By: Mary Welch
Can you give the names/roles of everyone in the band and tell us about yourselves?
D: My name is David Tarantino, I play bass in Monorail Central and joined the band back in November. I filled in for a show, and it seemed like a really cool thing, so I decided to join the band and John moved to guitar. I’ve known all the guys from playing in bands in the Milwaukee music scene, so it just seemed like a great thing!
A: I’m Armon Salamati, I sing and scream in Monorail Central. I handle all of our booking, social media, everything like that… the founder of the band.
J: I’m John, I play the 6 string and have been doing that for a while.
K: My name is Kaleb, I’m the drummer of the band. I’ve been playing with Armon and a couple of these other dudes for years and years, and so here we are today at Summerfest just going it.
J: I’m Jaysen, I also play guitar. I drink beer.
This past year you’ve played shows opening for awesome bands such as In This Moment and Veil of Maya. What bands do would you want to tour with someday?
A: Goal bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Underoath, Senses Fail. Lower tier bands like Emery, Deftones, anything. From old school emo to new school metal core, we’re not picky at all. We just love playing with bands, especially really experienced bands. It’s such a treat to play with bands like Veil of Maya and Of Mice & Men, definitely long time heroes of us. We have been listening to those bands since high school, so it’s pretty rad that we got to play a show with them. Touring with them would be out of this world.
You have a new single out “Ophelos,” featuring Brianna from Dreamhouse. Can you explain the song a little bit and why you chose Brianna for the part?
A: Ophelos is all about fighting with your own demons. I wrote a lot of lyrics back before I started the band and just pieced the song together when John presented it to me with what he had written instrument-wise. I thought the tone really fit the hollowness and hopelessness, and it’s kind of what the song is about. Having Brianna I thought was really cool just because I think she’s a phenomenal singer. I’ve always wanted her on a track, I tried getting her on a track in my last band and it just didn’t work out because the band fell apart. I thought her voice really fit the mood of it and made it a lot more dramatic and powerful at the end. Like I said, she’s a phenomenal singer and she kills it with everything she does, so it was awesome to have her be a part of out single.
J : If you’ve noticed, if you pay attention to the instruments, we try to take the same theme, same idea, start it off really quiet and bring it as loud as possible and kind of shift between those two a couple different times.
Albums or artists you’ve been listening to a lot lately?
D: I’ve been checking out this really awesome band that came out of California. They’re grind core, they’re called SeeYouSpaceCowboy and everyone should go see them. They’re doing a full coast summer tour so if they come to a city by you, they will put on an awesome local show, so check them out. I also listen to Wits End a lot from Milwaukee, Bird Law, and Frail Body. Check out all those bands!
A: I’ve been jamming a lot to Post Malone ‘cause I love me some Posty, but with heavier music, Slow Panic, a really awesome Milwaukee band, Frail Body, an emo band from Rockford, Illinois. Then I’ve been jamming a lot to older bands too like King Maker, always one of my favourite bands that influenced me, then I’ve been jamming a lot of Bring Me The Horizon from their album Suicide Season. It’s a great album, it’s really rad.
J: Bring Me The Horizon.. I’m a huge fan of Underoath, The Almost. It’s just like favourites from a lot of favourite bands of mine that I’ve always listened to, there’s like a cycle, I guess. But I really liked Vein’s new album. I was listening to Foster the People before I saw them here at Summerfest, they have some really cool songwriting.
K: I literally just go from anything from some Leon Bridges which is like a jazzy hiphop thing, then I’ll go straight over to Wage War, Sworn In, all that kind of stuff. Then I’ll jump right back into a local artist who plays folky/country music called Brent Newski, another is Matthew Logan Vasquez. Literally anything, that’s where I get a lot on inspiration from.
J: The Stones, always The Stones. I’ve been listening to a lot Chon recently, I listen to a lot of Kid Cudi and on the heavier side, like Structures and Reflections.
Can we expect any other new content this summer? And please give any closing thoughts to Monorail Central supporters.
D: This summer, August 18th we’re putting on a free show at JJ’s for the release of our next music video and single called "So Tragic," and you can get into the show free if you like and share the video on Facebook. Just come with your cell phone and and share the video at the door and you can get in for free. The bands that are playing are Reaching Everest, Frail Body, Monorail Central, Human After All, and These Fading Visions. It should be a good time!
A: For a closing thing for everybody as Monorail Central, your local scene is always just so important. Support your bands, support your friends, go out to shows. You never know when the bands playing small time basement shows are going to end up headlining ballroom shows at The Rave, Summerfest, or playing what the next Warped Tour will be. Always do what you feel is right when it comes to your art, your music, that’s the most important thing to express how you feel and fuck anybody who says otherwise.
J: Do what makes you happy. Whatever your passion is, whether it’s music, painting, photography, dancing, whatever it is, do that. If you were to ask the vast majority of people what they do or are going to be doing for a living then ask them what they would do if money were no object, if they could spend their life doing anything almost 99% of the time those answers are different. "Oh I'd love to be a poet but you can't make a living doing that." "I'd love to be a professional skateboarder but that's like impossible." Whatever it is. Don't let anyone or anything stop you from following your passion. Don't let anyone tell you that what you want to do is impossible because it's not, if it were there wouldn't be people doing it. Yes, the odds are always going to be slim, it's going be a stupid amount of hard work but not impossible. I'd rather spend my whole life doing what I love and working towards my dreams and fail than spending it doing something I don't really care about just for good money and being stuck with asking myself what if? What if I would have really tried being a musician? At the very least I know I won't have to ask myself that.