Mona

S&S Presents

Mona

Flagship

Friday, April 21, 2017

7:00 pm

Kilby Court

Mona
Mona
Upon leaving the Midwest for Nashville, MONA quickly captured the attention of audiences and critics with driving, post-indie rock delivered with a rebellious energy. Looking back, singer and songwriter Nick Brown describes the band's vibe with a string of adjectives and nouns: fist pumping, white t-shirts, Marlon Brando, James Dean, sex and God. It all led to a major-label overtures and eventually a deal with Island Def Jam.

As Brown tells it, he and his bandmates were more than happy to embrace the narrative as they were swept along through green rooms, VIP tents, label offices, television studios and the world's largest festivals. But in the end, major-label life wasn't the right fit for a band that had approached songwriting, recording and live performance in their own way from day one.

"As much fun as it all was most of the time, we wanted to be more than a trend," says Brown. "We're in this to connect with other humans."

For Brown and his bandmates, it had always been about connection. The son of a Pentecostal preacher, Brown snuck in rock riffs and built up swagger between Sunday services, well aware of the faith tradition he shared with greats like Johnny Cash, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. In fact, he named the band after this grandmother Mona, a nod to heritage and a bygone era.

"I came from a background of seeing music matter to people," he says. "I learned early that where people came together for music, there was power."

Mona got a taste of that power when their self-titled debut was nominated for the BBC Sound of 2011 award and won MTV's Brand New for 2011. They found themselves playing Later With Jools Holland, Conan and Leno, as well as being named to NME's Best New Bands. Supporting gigs for Noel Gallagher, Kings Of Leon and other large acts followed, as did appearances at some of the world's biggest festivals, including Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Splendour in the Grass and more.

They built on that momentum with a second album, "Torches & Pitchforks", which showcased the band's seemingly endless reserve of creative energy, and brought focus to their signature sound. The sophomore effort again earned praise from fans and critics worldwide.

Today, on the eve of their third album, the Nashville rockers find themselves brimming with energy and confidence. They're also now a five-piece, with Zach Lindsay on bass, his brother Alex on guitar, Jordan Young on guitar, and Justin Wilson on drums. They've seen a lot in just a few years and have emerged with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh and vibrant set of newly penned songs that may well be the best of their career. Brown and his bandmates joke about creating a new genre: romantic ambient grunge alt.

With a new label, a new team and an extraordinary new batch of songs, Brown says he's more proud than ever of the band and the work they are doing. "We have always been a tight knit group, but the vibe is the best's it's been and we are looking forward to bringing these songs to the public. Very few things matter in this world, and we think music is one of them."
Flagship
Flagship
If you like transplendent and moving soundscapes that will take you places you've only imagined in your wildest and most beautiful dreams, then Flagship is the band for you. When this group of talented Southern boys, hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, gather together to innovate more of their tightly wound, ethereal diacoustics, it's a virtually effortless endeavor. Their sound is visionary and vivid, reflective of the minds and hearts behind the chords and percussion. At the helm is Drake Margolnick, whose lofty melodies and contemplative lyrics are carried to listeners by a band largely characterized by rapturous orchestral sounds. This group has a tendency to make songs with severe emotional depth. Don't miss this boat (haha).

The expansive, electric sound of Flagship was born one humid summer at a music festival in Illinois.

Drake Margolnick was there performing on the heels of an EP he had recorded and some friends of his from the band Campbell were there and he asked them if they would be his backing band. It became clear from the first note that this makeshift group had musical chemistry. The group created a sound much greater than the sum of their parts. Back in their mutual hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina it was decided that this musical collaboration should continue.

Frontman Drake Margolnick was born in England, on an Air Force base, the son of a military couple. A few years later, his mother settled in the southern city of Charlotte where Margolnick focused his energies on skateboarding and dirt-bike riding, dreaming of pursuing the sports professionally. Through his teen years, however, music began to completely capture his imagination. After high school graduation, Margolnick moved to Australia to follow his muse. Disillusioned with the scene there, Margolnick returned to Charlotte where he quickly integrated into the burgeoning community of musicians, artists and filmmakers.

It was the same soil that drummer Michael Finster was growing in. It was here playing in multiple bands in multiple venues—clubs, theaters and coffee houses—that they honed their musical style, a sound that transcends the traditional south but seems right at home in the southern heat.

After forming Flagship, Margolnick and Finster immediately began to work on a tight collection of songs—self-producing and engineering the Blackbush EP. Here, they began to formulate an atmospheric mixture of pop-minded melodies and passionate, aggressive performance. It was the strength of these songs that attracted the attention of Bright Antenna Records, a label that wanted to see them grow beyond their regional fanbase while maintaining their distinct musical personality.
Venue Information:
Kilby Court
741 Kilby Court
Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
http://kilbycourt.com/kilbycourt/calendar/listing.html