well with on all different aspects so for these guys I am so thankful. And when we added Dan and Arthur, they completed the band and are not only extremely talented musicians but great dudes too.
MPAP: Go into a bit more about the genre of Monochromatic Black? Instead of others labeling you with a genre, and perhaps getting it wrong, how would you best describe your sound and style?
TANYA: I would say our genre is a progressive death metal, with some metalcore. We have some black metal parts here and there. We mesh a lot of different metal genres and we like keeping it interesting.
MPAP: Totally agree. Now let’s talk about Pneuma. The two songs that have been out, "The Herd," and "Phosphenes" are crushing, to say the least. Usually, it is wise to save the best for last, but along with myself and many others, if the best is for last, holy shit, we can’t wait to hear the other four songs on Pneuma. Tell us what us we can expect from some of the others like, "Visage," "Dream Catcher," and "Warmth Of The Sun"?
TANYA: Expect the unexpected! I know that is cheesy to say but it’s true. The album is a mixed bag of genres like I was saying earlier so there is a little something for everyone on it I feel. Brutal heaviness, some eerie clean vocals, it’s a fun mix.
MPAP: Let's dissect one of the songs for a moment. Tell us what the song "Phosphenes" means to you?
TANYA: "Phosphenes" for me is about losing your confidence, inner peace or who you truly are as a person to someone extremely negative or abusive. That's the beginning part of the lyrics and then towards the end is that voice inside telling you not to lose faith in yourself and there is always time to overcome the situation you are in and to be that beautiful person once again. The last line, "new reign, my throne," means now that I overcame this terrible situation, it's my turn to rule and be myself and not let anything stop or make me fail again.
MPAP: When you began the songwriting process, what made you settle on the title Pneuma? Was your message when writing it about the vital spirit, soul, or creative force of a person?
TANYA: Yes. This is a concept album and walks you through starting from rock bottom to finally rising to the top. Everyone has different struggles and experiences, and this is just one journey written about.
MPAP: Tell us about the cover to Pneuma? It’s very fascinating.
TANYA: The cover was all thanks to Dixon Jong of Intuitive Designs. He has been amazing help to us with the beautiful art he has created. We told him the concept of the album and he ran with it and created what you see now. He also created one of our t-shirt designs, the "MB" one.
MPAP: Like mentioned earlier, both videos on the bands You Tube have tons of fans loving you. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response. How does that make you feel? It makes the blood, sweat, and tears you all put into seem like there is light at the end of the tunnel, right?
TANYA: Oh yes! It is so crazy and beyond awesome that there are so many people out there supporting us. Whenever we see the comments and love from everyone it just makes us so happy. We cannot wait to start our shows in June and play for the fans and of course meet them. And yes, like you said, the hard work we put in is so worth it when you see how many people you can affect positively through your music.
MPAP: Continuing with the You tube videos, some of the fan’s reactions were, 'step aside Jinjer and Entheos.' Those are some big heavy hitter bands to be mentioned with, don’t you think?
TANYA: Yes, we’ve seen a lot of reactions or comparisons to other bands and it’s an honor. But we don’t want to be compared to just other female fronted bands though, we feel we have our own sound just like they do as well!
MPAP: Do you feel Monochromatic Black has what it takes to be on that level with bands like that?
TANYA: Yes! We have been working non-stop from day one taking this seriously and never plan on stopping. Touring is next, more music, more videos, we will keep working hard always!
MPAP: What do you think makes you stand out from the others?
TANYA: I think what makes us stand out is the genre we play. It’s all different genres and energy combined into one and a lot of people have noticed that which is awesome.
MPAP: Going back to Pneuma, a short documentary will also be released detailing the recording process. Tell us a little more about this?
TANYA: Yes, the documentary will be released this Month in May and entail some background information about ourselves, the writing process and more. We are excited to release that too.
MPAP: It was mentioned that there would be some touring throughout 2019, but nothing is officially announced at this moment. How soon until you can make an announcement?
TANYA: Yep, in fact we are announcing tour dates in a few days. And we recently signed with a Touring Agency so we will be playing non-stop for the rest of 2019.
MPAP: Is Monochromatic Black able to travel and play overseas? Or, since you aren’t on a major record label yet, that might take some time to have happen?
TANYA: Unfortunately, we won’t be traveling yet, we are taking this year to focus on the U.S. first.
MPAP: For your fans overseas, I guess good things come to those who wait. Well, on behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Tanya, for doing this interview. We look forward to what Monochromatic Black does to finish out 2019 and beyond. And we can’t wait to see you out on tour. Before we bring this to a close, is there any final words you’d like to say to all your fans out there?
TANYA: Thank you so much for this interview! And to all of the fans out there, we cannot thank you enough for all of the wonderful support and outpour of love you have shown us. Whether it’s a like, comment, buying merch, coming to future shows, everything and anything means the world to us!