Hello, My Name Is…

For this week’s installment of our recurring HMNI feature, we have three totally different musical entities. First, a master sampler with a fine singing voice, and  a former BTR Artist of the Week to boot, the rising Brooklyn loop manipulator, Elk!

Then, a Pixies-influenced rock quartet out of south Florida, currently basking in critical praise for their debut album, Astro Coast, Surfer Blood spills the story behind their salty red moniker!

Finally, promulgators of the most insane live music  show on Earth, here to tell us the tale behind their singularly drinkable-sounding name, ladies and gentlemen, Monotonix!

“It was nothing serious or anything, I was just coming up with funny names with one of my friends,” says Justin Stein, the man behind Elk. “He was saying stuff like ‘I am the Cobra,’ just playing around, and I was like ‘I am the Elk,’ and my friend said, ‘that’s pretty funny!’ But now when I talk about the band, or when my friends ask me about it on email, they always refer to it as ‘The Elk,’ instead of just ‘Elk.’

Which one do you prefer?

“I like ‘Elk.’ I think ‘The Elk’ sounds pretty ridiculous,” laughs Stein.

“We were going to play a show in Gainesville, so we were getting all our stuff together and transferring cars,” says frontman John Paul Pitts, of the West Palm Beach, Florida-based band Surfer Blood. “And TJ (Schwarz, drummer) used to surf a lot in high school, he had the bleached spikes, you know?”

“I was like, ‘I got a surfer pack on,'” says Schwarz, “’cause we’re all surfer buds, like surfer bros.'”

“And he’s like ‘yeah, we’re surfer bloods,'” says Pitts, “like Bloods and Crips, and I was like ‘no, that’s cool!’ And then when it came time to think of a name, we were like, ‘well, we came up with Surfer Blood, and that’s pretty rad,’ and everyone was like ‘yeah? Yeah!'”

“We liked it,” finishes Schwarz.

In an interview with Schmitty at Thrasher magazine, frontman Ami Shalev tells how the power trio from Tel Aviv, Israel came up with their name:

“A good friend of mine that played bass in a band had a song called ‘Mono Addictive Acid Man.’ Then we had a band called Mono Addictive Acid Man. We thought we should get a short cut for this long name. He said, ‘Monotonix?’ and I was good with that.”

Link to this article:

– Matt Lehtola


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