Today, September 12th, 2014, Monuments embark on their first ever US headlining tour, and they’re bringing in tow progressive upstarts Polyphia as well as Villains and Lionfight. In support of the group’s recent stints touring stateside for the first time ever and the release of their celebrated sophomore album The Amanuensis, Monuments mastermind John Browne opened up about finding new vocalist Chris Barretto, the conceptual story behind The Amanuensis, and more. Photo by Maclyn Bean Photography.
The Amanuensis by no means is a victim of the sophomore slump, and in our opinion, it trumps the debut. How do you feel going into its release compared to Gnosis?
I feel a lot more confident for sure. We sat on the Gnosis material for over 2 years, we’d been playing it live with other singers and generally the overall consensus from the fans that it was past it’s time. Although saying that, I still think that album is a great debut.
How did you come into bringing Chris Barretto into the fold?
We were having problems with our old singer, personally and on stage. We never really felt his live performance was consistent enough for where we wanted to go. On a personal level none of us really moulded with him. We were on tour with The Haarp Machine — Chris Barretto was filling in for them. Every night he was killing it and quite honestly, making us look bad. After the tour the guys asked him if he’d be interested in auditioning for the band, his audition ruled and we figured that overall, even though the cost of flights is another expense, being a flawless live band should come at no expense. We hired him immediately.