Five Questions With… Monowhales' Jordan Circosta

The Toronto alt-rockers have just released a new single and video. Here the group's drummer describes the video, their creative evolution, tips for surviving on the road, and big plans for 2020.

Five Questions With… Monowhales' Jordan Circosta

By Jason Schneider

Following up on their 2018 EP Control Freak, Toronto alt-rockers Monowhales recently released a new single and video, RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down), a song described as encapsulating the feeling of relief and empowerment from pushing back.

To get that feeling across visually, the band once again worked with director Dan Slater (West Films), and producer Phil Kluba (Press It), the same team behind their previous popular videos for Take It Back, Real Love and Let It Go. The results are a video that highlights four unique “worlds,” each carrying its significance.

The release of RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down) coincides with Monowhales' next run of shows that will cover most of southern and eastern Ontario, along with Montreal, beginning Nov. 21 in Waterloo and wrapping up in Ottawa on Dec. 8. The band is also currently working with producer Ryan Worsley (Dear Rouge, Brave Shores) on some new tunes, and we got drummer Jordan Circosta to fill us on more details.


The new video for RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down)has a lot of interesting imagery in it. Who came up with the concept and what was it like to shoot it?

Thanks! [Vocalist] Sally Shaar handles a lot of the visual aspects of the band, so the concept for the video was developed by her and our video production team. It was shot all in one blisteringly hot summer day at various parks in the east end of Toronto. Sixteen hours and a bit of heatstroke later and we had the video in the bag. We’ve been really happy with the reception it’s received so far.

What made you decide to release this track as a single?

Earlier this year we flew Ryan Worsley to Toronto to produce two of what we felt were our strongest songs at the time. We had been playing them on the road since the previous summer and had been in touch with Ryan, who was recommended to us by Dear Rouge. Once we recorded the tracks it was obvious that RWLYD had all the elements we felt represented the sound of the music we’re making right now: Modern production; a perfect marriage of synths and guitars; and songwriting that represents the emotional state of the band as a unit. 


How would you describe the band's evolution over the past three years?

Overall, I think we’ve really honed in on our creative vision. Around three years ago we were working hard on improving ourselves as songwriters, which is unfortunately a lot easier said than done.

We wrote countless songs that never saw the light of day until we starting nailing down some of the concepts that would become the songs you hear on the Control Freak EP. While that EP was a raw, stripped-down rock ’n’ roll record, we’ve really embraced modern production techniques in our music since then which I think is obvious when you listen to RWLYD. We’ve done more touring in the past three years than we ever have, which has really caused us to step up our game as performers and musicians. We feel the shows we’ve been playing on this tour have been some of our best. We’ve also grown closer as a unit, and the new record has some of the most honest, heartfelt material this band has every written.


You're currently in the middle of a cross-Canada tour. What are your best tips for surviving on the road?

Take every opportunity to eat healthy food and go to the gym when you can! There’ll be many days when it just isn’t possible when you’re doing 12-13 hour drives where the only available food is Subway or A&W. That stuff gets old fast. Grocery store rotisserie chickens and pre-washed salads are your friends. If you’re vegan like Sally and you have the chance to hit up a vegan spot in a major city, grab meals for the next couple of days and keep them in a cooler.


What plans are you making for 2020?

International expansion! New music! Our first full-length album! We’ve reached a point in our careers where we feel ready to put out a cohesive artistic statement and have been working on writing, road testing, and recording the songs that will be on our upcoming album for about a year and a half. We’re putting a lot of things in place to make this record the biggest one yet so keep an eye out for a new single in early 2020 and the LP dropping later that year.

Facebook: @ monowhales

Instagram: @ monowhales

Twitter: @ monowhales

Youtube: @ monowhales

PR: Jessica Santa / Listen Harder

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

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