There’s no two ways about it, the surprising departure of Simon Monaghan from the band Puppet Rebellion has brought about a real sadness and concern about the future of the band from their fans, (me included).
Puppet Rebellion have kindly granted me the opportunity to conduct an interview with them, to talk about their feelings and future plans.
To quote Jim “These are testing times for us, so it’s really heart-warming and encouraging to see so much support from our fan base. As a band, we’re now at a place where we are excited to see what we do next”
Bee – Puppet Rebellion was formed min January 2013 how did you originally get together?
PR – We originally got together after answering an advert that Simon put out asking for like minded muscians to start a band. Craig answered first then Paul, then Chris and I got on board. Danny replaced Chris early this year.
Bee – Who do you feel was the driving force of the band’s success so far, and what have been some of the most significant moments?
PR – We’ve all worked really hard to make the band what it is so far – I couldn’t really single any one person out. Highlights for me personally are many of the gigs that we’ve done. I always enjoy when we play in Manchester, but some of the further afield ones have also been really good. Sometimes even if a venue is small and not particularly busy I come away feeling great!
Bee – Over the time you’ve been together you have built a strong and loyal fan base. What specific qualities do you feel Puppet Rebellion compared with other bands on the Manchester scene?
PR – I think we do work particularly hard and we have strong ideas as to what we are working towards. We also have a strict quality process, so we don’t release anything unless we are happy with it and think it’s good enough. We also work hard to connect with our fans, and give a lot of attention to fan interaction with things like social media.
Bee – Was Simon’s departure a shock to the band? Do you know his future plans?
PR – Yeah, to be honest it was. We’ve had our ups and downs since we’ve been together, but we’ve always managed to sort things out in the past. I think he’s planning on taking a break from music to focus on other aspects of his life. We all wish him well and hope to keep in touch.
Bee – How are you planning auditioning new potential singers for the group? And what qualities will they need to step into Simon’s shoes?
PR – Auditioning new singers is something that we are massively excited about! We’ve already put the feelers out and we plan on inviting potential replacements to our rehearsal space to see if we gel. As for the qualities they will need to step into Simon’s shoes – there are many! We need to find someone who is an equally talented lyricist, singer and frontman and is also as dedicated and hard working as Simon was. It’s not going to be easy!
Bee – Who has been responsible for the song writing so far? will you be expecting the new lead singer to be a lyricist?
PR – To different degrees, we all write at the moment. The lyrics have been mainly Simon’s with input from Craig. We will expect the new singer to be a lyricist, and Craig will continue to function in much the same way as he has previously. We’re a very democratic band though – if someone has a good idea then it will be heard and considered.
Bee – Would either Craig, Paul or yourself consider stepping up to the vocals?
PR – I personally have no interest and desire to sing (besides from the fact I am abysmal at it). Paul and Craig are both good singers but we need a different calibre for our frontman. Simon was great – and we’re not going to settle for anything less.
Bee – Do you see a possible style direction change musically for the band now with Simon’s departure and the renaming Puppet Rebellion 3.0?
PR – We’re not gonna to be called Puppet Rebellion 3.0 – that’s just come from a comment we put on social media as it’s our third line up! We don’t plan on changing anything stylistically, as we’re happy with the way we are – but singers are a massive influence on any band, and I’d be surprised if a new frontman doesn’t change our sound to some extent.
Bee – How do you feel about the outpouring of love for the band at the sudden leaving of Simon?
PR – It’s fantastic! These are testing times for us, so it’s really heart-warming and encouraging to see so much support from our fan base. As a band, we’re now at a place where we are excited to see what we do next – and I think the fans feel the same way, which is very cool.
Bee – What music influences have been the main influence for Puppet Rebellion’s style of music?
PR – We all have our individual influences, but several names that often seem to pop up are Interpol, Bloc Party and The Strokes.
Bee – Who are Puppet Rebellion’s favourite unsigned band or bands?
PR – We’ve played with some great bands and have a long list of other bands we admire. Off the top of my head I’d say Karma Suite, Moscow, The Struts, No Hot Ashes, The Tapestry and Ruby Tuesday all stand out – but there are many more.
Bee – Would you consider having a female vocalist?
PR – If it was you Bee, then yes.
Bee – Can I audition?
PR – I’ll email you our rehearsal room address.