On our late Fresh from the Post this week, we have Brooklyn based band All Night Chemists.
All Night Chemists is fronted by NYC musician, engineer and producer Len Monachello He's one of those play-20-instruments-well-and-also-engineer-while-having-a-sandwich kind of guys. He plays almost every instrument on the band's new album 'Meet Me Again' and has written, produced and performed almost every song himself.
We had a chance to get a Q and A with Len to talk more about his music, sample a couple of songs and marvel how Sesame Street can actually be a significant influence in music -
This is for our readers out there who don't know much about All Night Chemists. How and when did you start out?
I started recording the songs for the first record sometime in 03. “Thisway,” the band I had been in for six years, had just broken up. While in Thisway, I had been fortunate to work with and learn from so many talented engineers and producers. The first Thisway record we worked with David Kahne and the second with Ken Nelson—both brilliant but extremely different in style and approach. They provided me with an education and recordings that I’m forever thankful for. It enabled me to engineer and produce the first All Night Chemists record myself. When I needed the help of additional musicians I called on Brandon Wilde and Andy LaDue of Thisway, and they’ve been the rhythm section ever since.
How did you choose the name All Night Chemists?
I was driving with my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, and we were listening to Morrissey’s “Now My Heart Is Full” which has a line “loafing oafs and all night chemists”. She said, “How about all night chemists?” Done.
I took a listen to some of your songs from your MySpace page and Bandcamp - and I could say, you're one of those bands that have your own unique kind of sound. It's an eclectic mix of rock, pop, blues and funk. I especially liked Rollin', it has that funky 70's groove to it - and weirdly, whenever I hear funky 70's sound, it kind of reminds me Sesame Street (everytime). I figure, a lot of what influences you with the type of music that you like or create, is the music you grew up with. What were the type of music that you think might have influenced you as a kid growing up?
I’m sure that I’m totally influenced by Sesame Street. Their music has always been amazing and stands the test of time. Check out their song “Subway” on Youtube. I still love listening to those songs from the show and the Paul Williams’ compositions from the Muppet Movie. I love how they put so much detail into the performance. If you watch their hands, they are always where they should be on the instrument to create that specific sound and moving perfectly in time.
I grew up on 70’s FM radio, around musicians in my dad’s music store and my parents had a pretty diverse record collection, so it’s all in there. I don’t really enjoy writing or playing one style of music.
We ask artists to choose one or two songs that they'd like to share. What songs would you like to share to our readers and can you tell us more about these songs?
I’ll share the song you mentioned “Rollin” which definitely has an early 70’s influence. It really all came out of the groove, which is just a lot of fun to play. We’ve been doing that one at shows for a while now. We did most of that recording live at Electroluxe studios and later I added the crazy distorted organ solo and brought in Brian Lewis Glashow on congas.
I recorded “Whole Again” at my place “Soundtronics Studios” in Brooklyn. I love Brandon’s beautiful piano answers on it. This song gets a lot of love live and it was recently featured on the show “Castle”
Last but not the least, I always ask this question to all bands I feature. What is your definition of indie music?
Indie music is true to the artist’s vision and free from the impurities of all those little hands that think they know better.
And with that Sesame Stree comment, Len has proved that he's a true 70's child like me - which might've explained his impeccable taste in music ;) To Len (whom I heard, just became a new dad - congrats!), may you have passed on this amazing trait to your newborn son. We might not have the same groovy '70s music on Sesame Street anymore, but with your music alone, it's plenty great music for a little child to grow up on.
If you're looking for variety, and awesome music that doesn't grow old that easily, I urge you to grab a chance to sample more of All Night Chemists music at their bandcamp page.