We Want to Play LOUD and SMASH STUFF; the Band Supporting Kings of Leon at Slane Have a Simple Philosophy; MUSIC

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

We Want to Play LOUD and SMASH STUFF; the Band Supporting Kings of Leon at Slane Have a Simple Philosophy; MUSIC


Byline: Danny McElhinney INTERVIEW Mona

Gobby rock stars are 10 a penny but this pocket rocket is different. He fizzes with such energy and displays such a hunger and overwhelming desire as he talks about the humble upbringing that shaped his ambitions that you believe he will go all the way.

'My first bedroom in Florida before we moved to Ohio was a closet in a trailer park,' says a super-confident Nick Brown, frontman with fourpiece band Mona. 'My mom and dad had to fit the crib in the closet because there was no room anywhere else.' With his black biker jacket and greased quiff, Brown looks uncannily like Joe Strummer as he sits before me in Dublin's Gibson Hotel. And he has just as much to say as the legendary singer of the Clash.

'People say we're this hype, but I don't want to be on any list, man,' he snaps. 'I want to work my ass off at what I do best. To be the best, and pretty soon half the world is going to agree that we are and turn around and say, "Nick you're not wrong".' He's certainly aiming high and, if the hype is to be believed, Mona will make it big.

MTV has already given them the MTV Brand New For 2011 award. BBC placed them on their Sound Of 2011 poll, and they play support to Kings Of Leon at Slane Castle on May 28th..

Not bad going for four lads from Nashville, Tennessee. Coming from the home of country music plainly hasn't influenced their sound, which is a fender-bending collision of early U2 and Kings Of Leon.

Despite my urge to believe the band's name was appropriated from the popular Monaghan yoghurt of the same name from the Eighties (Big Ed Loves Mona, anyone?), I dis-cover it is named after his grandmother.

'My parents worked very hard to provide and Mona, my grandma, raised five children and worked her ass off, too. We were just white trash from a trailer park.' Nick grew up with two older sisters. His mother cleaned other people's houses and his father, he says, was a pastor who worked in construction. It's an upbringing akin to that of the Kings Of Leon.

'Those guys are great friends of mine,' he says.

He also seems to share their fondness for a fight or two. He has said he broke his fist on his former guitarist's face in a brawl that caused him to leave the band.

'That situation demanded the response that it got,' he says with a shrug.

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