Mark Monnone is a man about – and under – Melbourne town.
Head honcho at Lost and Lonesome records and former bassist of the Lucksmiths, Monnone pulled together a motley crew to form his misnomered four-piece Monnone Alone in 2009.
Featuring Joe Foley (Aleks & the Ramps), Louis Richter (Mid-State Orange) and Gus Franklin (Architecture in Helsinki, The Smallgoods), “I feel privileged to be playing with such fine specimens of the human race,” says Mark.
Cut Knuckle is the first tangy offering in five years since 2013’s album Together At Last. Five years may sound like a long time, but in the interim, Mark became a dad to lil bub Sisko, has been busy with the label, touring with a bazillion other bands and “trying to make a go of it in this doggy dog world.” Fair enough mate.
Now, we’re chuffed as chips to premiere the deep and meaningful (or not, totally up to how existential you’re feeling) new video to accompany Cut Knuckle – taken from their forthcoming album Summer of the Mosquito, due for release in 2019.
Directed by fellow muso Lehmann B. Smith of Totally Mild notoriety, the video sees the band send Mark (to be fair, they drew sticks) into the dark underworld of the sewers, lowered for most of the two and a half-minute clip into a bottomless pit. What lays waiting for him in the light at the end of the tunnel?
Like the meaning of life, you don’t know until you reach the end.
“Lehmann is someone who could vomit onto a pile of logs and it would seem inspired,” explains Mark. “I guess there’s any number of metaphors one could concoct around the notion of holes and tunnels and digging and going somewhere seemingly unchartered.”
“When Lehmann suggested it to me however, it came with no explanation and I was into it immediately. I loved the idea of delving into a dark pit with no real intention other than to see what’s at the bottom. And even better, what’s on the other side of the bottom?”
For anyone unfamiliar with their work, the band’s sound is reminiscent of mid-weight Australian indie-pop acts of the ’90s; a little twee and cheerfully laid-back, with warm guitars, light harmonisation, and memorable, boogie-enticing hooks. Their songs – Cut Knuckle included – are light-hearted, fragmented stories, told in Mark’s smiling suburban Aussie drawl.
During filming, Mark was trussed up like a leg ham for an undignified period of time.
“I was tied up on two separate days, for what seemed like an eternity.
“My bones felt like they were becoming compacted and I was having trouble breathing.”
But, living the plight of his character is all part of the process of great art, right?
“Lehmann told me to ‘take the stupid rope off!’ on more than one occasion but I felt I needed to suffer through the discomfort to fully understand the complexities and motivations of my character,” agrees Mark.
Cut Knuckle Single Launch
Saturday, 13 October – The Gasometer Upstairs, Melbourne w. Cool Sounds + Way Dynamic