Monarch Box
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Monarch Box

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Monarch Box"

"Sometimes I get the treat to review a band which falls outside the typical Planet Trash palate. Take Monarch Box. This American rock band has no contract yet they make melodious and brave, lightly-melancholic music. The band originates from Minnesota [and]… The album shines in quiet moments such as on "Invitation To The Gallows" as well as on the Springsteen-esk "Sidewalk Kings"… [and they] flicker a chance to tie, and become an American Coldplay with balls." – ( -
- Planet Trash, (Netherlands)

"I Heart Monarch Box and so Should You"

I heart Monarch Box and so should you
Posted by Danny on 9th November 2006
I bear good news and bad news. Although, since I’m usually a little behind on the eight ball, this may be news only to me. But, first, the good news…
The good news is that I’m about to tell you about a really damn good band that is lurking in our very own midst. The bad news is that said damn good band is about to be leaving our very own midst…sort of. But more on that in a bit.
The band is Monarch Box. The album, depending on whom you ask or where you look, is either self-titled or called “Liars and Thieves.” I haven’t quite figured that out but it’s not very important anyway as, a.) it hasn’t been released by any label so the band is distributing it on its own and, b.) since it’s the only recording they have, the odds are good that you’ll get what you want when you tell the band you’d like to purchase a copy of “the album.” Or CD. Whatever. (I’m old and still call them albums.) And you will want it, I’m guessing, as it’s just a flat-out great piece of work.
Monarch Box – Adam Carter (bass), Jared Denton Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Matthew Limvere (vocals, guitar) and Nate Wedan (drums) – is one of those bands that is impossible to describe succinctly. Their MySpace page tries its best, but “rock / indie / folk rock” doesn’t even hint at what they’re capable of, which this release proves quite well. When they rock, they kick an impressive amount of ass. But they have an acoustic side that has the quirky adventurousness of Radiohead or Centro-Matic mixed in with somewhat folksy compositions that have just the slightest tinge of alt-country (the piano and harmonica-laced “Sidewalk Kings” being the most obvious example).
Matt Limvere’s vocals are clear, plaintive at times, and sincere; he never under- or over-sings. When he’s plugged in, Jared Denton Jones’s guitar sound is nice and crunchy in a way that would make Neil Young and Jay Farrar proud. The band itself maintains a terrific level of restraint, playing as a unit to leave the songs as the focus. However, there are two notable exceptions to that approach.
The first, an instrumental song called - based on the artwork I have - “**********” - begins as a nice, almost ethereal-sounding groove. It slowly builds in intensity, pushed along and punctuated by some truly explosive drumming from Nate Wedan. Somehow, the band avoids bombast in favor of a tight intensity. No small feat.
Then there’s the album’s closing track, “Animals.” A quiet rumination about love and human existence (you know, simple stuff), Limvere’s voice is at first accompanied only by acoustic guitar, with a quirky keyboard sound straight from Sgt. Pepper’s-era Beatles to give the song a comfortably quizzical feel. It’s a stunningly beautiful song and the perfect close to an album with constantly changing moods.
Limvere, simply put, is a hellaciously talented songwriter. There’s an earnestness in his lyrics and arrangements that never comes off as sappy or clichéd. He obviously has no desire to be limited to any particular style or genre and the expansive performances by the band suit him perfectly.
Produced by Polyphonic Spree bass player and sound guru / mad scientist Mark Pirro, the whole album has a nicely consistent “personal” feel. From loud and kicking to subdued and introspective, the record seems a nice compilation of Monarch Box’s various ambitions, while at the same time revealing only the tip of the iceberg.
Oh, yeah…the bad news. It would appear based on the most recent post on their MySpace page that Monarch Box are relocating to Minnesota on a more-or-less permanent basis (though they say they’ll perform in these parts every couple months or so). In the meantime, do your damndest to attend the band’s in-store performance at Good Records this coming Saturday at 4:00 pm. Albums this good don’t come around very often, so pick up a copy while you’re there. You can tell all your friends you saw Monarch Box “way back when…”

- Danny/

"A Box Full of Monarchs"

Projektions #1: A Box Full of Monarchs
26 08 2009

If you are new to the 507projex pursuit of art in its damnedest corners, in its finest dimensions, then you may have not heard of Monarch Box. We’ve been stoked over Monarch Box ever since they popped up on the intarwebz. Having resident stud Matthew Limvere as frontman doesn’t hurt either.

We decided to touch base with them again after our first (and perhaps lost) interview way back in 2006-7? (I forgot).

507: So, what’s new with Monarch Box?

MB: Wow…well a lot has been going on since you guys last interviewed us. As far as what’s new with us I guess we could start with where we are located at. We have been living in Austin, TX for the last two years, after a brief stint back in Minnesota. We love Minnesota, always have, but Austin is where we feel we are supposed to be at this point in our existence. Jared Jones recently left the band after about 3 years of playing lead guitar with us. We will miss him, but it was apparent that Jared was going to leave sooner or later. I have a feeling that this lifestyle isn’t what he’s looking for and that’s fine. He will do great things. We have a new guitarist now named Aaron Thompson, “A.T”, and he fits this band like a glove. A.T. is one of our old friends from Minneapolis and he is one hell of a player. We also have Chris Plowman, a Godsend from Arkansas on bass. Perfect! It’s looking good! We recently finished up our new EP and will be pushing it on our next tour. We have already been on 2 separate tours this summer. They were both great. We got to come back to MN and do some shows. It was great to see and play with our old friends and cohorts, and we got some really good press when we were there. Thanks to Blake Stopple and Kill-Me-Care-Bare. By the way, if you haven’t heard them, then you need to get your hands on their new EP and get out to one of their shows. They are an absolutely fantastic band.

507: Since our last interview a few years ago, Monarch Box has grown into a new aural space…How did MB progress from “Sidewalk Kings” to tracks like “Take the Money” and what if any genre shift has taken place?

MB: As far as the progression of our music and sound, yeah, it is safe to say that we grew into a different and more aggressive area. This just happened naturally and I’m happier with our sound now. I wouldn’t say that we had a genre shift, but I will say that having two new band members definitely gave me room to explore our music and sound more. It allowed me the chance to get back to my roots and it gave us the opportunity to embrace what we are. HIGH ENERGY ROCK AND ROLL. When that first album was done, I was in a contemplative state in my life. I had just come to terms with who I was shaping up to be, and I had also finished up a month long stint in rehab. You get a lot of time to think about how you’ve totally fucked up your life when you are sitting in a hospital bed TOTALLY FUCKING SOBER. They let me have my guitar in rehab and that’s where a lot of that album was written. Right there on a hospital bed with me in a freaking hospital gown. The music on our new EP and what is up online is what I’ve always wanted this bad to sound like. I grew up listening to The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Beach boys, Joe Strumer, Rancid, NOFX, Dinosaur Jr, ect.. Everyone in this band has such a diverse taste in music, but when it comes down to it, we love playing really loud, fast, melodic Rock and Roll. We definitely have punk rock influences, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call us a punk rock band. There’s a certain anger
in all of us and that is transposed into what we write and how we perform on stage.

507: Monarch Box was tapped to write the score of Benji Meyer’s skateboarding documentary "Feelin' Minnesota", which is expected to air on MTV2 and Fuel TV…How is writing a soundtrack different than an album, what considerations go into writing music that will have a visual accompaniment?

MB: When Benji Meyer approached us to do the soundtrack to “Feelin’ Minnesota, we jumped all over it. I knew they were looking at about 10-15 different bands for it, so we were pretty stoked when we got the phone call. It was good to work with my brother again, Darin, as we have worked together on projects in the past. It was a great experience. We recorded the entire soundtrack here in Austin, TX at Sweatbox Studios with Mike Vasquez engineering the whole thing. Mike put his ass on the line for us and we won’t soon forget it. He worked really hard on the project. Our old bass player and friend Phil Ajjaripu said that he knew where we should record it and brought us to Mike. It gave us the chance to write and play in so many different genres and styles. And that studio just breeds creativity. You’ll see what I’m talking about when it airs. We even got to throw down a country fried ho down on the film! We also lucked out with our new EP being used as well. It is expected to air on MTV 2 and FUEL TV in the U.S.A. and Europe. Crossing our fingers! This will be our first Major Exposure to a large audience. It was actually pretty natural and we look forward to working with Red Bull in the future.

507: So where is MB headed for your upcoming West Coast tour? I’ve heard some mention of the name, The Roxy…

MB: Well, for our west coast tour we will start here in Austin, TX and will then head to El Paso, New Mexico, and Arizona before we reach California. We are doing our first 4 shows with Minneapolis Indie Hero Mark Mallman. Super exited about that. Mark’s a king when it comes to performing. Check him out After that we will head to L.A.. We are almost done setting up our show at On The Rox (The Roxy). Hopefully that all works out. Hey L.A.! Come out and introduce yourself on Oct 8th! After that we will start heading north. We will do some California shows and then head through Reno, NV on our way to Salt Lake City. From there we hit up Denver, Omaha, South Dakota and then we will be in Minneapolis, so yeah, we are coming to do a couple of hometown shows! We will let you know when and where very soon. After MN, we will head south and finish the tour by hitting
cities along I-35 and then head over to Arkansas. Dallas should be our last stop before we get to Austin. Check our myspace for daily updates on shows (Monarch Box on Myspace).

507: There’s probably a hundred responses, but what is the best thing about being MB in Austin, Texas?

MB: The best thing about being Monarch Box in Austin, TX huh? Well, I’d have to say that we get to do some fun shows and all, but really the best thing is the family that we have down here. Mike Vasquez from
Sweatbox Studios has been so good to us man. It was good to get a solid friend out of recording and playing. There are so many bands in Austin, that you have to fight and be hungry for it all the time. You will think that your band is the best thing ever, and then you go to a show and see something that will make you go home and want to totally overhaul and beef up what you are doing musically. It’s a challenge that only makes you better. We also have a good network of bands and friends in Austin. But the best thing about being here is simply that. Being in Austin with all the freaks, weirdos, sinners and saints.

And cheers to you, mate! - 507 Projex


Jailhouse Radio (2011)

Monarch Box E.P. (2009)

Soundtrack to "Feeling Minnesota" (2008/2009)

Monarch Box (self titled) (2006)

Have received radio play in Minnesota and in Austin, TX on KOOP radio and 91.1 kbrx. Have received airplay on FUEL tv and internet play on for soundtrack to Red Bull's "Feelin' Minnesota" skateboard film.




You can listen to the urgent, conflict-ridden tales in the songs of Austin’s Monarch Box and tell right away this bunch has issues. It’s there out front in the torment of “I Want,” the grifted bad luck of “Take The Money!,” and the hopelessness of “Burnt Down Motel.” No translation needed. But lead singer/guitarist Matt Limvere still likes to make it plain.
“We’re the most dysfunctional band you’ve ever run into, and I hope this is the way it stays,” Limvere says bluntly. “We’ve all heard that artists can be difficult all the way around, but I think most of us got into this because in some way or another we are egomaniacs and this is our first priority.”
That boot-to-face sentiment runs through the whole of “Jailhouse Radio,” the just-completed full length album Monarch Box banged out in Austin’s Sweatbox Studio with veteran producer Mike Vasquez. Nine tracks of driving, Social Distortion and Replacements-influenced rock and roll, it showcases the work Limvere started crafting with bands in his native Minnesota and has continued since the band finalized its Austin lineup in recent years with bassist John Morrison, Chris Plowman, guitarist Denny Mack and drummer Ross Roenigk. While the seeds of most of “Jailhouse Radio” were planted years ago, the record blossomed with the current lineup throwing ideas at each other in the studio, often times with anger, insults and passion thrown in as the band members fought each other to get their voices heard.
“Before this lineup I never let anyone do all the writing on a song, or sing,” Limvere said. “ "But other members are now contributing and we are getting some great new material. So now we write together. And a song like “Rock N Roll Dreams,” that’s a Denny Mack song straight out of the New York Dolls book, so we said go and do it man. That’s a great song. Ross has been in this band 4 years running now, and when he joined up he was a jazz drummer. He took his skill with jazz and converted it to rock and roll and it turned out great." Recently Monarch Box added California punk veteran John Morrison on bass, as old bassist Chris Plowman left the band to pursue other projects. "John Mo came in and was a perfect fit from the first rehearsal," says Limvere. "We couldn't have been any luckier".
Pieces of “Jailhouse Radio” - including “Sending In The Hounds” and “I Want” - have been heard all over the world thanks to their instrumental versions appearing in “Feeling Minnesota,” a half-hour Red Bull-sponsored skateboarding special on Fuel TV that aired over the summer all over North America and the UK and was featured on the front page of Justin Timberlake’s Web site ( after its premiere. Months spent recording and soundtracking the special required Monarch Box’s members to push themselves in new directions that ultimately helped shape the new record into an adventurous but still focused piece of art.
“For months it was, OK, send in all these things we’d spent hours and hours and hours on, and get one back that they liked, then go and do it all again,” Limvere said. “There’s stuff in ‘Feeling Minnesota’ that we’re proud of that wouldn’t fit on a Monarch Box record or our set now, but it was definitely a good thing for us to do and go through.”
With a driving, thrilling record about to hit the streets, the four volatile souls in Monarch Box are ready to spend 2011 taking their work to the people of Austin and beyond.
“This is what we’ve all been killing ourselves and each other for, for the past couple years and we’re ready to do it,” Limvere said. “It’s been incredibly hard because we’re all so strong in what we want and what we believe, so of course we’re going to butt heads. But there are all those days when it’s great and this is the best we have ever felt about being in a band.”

"The greatest band you've never heard of".-507 Projex

"Do your damndest to go see Monarch Box so you can tell your friends you saw them way back when"

"Best show to go see in Minneapolis" -Twin Cities Metro Mix

Monarch Box is hungry to make their mark on your stage!