Monster Movie, a British Dream Pop Band

 

This was the official website for Monster Movie, a British dream pop band formed by Christian Savill and Sean Hewson in 1989. Don't mistake this band for previous bands with the same name.
Content is from the site's archived pages and other outside sources that give a more complete story about these two musicians and Monster Movie.

 

monster movie are christian savill {sagittarius} and sean hewson {masculine}. monster movie were formed in 1989 with a different name and with different people. there have been other names since then. one of monster movie was in a band called 'slowdive'. one of them wasn't. monster movie were formed again in january 2000 under the name monster movie.

monster movie released their first, eponymous ep in april 2001 and followed it with an album - 'last night something happened' - in early 2002. both records were released by 'clairecords' and received several "reviews". one review, this one, called these first releases 'beautiful' and pronounced monster movie 'hideous boymen with a very secret but very beautiful plan for this world.'

listen, monster movie featured on a split single with 'dreamend', it was released on the 6th october 2002 by 'graveface records'. some people liked it, other people chose to sleep their sad lives away in ignorance. since then monster movie have completed their second album offering, 'to the moon', this was released by 'clairecords'. 'to the moon' was a consolidation and elevation of monster movie's 'gifts'.

monster movie unleashed 'transistor' a 7 track mini album for 'graveface records' in december 2004, with this release monster movie reached out and touched everyone, whether they wanted to be touched or not.

monster movie completed their third album 'all lost' in november 2005. recorded in weston-super-mare and released by graveface in april 2006. the new 12 track album again features rachel staggs of 'experimental aircraft' & 'eau claire' on vocals. thrillingly, their ability to 'heal and grow' is still present and still unequalled by other men.

finally and ridiculously, monster movie have also invented a cosmic dice on which they are the only people to have ever thrown a six. their wish is your command.

come to boyland.

 

POSTS 2005 - 2007

 15.11.07 save arseholes from satan's power

monster movie love christmas. we also love a double a-side. and, as the girls that walk passed us in the street know, both sides are always a-sides with monster movie.

we have been working well hard in our west london shitholes, to come up with these gifts that won't stop giving. we have recorded two christmas songs, as we threatened we would. one, the a-side, is called emmanuel and it's electro-pop. the other, the a-side, is called christmas card and it's a bit of a mid-tempo ballad. both these songs will be available from the 1st december until the 24th december via our web-site in two formats:

1. homemade cd-r single. we made the songs and we've made the cover. we take the blame for everything. for $7 (postage & packing included) you will get a cd-r in a christmas card made by monster movie, we will even make the card out to you so please enter your first name in the paypal form and any other instructions you have for us, monster movie. this will be a limited edition of 100, all hand-numbered.

2. download. both songs will be available for download. there will be a donate button by the downloads, so you can have these for free, but remember we are not as rich as radiohead (simply because we are not as good as radiohead), and we're saving up to record an album, please don't make us do it on our clock radio/tape recorder.

please understand that we have day jobs and might not be able to post the cards off immediately, but we will do our best.

step into christmas

/// 11.09.07 last night something happened is out

our friends at clairecords have re released our debut album 'last night something happened' and we have some for sale on this website, the cost is $13 including postage. please go to our buypage to do the needful.

in other news we accidentally managed to delete our christmas single the other day. we've managed to re record the bits we wiped and should be finished in a couple of weeks. it will either come out on graveface or we'll just sell it ourselves on a cd-r. 
yours sincerely
jpt and kb

 

/// 18.07.07 our gift to you

listen, you know that monster movie worship the old gods (and they worship us). well, this year we are taking christmas back from the christians and giving them nothing in return because they?e been naughty. we are in the process of ?ecording a genuine christmas single (i.e., one that is about christmas rather than one that is released in december and has snow in the video). this, as yet untitled, double a-side will re-rewrite history giving it better hair and bigger muscles. one side is a shiny electropop snowflake, the other side is a twinkly computer ballad. we made it all ourselves so it will sound better than the school bell at the end of the day.

the accompanying seasonal photo shoot will reinvent sex appeal just like sister ray said.

more details later but please help us to get into double figures sales wise this time, that will be your gift to us.

let the snowman bring the snow.

/// 17.04.07 hibernation is over. we're coming out of the nest

hello master. we've managed to work out how to update our web-site so here is the news: last night something happened, our brilliant debut album, will be re-released by clair ecords in september (probably). the artwork is being re-generated, which sounds exciting; and the cd will contain the original german bonus track "the same again", which is less exciting. travelling now back to the future - we are in creative mode. we have wrestled the means of production away from the man and are currently producing a (mini) album on our new tape recorder. it will either be a mini-album or a proper album, depending on how rubbish the songs are. stylistically it will be a partner release to transistor, our brilliant mini-album, with a variety of styles being played incompetently by the movie. no release date as yet, we'll see how it goes. now it's time for the news, sport & weather where you live.

/// 21.08.06 all lost web-site

IMAGE: album-2006-all-lost.gif

there are people in the world that haven't bought our brilliant, third album, 'all lost' - we have a list of names and it's bloody massive. this is clearly a mass oversight, however these 'people' can now check this classic album out here and then buy it immediately.
other news - listen, we've been busy: both of us have moved house, and soon one of us will have a kid and one of us will get married (it's no joke - we're actually allowed to do these things). but, whilst all this life-changing stuff has been happening we've been locked in our respective sheds writing a million songs. now we're going to record them, for you. so, expect a 'transistor'-type, badly-produced release next year.
we miss syd & arthur. hate.

/// 09.05.06 all lost sound clips available and artoffact records

we now have sound clips available for all the tracks from our new album 'all lost'. you can listen at our discography page. we've also just been talking with artoffact records, they will be releasing the album in canada in a couple of weeks, so if you're from canada you can do business with them. that's all for now daddy-o
/// 07.05.06 new web site

we've launched our new web site. we really like it, so therefore you have to as well. thank you very much to dylan mcconnell he did all of it despite our technical buffoonary. we tried to order some more copies of 'last night something happened' to sell in our shop, but clairecords told us that it is out of print, but they might repress it later in the year. we are trying to sort out badges and t shirts as well.
/// 21.04.06 all lost by monster movie

we've received some copies of this, our third (brilliant) album, and it is available from our listen and buy page. because we say it best when we say nothing at all this is what graveface say about it:

imagine that it's sometime between twilight and dawn deep in the middle of winter. you can't sleep, and you sit up and turn on the radio, just to fill the quiet. when you reach the end of the dial, something happens; where there has never before been anything but empty air, music is filtering through the static. it is pure and beautiful and sounds like nothing you have ever heard--reminiscent of what you might think the aurora borealis would sound like, or maybe the snow falling outside. welcome to monster movie's latest album, all lost. the third full-length offering from christian savill and sean hewson, all lost features supremely melodic and ethereal pop laden with distortion, otherworldly effects and strangely radiant drone. vocals are clear and serene, and include meltingly lovely contributions from rachel staggs (experimental aircraft, eau claire). with twelve tracks of dreamy, crystalline music spun out of faraway starlight and falling shadows, this album will wrap your heart up in its pale blue shimmer and keep you forever. all lost comes packaged in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with art from william schaff.

we're pretty pleased with this album so get it. got it?
other news - we're collecting songs & we'll probably record another mini-album at home later this year, as soon as our pc starts working again.

let's groove tonight, share the spice of life. cheers.

/// 01.12.05 all lost by monster movie

this album seems to be in celebration of the things we can rely on – the moon, the seasons, nature – but also about escaping from the things we can’t rely on – the hollow, stupid, lazy, modern world. that contrast can also be seen in the way the album is separated between acoustic songs written on guitar or piano and electronic songs written on synths. 
if the above makes sense we're amazed, if we also manage to carry it off it is a total fluke – there is never any planning. here are the songs:

behm – eno, boards of canada, coil – electronic moon-landscape thing.

vanishing act – monster movie pop-song with synth sounds.

the stars that surround you – inept night-time piano ballad, antony & the johnsons.

return to yesterday – sparklehorse intro. accoustic/electro pop song. nice malkmus/mascis type chorus.

hope i find the moon – electronic folk song to the moon with a bit of simon & garfunkel.

driving through the red lights – moroder pop/disco song with our best chorus yet. johnny marr guitar bits under the chorus.

the impossible – great big acoustic pop song. like a neil young song played by dark side-era pink floyd.

3# - 2-part instrumental. refers to most the musical ideas used elsewhere on the album.

no one can know – pretty acoustic/keyboard tune with good chorus.

run to heart of the sunrise – contrasts – loud/quiet, big/small, full/empty.

vertical planes – another moroder disco tune with vocoder vocals.

falling into the sun – creepy folk beginning before a long build up to a big chorus. nice blend of vocals engineered by martin nichols.

we'll let you know when there is a release date but we should be putting some tracks on our my space page tomorrow. 
the major change we would like to make on the album we will record in 2006 is to use a drummer, so if you are a uk-based drummer who won't laugh at us too much please get in contact. cheers arse.

/// 15.11.05 new album by us

all night long. we've finished. we master the bastard on the 30th of november and then we put it in the magic machine & it appears in all the shops in the world and elsewhere.
this is what it is - there are twelve tracks, two are instrumentals and one almost is, everything else sounds like hit singles to us. there is no title or track listing as yet but there is a cover and it's been done by william schaff. we think this is the best thing we've done thus far and everything else we've done has been brilliant so you join the dots.
when we have a title & a release date we'll put a track by track report on the web-site, that should be riveting.
as usual there are no plans to tour as we are still waiting for someone to come and play bass and drums for us.

let me see that thong. cheers.

/// 03.10.05 i know you and you cannot sing

sweet home alabama, we're almost there. listen, we've got one more week of recording to do and rachel staggs from experimental aircraft is coming along to do some vocals. hopefully our label lord and dreamend guy ryan manon will turn up as well to check that we haven't spent his money on beans (we have).
the album is now at the stage where we've got a pretty good idea of how it will turn out and it will be brilliant. we think this album bats right the way down the order. we've got a variety of stuff on there from disco to folk but we think we've managed to get it all to fit together - something we didn't do on 'to the moon'. ryan has managed to get william schaff to do the artwork (for the left-handers amongst you he does the artwork for godspeed...they're a band), we're very excited about that and we haven't been excited since 1988 (remember?)
we're also still looking for a london-based drummer and a bass player so we can play live because we haven't made a friend or sold a record since 2001 and we want to. so let us know if you've got two hands and are independently wealthy.

spanner rusty a sponge and..what?..over. cheers

/// 05.08.05 the return of the return of the one takers

yeah boy. we're doing the vocals (that's singing to you). it hurts but it hurts so good. listen, we're not natural singers, we're not natural in any shape or form. but, it will sound alright and it will be alright as long as you believe in oz and not the little man behind the curtain. let me engage you for a moment and tell you that we've got some pretty good tunes this time - some are big like barns but some are small like mice. there's some of that electronic stuff that eno invented so that we could improve. some of it you can even dance with a young man or lady to.
star of transistor, rachel staggs from experimental aircraft, should be flying in to make her contribution in october (yes, she's winged like the griffin). expect the whole mess to be ready for human consumption in late november/early december when all our sweet songs about summertime will make most sense. cheers.

let me see you stripped down to the bone

/// 04.05.05 the return of the one takers

please understand. we've been recording with martin nichols in weston-super-mare. what this means is we have recorded two whole tracks (one is like 'apollo' one is like 'fade to grey' only better than anything ever). additionally we have four tracks awaiting vocals (all acoustic/piano tunes with electronic stuff over the top, all brilliant, all of it sounds like the future, now).
we will return to the seaside shortly with 3 or 4 more tunes (all brilliant and all by us). to expand, we will do the vocals to the first batch & the backing tracks to the second batch. we hope to finish the whole thing by the autumn, then graveface will release it in a brilliant cover.
with this album we are trying to be more brilliant than anyone ever, including ourselves. in the past we have been better than everyone but we have never been better than ourselves, now we are.

bow down mister

/// 13.04.05 dreamend's beauty

let's talk. monster movie were at club ac30 last night to see our new best friends dreamend play. christian 'helped' on guitar & bass and ryan, derek & mike finished off their european tour with a beautiful collision of noise, tunes & beards. they're now back in the us finishing their album, it should be out in may but keep your big brown eye on graveface for updates. those guys starve so we can record.
shortly, we will depart for western-super-mare to record the six tunes we've already written, we'll then be hoping to add about 4 more. we're also hoping ryan from dreamend will be able to guest on the album in some capacity. we want him to write & perform everything but we'll see.

sweat 'till you can't sweat no more (oh)

/// 04.04.05 our beauty

dears. we've made some songs up about you and we're going to record them this year. in a couple of weeks we are going to visit martin nichols at the white house studio and he will be there to answer the door this time. we will be taking our acoustic guitars and a plastic bag containing ten casio keyboards, with these we aim to go against nature, gravity & time and bring back the old gods. on this album we will be insulting the memory of eno, folk music, all piano players everywhere, and anyone who ever successfully used music software. there will be special guests but we're still trying to emotionally blackmail them.

let us sniff you (please)

/// 17.02.05 partial eclipse of the heart

hello darlings. we are gathering songs by our usual method - theft. we've got a bit of creepy folk, a bit of pop, a bit of hi-nrg and a piano ballad. we are hoping it will all make sense in the morning. we're also on the auralgasms cd – bliss of life which is available online at auralgasms.com. other people are on it too. there is also mention of us at the unbroken circle which is a brilliant site if you can read and stuff, which we can. blow hard.

too real to feel

REVIEWS

 

Christopher Dare
ROCK
JULY 8 2002

The fade-out always made the most sense with shoegazer bands. Something about tides of\n\ distortion and steady chord progressions ...

The fade-out always made the most sense with shoegazer bands. Something about tides of distortion and steady chord progressions suggest an endless continuum, no real starting or stopping points. You can imagine each layer of guitar still echoing somewhere out in the cosmos. Despite their short-lived, tumultuous history, Slowdive were masters of the art, resting at an apex of pop songcraft in contrast to My Bloody Valentine's noisy psychedelia. Slowdive mainstay Christian Savill is now making music with fellow Brit Sean Hewson as Monster Movie. A bit of a misnomer, the band's combination of pedal-drenched atmosphere with soft melodies has led to a super-satisfying, solid full-length.

Coming at the heels of an earlier EP on Clairecords, Last Night Something Happened may be a bit more subdued than other offerings from the genre, but no less affecting. The album begins with an instrumental, "First Trip to the City," a nice nostalgic drift through gentle pedal fuzz and layered keyboards. Then "Shortwave" continues with introspective piano, building into a poignant little chorus as the falsetto asks, "How do you feel, when your days are behind you?" Monster Movie have a way of multi-tracking their harmonies so thickly that it all blends with the instruments into an irresistible surge of sound. "Home" adds backing vocals from Louise Hewson, whose lovely sigh gets caught up in blustery synth swirls and the crisp drum crack that punctuates the mix.

Like most dream-pop records, Last Night Something Happened is oriented towards album listening. Just when you think the whole disc is about to be filled with gloomy mid-tempo romanticism, "Waiting" charms you with sunny guitar strumming and sing-song vocals. "Sleeping on a Train" begins with a chugging locomotive riff, and takes the pace up a notch with an electrified jangle almost reminiscent of the Verve. Monster Movie flirt somewhere at the edges of Britpop, but the mellow nature of the softer songs here suggests Liverpool as much as Manchester. A brief change of pace arrives with "Star City," a forlorn piano instrumental with whupping helicopter noises and television chatter in the background.

After the interlude, the album rises to another peak. "4th and Pine" tells the story of a supposed suicide, though details are not revealed. She's left behind only a note about her disappearance, sung with heartfelt sincerity by the boys: "Shadow, shadow, that's all I seem to be/ I am a shadow of who I used to be." On paper it may sound cut from the rather cliché cloth of urban alienation, but the way that chorus wells up so hopefully and yet ends unresolved turns this into a moving sketch. These songs may be about the unavoidable sorrows of life, but they're delivered with such compassion that the record takes on a medicinal quality.

The slow, uncurling bassline of "Winter Is Coming" signals the end of the album, and the aforementioned fade-out lasts measure after measure, easing you off. Monster Movie may not be blessed with the absolutely ecstatic summery pulse of Slowdive, but it's clear they're aiming at a different season anyway. Like many songwriting duos, Savill and Hewson know when to cut a good thing short, and you're left wanting more than thirty-seven minutes. Last Night Something Happened ends at just the right moment, though, and there are few records I can recommend more this year in terms of pure pop replayability. The sleeve photos, all cut from glossy Thingmakers cardstock, show rainy highways from the first-person perspective, all running beyond the horizon line. It's clear that the album's meant to be a traveler's diversion, so maybe you'll enjoy it as a detour from your next trip to Souvlaki Space Station.

 

 

++++

About from their monstermovieband.wordpress.com Site

IMAGE: monstermoviephoto.jpg

2010-2011

Good evening. We are Monster Movie.

This is how we got to look this old:

In 1989 we (Christian Savill and Sean Hewson) were a couple of hairy sixth formers. We had no plans other than to avoid hard labour, grown-up emotions and deep thought. We formed a band called The Geeks that consisted of us on guitars and anyone else that could bear to stand near to us. We played anything that was in E. The Geeks became Eternal (not literally, we are still mortal) and we had a steady line-up and some OK songs. We put out a record on Sarah Records but Sean wasn’t on it so it didn’t go Top Ten. We performed one gig which was 90% guitar tuning, 10% confusion.

Christian immediately left to join Slowdive… ..After Slowdive broke up we got the old band back together. We wrote some songs about sex toys and no one liked us. It was just like the old days. But it didn’t last. There were too many ideas and none of them were any good. .. ..It is 1999. We work in an office – we hate it. We try to listen to modern music – we hate it. So, we try to make the music we want to hear. We hate that too but decide to call ourselves Monster Movie and carry on with it anyway.

In our minds we are a modern Krautrock band so we call ourselves after a Can album that we have never heard. In reality we are a pop band with weird bits. We write some songs and take the whole sorry mess down to Martin Nichols at The White House Studio. He makes it sound nice and fixes our guitars for us. Our demo becomes our first EP – Crash Landing. We follow that with a debut album called Last Night Something Happened. It’s pretty good. We then decide that we don’t need Martin’s help and record our second album – To The Moon – without him. It’s terrible – good songs, badly realised. We learn our lesson and run back to Martin.

The next album (All Lost) is better. We also get Rachel Goldstar to do some singing for us. It seems that the less that we have to do with an album the better it is.

2009/2010 saw our twentieth anniversary as a duo and our tenth as Monster Movie. We celebrated by recording a miserable album called Everyone Is A Ghost. On this album we also added Ryan Graveface to our band of chums. Ryan has long been our label boss but we decided that, as well as actually paying for our albums, he also has to make them sound better by playing and singing on them

As we embark upon our second decade of anonymity we have added more people: Sam Williams and Gregg Cox have agreed to play the drums and bass on our new album. We will be recording this with Martin in the Spring and Summer of 2011. It will be alright, you’ll see.

++++

UPDATE: 2017

IMAGE: 2017-monster-movie.png

Monster Movie are bigger than ever on new single “Shouldn’t Stray from the Shadows” — listen

Dream pop duo becomes a full band for their first album in seven years, Keep the Voices Distant

Ben Kaye
February 01, 2017

Christian Savill and Sean Hewson originally formed Monster Movie in 1989, but the pair’s pet project was shelved when Savill joined Slowdive. Ten years later, they reformed following Slowdive’s disbandment and have since released three full-lengths and a handful of EPs. However, it’s been seven years since we’ve heard new Monster Movie music, and with Savill back with the reunited Slowdive, you’d think the band would once again be pushed to the side. Ironically, not only are they back with a new album, Keep the Voices Distant, but it’s their biggest effort to date.

Instead of Slowdive once again overshadowing the duo, the outfit’s reunion impelled Monster Movie to transform into a fully realized band. They brought drummer James Harrison (Air Formation) and Slowdive bassist Nick Chaplin into the fold to help expand their dream pop sound. Now a four-piece, they entered White House Recording Studios with Martin Nichols and producer Ryan Graveface to create Keep the Voices Distant, out March 31st via Graveface Records.

New single “Shouldn’t Stray from the Shadows” reveals just how much the additional members have helped the band grow. There’s still a shoegazing edge, but it’s lifted upwards by relentless thermals of blistering guitars and storming drums. It soars like nothing else the band has ever produced, something like a cacophonous version of Interpol. Though the composition is still very clearly a product of Savill and Hewson’s collaboration, the inclusion of Chaplin and Harrison has clearly taken the band to new and exciting heights.

 

 

Monster-Movie.com