Backstage :: Monophonics


Monophonics at Stern Grove Festival on Sunday, August 10, at 2 p.m.

Over the past seven years, Monophonics have staked their claim as one of the west coast’s premier bands. Raised amid the rich musical culture of San Francisco, Monophonics has proudly carried on the tradition of music native to their hometown, which flourished during the birth of funk music and psychedelic soul.

Psychedelic Soul, sometimes called Black Rock, is a sub-genre of Soul music, combining soul with psychedelic rock. It came to prominence in the late 1960s and continued into the 1970s, playing a major role in the development of soul and funk music. Monophonics were formed in 2005 as an instrumental ensemble, but in the last two years their sound has evolved to encompass vocally driven songs.

Below is an interview we conducted with Monophonics bass player Myles O’Mahony.


Are there any psych soul bands that you find yourselves listening to lately?
Orgone and Ben L’Oncle Soul, among others. There are so many great bands developing and growing out of this scene.

What is your favorite San Francisco venue? Restaurant? Neighborhood?
Venue – The Fillmore, aside from the great history, it’s just a good place to see a show and has been a dream of mine/ours to play at there since we were young. In doing so recently, it only fortified my feelings for the place.

Restaurant – There is a lot of good food in SF but a birthday tradition of mine is Little Star Pizza on Divisadero. That place is hard to beat.

Neighborhood – The Mission is one of the more vibrant neighborhoods of the city and tends to be the general go-to.

What made you make the jump from an instrumental ensemble to a vocally-driven band?
Transitioning from an instrumental outfit into being a predominately vocal lead band was something I think we all wanted from the beginning. It just took time to first build a feel as a group of musicians then take the time to find the right singer. We were lucky to find as good a fit as Kelly, who really was the missing link we needed to grow into our own as a band.

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