Young Monks are a Canberra band with a long history. Sam Koster and Steve Reinhart (both on guitar and vocals) first met in primary school, and even then bonded over their mutual passion for music. Matt Santos (also on vocals) joined them later as the band was starting up in 2007. Together their shared dreams led them down “a long road of learning how
to produce and experiment with different styles,” they say. “The three of us began really enjoying creating psychedelic sounds and big vocal harmonies.” Young Monks began to grow into the band they stand
as today, with Zac Gaudie on drums and Tommy Caldwell on guitar joining earlier this year.
This funky five-piece have a unique blend of sounds unlike anything else coming out of the Canberra music scene right now. They’ve got the hypnotic flow that’s a little pop, a little reggae, a little psychedelic and the perfect beat for those chilled out summer lovin’ nights.
I had a chat to the band to find out what they’re all about. And as their name would imply, it turns out that Young Monks are actually quite a spiritual bunch. “The name Young Monks was inspired by our long to live a life full of peacefulness, mindfulness and developing a deep appreciation for all beings,” they say.
It’s no surprise then, that the band would draw a lot of inspiration from Mother Nature and Canberra’s surroundings. “Some of our most formative time as a band has been spent exploring nature. We’ve found the acoustics in caves are incredible, along with the natural reverb chambers and abandoned railways,” they say. “We’ve recorded a lot of ambience (forests, caves, footsteps) to add to our tracks. We are quite fond of the sonic palette that nature has to provide.”
Aside from recording natural ambience for their tracks, Young Monks actually produce all of their own music. As it turns out, self- producing without any outside involvement has always been the best option for the band. “We like to create music our own
way. As a band we couldn’t afford a lot of studio time so we decided to invest the small amount of money we had into our own recording gear,” they explain. “We have also done a bit of producing for other bands, which is always good fun. We are currently in the process of producing our first full- length record. We have a bunch of songs that we are all really vibing on and can’t wait to share.”
Young Monks have had the chance to play a couple shows with bigger names such as Asta and Bootleg Rascal. According to the band, the opportunity to perform with such artists has also helped them grow as musicians. “We have had a lot of fun so far and learnt valuable things from the artists we’ve performed with,” they say. “We’re continuously growing as musicians and every opportunity we have to play live is priceless.
“It’s what we love to do and we can’t wait to take our show around Australia… A tour would be awesome, but first we’d like to establish our listener base a little more! We think 2016 will be the year we tour.”
Just last month, Young Monks released their newest single ‘Jarmin In The Dark’, which has already received applause and praise on online blogs and on their triple
j Unearthed page. This single will be the soundtrack of your Canberra summer with the perfect opening stanza of “livin’ it up, washin’ it down”. It’s echoing notes have a familiar vibe of Sticky Fingers – cruisy and instrumental. You can’t help but melt into the spellbinding beat, and want to play it over and over again.
“Creativity is our purpose. It’s what we live for. We believe that you can manifest the reality you desire, whatever it may be. For us, we will always make music and do it solely for the fulfillment it brings to us. To have other people enjoy what we do is a massive bonus. Peace and love.”
By Jordan McDaniel
Originally published in Curieux Issue 4, 2015.