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Monsters Scare You! signs with Hollywood Waste Records
Nestled at the end of a dirt road, on the south end of Federal Way, is your run-of-the-mill barn. Many of its features are what one would expect: high ceiling, hay loft, machinery...and a rock band.
More specifically, Monsters Scare You! is a post-modern electronic rock band. They tuck themselves into the corner of a barn and practice like there's no tomorrow.
Monsters Scare You! consists of six members: Josh “Pig Pen” Benson on bass and vocals, Chad Keller on guitar, Joey Duckett playing keys and electronics, Connor Theasen on drums, Brandon “Bird” Ereth on second guitar, and Cory Fay providing back-up vocals and screams.
As soon as the band warms up, you can tell that this is not your father's rock and roll.
“When we started the band up, all I could think of was Devil Wears Prada,” said Fay. “But I also consider us a little bit like Underoath.”
These bands stand out due to their sometimes indistinguishable, yet unforgettable screaming vocals. In this way, Monsters Scare You! is quite similar.
“We aren't trying to rip anyone's style, we want to be alike and not alike at the same time,” said Fay.
The guys also emphasized that they focus on playing music they like.
And their own enjoyment of their music is readily apparent while they are playing. Whether it is a shredding riff from Keller on guitar, or a particularly gnarly drum line from Theasen, the level of energy the guys put into the music pours out of them and into their audience.
While the synergy of the instruments and electronics is noticeable, Benson's melodic vocals coupled with Fay's screams stand out the most.
The dichotomy created by the two punctuates key aspects of both the music and the meaning behind the music.
Fay, a Decatur High School graduate, said that he knows some of his lyrics are misunderstood and even indistinguishable at times — but that comes with the territory.
“And I feel I'm one of the more audible or understandable screamers out there,” he said.
Regardless of the band's reception, the members of Monsters Scare You! are first and foremost friends.
“Each of us has been in one band or another,” said Fay. “We had met previously and gotten along before we were together.”
That all changed during one fateful Warped Tour, when it just so happened that most of the guys were without bands and looking for a new project.
“We were all drinking in the beer garden, and it was kind of just the right timing,” said Brandon “Bird” Ereth.
Each member of the band has a great respect for the others, and their camaraderie is encouraging. The guys make jokes, rag on each other, and mess with one another during practice.
After touring for two summers, Monsters Scare You! attracted the attention of a local label. In May 2012, the band signed with Hollywood Waste Records, a label with more than 20 different bands.
“It's actually a little bit harder now,” said Connor Theasen, referring to being a signed band. “We can't involve the fans as much as we might like. They can't see everything that's going on and our business is more 'secretish.'”
Josh Benson said that as an unsigned band, they could do almost anything they want, “...but when you're signed it's more like a business, it feels more grown up.”
And although the business aspect of the band has forced the guys to grow up a bit, they still enjoy the perks of touring together as a band.
“When you're all sleeping the in same van as you drive down the coast you tend to learn a lot about each other,” said Fay. “It's not always glamorous, you're broke most of the time, and you don't always get that daily shower.”
Benson laughed at this and mentioned that when someone invites the band to stay with them during a part of a tour, one of the first questions asked is: do you have a shower?
“There was this one time we were having trouble finding a spot to sleep one night,” said Benson. “We ended up sleeping next to a rice paddy and it was hot so we slept with the windows down.”
However, the guys were unaware that mosquitoes tend to congregate near rice paddies, and upon waking up, their van was teaming with the bloodsuckers and everyone was sporting hundreds of fresh bites.
“They ate us all alive,” said Benson. “All of us except Connor, he didn't get bit at all.”
With firm lessons like this under their belt, the band forges through this summer enthused and excited.
“We've got a single out: 'Shut Up Our Song is On,' which you can listen to online,” said Fay. “And we will be playing El Corazon on July 28 with Emery.”
Fay also said that in the next few weeks, they will announce their next full album along with a release date.
Monters Scare You! satisfies the urge for shredding guitars, deep bass, righteous drums, but they also add their own unique sound through their vocals and electronic accompaniment.
The show at El Corazon in Seattle is an all-ages show and bar entrance is available with proper ID. Tickets are $12 and the doors open at 7 p.m.
For more information about Monsters Scare You! or other bands under Hollywood Waste Records, visit hollywoodwaste.com.