20 questions with Monky T-Li's Garrick Gill
Monky T-Li is coming.
After a long break, they are hitting the stage with a new line-up, new tunes and their patented Monky T-Li swagger. When we heard about their upcoming gigs, we had to hook up with them and reconnect. So we decided 20 questions would be a great way to reacquaint ourselves and a good excuse to get to know Monky T-Li a little better. We did a friendly ambush with lead vocalist and guitar player, Garrick Gill. This is how the conversation went...
1. how are things in the MONKY T-LI rockin' reggae world? you've been laying a bit low. what's new?
Monky T-li has been laying very low. Kinda sat back to think about the direction of the band and what its missing. Tried out a new drummer and the feel of the music has changed in a positive way, not saying there was anything negative about the old drummer. We would not be where we are today without Kenny.
2. what have you personally been up to of late? you're a watersports guy, right?
I have been dying to surf but the season in the caribbean has been quit shit. Instead of cold fronts from the north we are getting hit with a lot of useless wind out of the east. I'm not into kiting so its no use to me but I guess it gives me time to sit and write music.
3. are you a diver?
Never got into the diving thing. It looks great but finding the time and motivation for a new hobby is hard.
4. any travel lately? any plans to visit the great white north?
Spent an awesome 5 days in Miami and partied every night. Got to see Cake, they are such a kickass band.
Clubs were really cool but that place needs to seriously put smoking laws in effect. I guess they dont mind going home smelling like ash treys.
5. MONKY T-LI is coming up for air with a couple gigs in the queue. are you looking to book and play more around the island?
I can't say we have any gigs booked after this upcoming one. I will be calling up some spots that want some good rock and reggae but you know how it is here.
6. where are a couple venues you really enjoy playing?
Putters is a great venue, the only one that has a stage!!! Every time we played at the Fordeck we had a blast but I'm sad to say its no longer open. The first time we played at the Cock-Pit sticks in mind, very in your face crowd. Abracadabra was a great place to play so that might be in the works for the end of the season.
7. out with the old and in with the new. are there some songs you are dropping off your playlist?
I think we will just keep adding songs to the set list. Any song we have played in the past can always be revisited. I find it's good to keep playing them once in a while, keeps you loose.
8. any new songs you are stoked about and the audience should look out for?
I'm hoping the audience really digs our originals. For cover songs I think people will enjoy Feeling Alright by Rebelution and Millionaire by Bruno Marz. Just for kicks we are gonna play Maneater by Hall and Oates.
9. is the flavour of MONKY T-LI's sound going to change? in which direction?
I think the sound will change into a more dynamic kind of sound. A wider range of music can be covered now from heavy rocking songs like Stars by Humm to very tripped out lose yourself dub music. We are not gonna hold back.
10. past gigs. care to share any war stories about memorable shows you were particularly pleased with?
There have been a few thats for sure. I remember a gig where it was someone's birthday and I had to work a little extra do collect the cheque lol, I won't get into the details. I always enjoy the random gigs when a group in the crowd requests a song and won't stop singing it until they get to come up and rock out with the band on it. Very fun times in live music.
11. what about any horrorshows?
I remember trying to organize a gig at a bar we thought might work out. The owners were hard to work with, no promoting on thier end and then just attitude and bad surprises. I should have pulled the plug on the gig but we were committed. Not many people showed up but we still killed it. Its a small island and you would think people are starving for something new but I guess I'm wrong to think that.
12. philanthropy. when giving your time or ideally if you were to give your time either as a musician or just a citizen where do/would you commit a bit of your time? any causes you'd like to share?
If there was something to do for the community it would to push people on the island to get involved with music. Kinda like the save the music thing they have in the states. Its just so wonderful to be able to pick up an instrument and join your friends in making amazing sounds. Keeps kids off the streets and interested in maybe becoming more than just a copy of an MTV or BET music video.
13. eaten out lately? any memorable meals you loved? any eatery on the island you'd like to big-up?
Last time I ate out here was at our sound man's pizza shack. I think he makes the best pizza on the island hands down. The vibe there is better than anything anywhere else. I think it counts :)
14. Antiguan musical talent. besides your own crew, is there any particular talent you enjoy catching live performances of? who lights your fire on the music scene in antigua?
I love going to see Roland Prince when he plays. One of the worlds greatest Jazz guitarists and he lives right here. He has been working on an album and I can't wait to hear the finished product.
15. what about DJs? who spins a mean set? who keeps you up til dawn here on the island?
Alan Russel really plays some great music when I get to hear him. Dj Woody also keeps me going all night. Those 2 always play the right house music and I can't help but get crazy on the dance floor.
16. and overall. any influences you care to mention in the international music scene?
Kings Of Leon have really helped me figure things out when it comes to singing. They are the newest band to me that make good music. Red Hot Chili Peppers are my all time favs and many more but those 2 are so good.
17. what do you think of canadian rockers ARCADE FIRE nabbing best album grammy. you a fan?
I never heard of arcade fire until I saw them at the Grammys. I think I liked the music, it was wild for sure and they got loads of people in that band, I can't imagine trying to keep those egoes in check haha. Seeing bands like that make it means there is still a need for kick ass ROCK n Roll!!! Its awesome.
18. planning any studio time? perhaps to record a track or two, in the near (or not-so-distant) future? if so, any studios/producers you'd like to work with?
Studio time is planned for sure once all the songs are ready. They are in a way and being in the studio will surely help mold them to a better sound. Steve Jackson is the guy I'm going to. He has Pelican Lodge studios and for capturing live recording, its the place to go. Its also the only place I really know haha but I have spent many hours in there working on other projects but this time around I am set on doing it all the way. I hope it works out and maybe Antigua gets put on the map as a place where talent really exists and not just another island with beaches.
19. any plans to taking it on the road (off-island)?
If the album comes through I do plan on taking it as far as I can take it. Its not gonna work by just sitting around here as awesome as this place is. The road will be the only place to go.
Shout out to the Antiguans in Toronto. Anyone who has seen and heard Monky T-li, thanks for the support. Hope to give something good with the new material.
Monky T-Li will be live onstage at Putters in Dickenson Bay on Saturday February 26th at 9pm. No cover charge. If you need a solid dose of honest, rugged rawk 'n roll with a tropical flav, a 70's essence and a pinch of punk, Monky T-Li is your band.
Check out photos from a past gig. Click below.
Monkey T-Li at The Outback - live rock 'n reggae