Photo by Jen Lawrence @ Autumn Spirit Photography!
Scott Phillips has been creating keyboard-driven pop vignettes of hipster despair with Goner (and before that The Boy Wonder Jinx) for several years. Recently he’s been playing solo as The Monologue Bombs, but now he’s decided to go back to the full-band set up, and added some choice local musicians to his line-up. The full band debuts this Friday, Nov. 20, at The Pour House. I Was Totally Destroying It and Small Ponds open the show.
1. Why did you decide to make The Monologue Bombs a full band?
I was lonely. I wanted to share and get in the sandbox with some friends. We’re making a joyful noise up in there. I needed some folks to help me get into some of the sonic corners these songs seemed to be asking for (bar-band heartland rock and kitchen-sink folk, by turns). Of course, these friends are so talented and creative and generous that they took the songs down some delightfully unexpected paths, too. So what do I know? Plus it’s always been right there in the band name. The monologue bombs; you can’t do this all by yourself.
2. I’m hearing some Big Country influence in some of your songs. Is that true, or am I just hearing that because I know we both like Big Country?
I love the first two Big Country records and the Wonderland E.P. They are a grossly overlooked band, but I think they’ll get the recognition they deserve soon enough. That being said, they aren’t a band I go to directly for inspiration (read: TO STEAL FROM; there are plenty more in that category). Goner Chris drums like them a lot, though. Maybe you’re hearing that?
3. What’s the one song guaranteed to get people shaking their asses at the Jackpot?
Oh, lord, I was such a terrible DJ, with my “compact discs” and my not reading the crowd at all. I apologize to anyone who had to endure one of my shifts. But it was fortunate that my realization of my incompetence kinda dovetailed with my realization that maybe trying to impress people 10 or 15 years my junior in a smoke-choked alcoholic tomb til 2 am isn’t the best idea at this time in my life. So, I’d say “Poison” by Bel Biv Devoe or “Push It” by Salt ‘N’ Pepa.
4. What instrument do you use the most to write your songs?
Piano more than the others, but I try to write on accordion and guitar, too, just to challenge myself. (Alternate, pretentious answer: “I use, you know, my soul. That’s an instrument. Think about it.”)
5. Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.
Sometimes, when I have some decision to make in my life, and I’m mulling it over, one of my strategies is to ask myself, “What would I do if I was the coolest person in the world?” Then I just stare into the middle-distance for, like, 2 hours. And I don’t decide anything.
The Monologue Bombs is Brian Donohoe (Starmount)—drums; Andy Kerr (The T’s, Static Minds)—guitar; Hunter MacDermut (The Tourist)—banjo, guitar, vocal, harmonica; David Mueller (Birds Of Avalon)—bass, vocal; Scott Phillips (Goner)—vocal, piano, accordion, guitar; Anne Polesnak (Physics Of Meaning)—cello
For more on local music, check out Mann’s World