This week, The Bay Bridged visits with From Monument to Masses, a San Francisco/New York based trio writing forward thinking instrumental rock music with elements of electronica, hip-hop and prog-metal. A lot of bands lay claim to writing "epic" songs that are actually just long exercises in musical addition and subtraction. FMTM, on the other hand, create emotionally powerful movements and precisely shifting moods with a seemingly endless bag of well-honed ideas. The guys' skill with dynamics have helped the band build a reputation as an absolutely killer live act, using loops and effects to recreate its dense jams. Similarly, the band employs a wide array of spoken word samples as an asset, rather than a crutch to fill sonic gaps. These guys are smart and politically minded, and their use of sharp, incisive found audio makes a grander and more provocative statement than most lead singers could.
Until earlier this month, it had been over three years since From Monument to Masses released something new, and in that time, the band has matured considerably, expanding their tastes and interests to create music that can be as beautiful as it is heavy. That growth is captured on On Little Known Frequencies (out now on Dim Mak Records), which the band recorded last year with Minus the Bear's Matt Bayles. It's an exciting record full of intense, euphoric moments and sweeping washes of sound. Unlike a lot of music with political themes and heavy rock tones, the band also conveys a welcome feeling of hope, which is surprising, even disarming at first, but that should appeal to a lot of listeners in these troubled times.
We sat down with Sergio and Matthew recently to discuss the evolution of From Monument to Masses and the process of writing and recording the new album. The episode also features four songs from the band's rich catalog, including two from their latest release.
From Monument to Masses join Dredg and Torche on a national tour in April. Check their MySpace page for all of the details.