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Louder than Live: The Bionic Monks

Bionic Monks on Selective Memory

As the Bionic Monks prep a new album, they continue to take their ecstatic live show on the road

Have you experienced a Bionic Monks show? If you have then you will understand what I am writing. If you have not, then you need to understand because it simply is the best way to get the full depth of what this Columbus, Indiana, band is capable of. It takes one time to experience the sights and sounds of the Bionic Monks that will leave a lasting impression. The muscle in their rock, the sincerity in their music, and the energy they produce all combines into one of the more versatile rock bands Indiana has to offer.

Comprised of Eric (vocals and bass) and Justin (guitars and vocals) Herb and Brandon Ott (drums), this three piece creates a tornadic fury of power and force within their rock that takes classic rock and metal to a new level. The results are completely energized, encapsulating the pure essence of what the genres provide.

The group will be performing at the 5th Quarter with God Am, Static Tension and Minus Blindfold on March 3. As the group has been a continual presence playing live around the state, this show will be one of the highlights for this group.

“I am glad we finally get to play with all of these guys,” said Eric. “A couple of the bands we tried to before, but for whatever reason, did not work out.”

In addition, having the Bionic Monks back at the 5th Quarter is an accentuation to what the Indiana scene entails and a feeling for the band to give back and support a venue that has given them equal support. As the 5th Quarter will cease operation at the end of April in their current location, the venue is having a Go Fund Me to help with relocation fees. You can help support them by clicking here.

“There are not a lot of venues like the 5th Quarter,” said Brandon. “It’s a great thing to see there is a lot of support coming from this venue all of these years. It sucks they have to take in all of this negative energy as they have spent so much time bringing all of these shows and people together.”

What you can expect from a Bionic Monks show is that it is a collaborative effort between the band and the audience.

“We are not a band who will show up, play, and just walk off the stage,” said Shane Sirk, manager of the band. “These guys will go and play for and with the crowd and then after, hang out and party with that crowd.”

A new album in the works

The Bionic Monks will be showing off songs from an upcoming album they are currently working on. According to Eric, they are about 80% complete with the writing. The next step for them is to secure a studio date and begin recording.

“We are really liking what we are coming up with,” he said. “You always have to push to the next level with each release so what we are trying to do is look for something that you already have while trying to expand and add to it. I think with the lineup of songs we are working on, we have accomplished that.”

“The new songs are more in depth,” added Brandon. “These songs will hit closer to home for a lot of people. This third release should be an example of the intensity that we have and our musicianship will show with how these songs are taking shape.”

10 years in the making that begin with Eric and his two sons and transformed into something bigger than they imagined, they released a debut EP, followed by a full-length CD, proving they were willing to take their sound to the next level. Adding Brandon on drums has added a new perspective to the group and helped preserve and carry their sound forward.

“About six years ago is when the band really started gaining traction,” Eric said. “When my boys were younger and they started getting into music, I introduced them to the music from my day and bands like Metallica and Rush. As we were listening to these groups I would point out how the drums were played or how a particular guitar sounds. I ended up getting my one boy (who is now in the military) a drum set and Justin a guitar. We started playing some small shows and parties and it blossomed from there.”

After the March 3 show, the group will be back at the 5th Quarter for the venue finale show on April 29. In between they help launch a new venue in Huntington, Indiana on March 25. On May 13, they will be rocking out at the Fort Wayne Music Fest. And this is just the beginning with more shows and festivals, including the possibility of some significant biker fests in the works, on the way.

You can keep an eye on their schedule and songs with their ReverbNation page.

“When we are live, being we are a three piece, we like to go 100 percent and give it everything that we got,” said Justin. “We have had feedback impressed because they see our energy and can feed off of it. When we are up there doing our thing and the crowd is into it, that conversation and transmission of energy, that’s the best. To top it off we have people who know our stuff, singing our songs, and it all is a great environment to be in. While recording is great because we have control and can fine tune our sound, it does not compare to experiencing the songs live. Us doing our thing is pointless unless there are people there enjoying it.”

When you experience what this band is capable of, you will understand that fulfillment.

Andrew Duncan
Dug out from a pile of zines and hot sauce, Andrew Duncan has contributed to many publications through the years, including Chord and work with the ever so spunky Readyset...Aesthetic! He now resides deep within your membrane.

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