Hi, my name’s John B. McKenna: 25 years old, Scottish expat. I write, record and perform with Monoganon; a mostly Glasgow, Scotland, based band.
I live in Malmö, Sweden.
I’m a musician, but I also work with visual arts and sound design. Parallel to that, I work for rent and food money in a maritime museum here in Malmö.
Got an 8-track in 2005, and that’s when I started recording/writing songs.
Monoganon began in 2008 and continues to grow and evolve. It’s always been my main project, but gradually everyone’s taken up their own space, which makes for much better music. Everyone else has their own bands (Tuff Love, Jutland Songs and Fat-Suit), but they give a lot of their time and energy to Monoganon.
I performed solo with an acoustic, but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do.
Monoganon’s first performance was supporting David Grubbs at Mono in Glasgow. It was a cool first gig to play, but in hindsight the material we performed was more suited for home listening. However, I think some people still appreciated what we were trying to do.
A great thing that happened that night was that we met Duncan Young of DIY music collective Winning Sperm Party, and he offered to record us in his basement. Our first 3 releases (Songs To Swim To, Help?, Elephant Pregnancy) were all recorded there and are available to download for free at his website. Our latest album, F A M I L Y, released by Lost Map Records, is available here. None of this would have happened otherwise.
I would like to collaborate more often, have more opportunities to tour/travel, and work more with film and music. Putting out records and playing new places is our main aim as a band.
I’ve gained a lot from it, too. I enjoy learning new things and remaining open to new experiences. I find it therapeutic to create, so it’s a privilege to have the confidence to do so.
We try to give to the audience what we’d look for in a performance: Something that you can play around with in your mind, or music that you can focus on; safe in the expectation that you’ll discover more detail each time around.
A lot of our stuff’s about questioning one’s self, self-acceptance and forming empathy with others. I think I want our audience to feel activated emotionally, politically and creatively by passing on the confidence to be confident.
Limmy, Alasdair Gray, Broadcast, Deerhoof, Deerhunter, Pixies, Fugazi, Joanna Newsom, Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac and having new experiences with art, cinema and music.
I’ve been sleeping alright recently, but when it happens that I can’t clear my head, I’m usually thinking about my financial security.
First off, I’m coming to America in March to travel and meet up with some friends.
Monoganon will tour the UK with our friends’ bands Tuff Love and The Pictish Trail in May; playing shows in Scandinavia and around Europe. We’re going to release some more stuff with Lost Map Records. Outside of these plans, I’m writing/demoing new material all the time, and I have a few projects coming up where I’m mixing music and making videos for other bands.