We like to keep our songs open to interpretation,” tells me Edgar Ruiz, singer and co-founder of Mind Monogram about their new single “Insomniac.”
Mind Monogram has had many line-ups over the years with Christian Caro (guitarist) and Edgar Ruiz (vocalist) being the sole stable members. With this new incarnation now two years running, the group has been able to find its voice through collaborative effort. “I come in with an idea and we jam it out. If the vibe is right we keep it, and if no one feels it, we throw it out,” says Ruiz. For Mind Monogram no one person creates the song.
“Insomniac” according to Ruiz, is about losing someone or something so dearly to you and not being able to sleep, because re-living the pain in dreams becomes too much to bare. In the video, the sleeplessness invoked by an overbearing mind becomes a shared experience between artist and listener. However, the band leaves a lot open to interpretation. They want listeners to make the song their own.
Directed by Robert Penna, the video was a collaborative effort between the director and the band. “Penna had an idea with the actress Krystal Vasquez in mind that we liked, so we went with it,” tells me Ruiz. The band would just change certain things along the way, as they wanted the song to rhythmically fit the video.
The band gets inspiration from all over the place. “We all bring in our own influences,” tells me Christian Caro, guitarist and co-founder of the band. The band cites a plethora of sonic inspiration. Bryan Mieja (drums) cites Arctic Monkeys and Nirvana; Billy Azurdia (bass) brings in Elliot Smith and Motown; Christian Caro (guitar) cites 60’s Beatles and Johnny Cash; and Edgar Ruiz cites Radiohead, Portishead, and the Mars Volta. However, the overarching influence on the band — where they all intersect as a unit — is early 00’s indie music.
Through all the line-up changes, one thing that has never changed: the band name. “It’s the most boring answer,” tells me Ruiz. Monogram got its name from the MGMT song “Alien Days”. It was one of a top two list of band names that they were considering.
The new forthcoming album will feature the single “Insomniac.” However, Ruiz says that this song takes the album out of context. The album will feature a lot more sounds and different tinges. “This record is more about a vibe,” says Ruiz. “We want this to be like a Pink Floyd album, where the record is much more than just about a single.”
The band added: “According to a 5 year study done by Dr Julene K. Johnson, singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety and elevate endorphins. Personally as a band, we couldn’t agree more and we’d like to keep our songs open to interpretation. With that said, we can only hope that the listener will have an enhanced experience when singing along.”
I like to stare at my computer. Occasionally I type words to pass the time. Those words are usually about music.