The wonderfully melodic, beautifully written songs of Saucy Monky are about to burst through the speakers of your iPhone. The band, lead by ex girlfriends, is fun, exciting, and extremely talented. I laughed at their jokes, found their stories of songwriting and playing music inspiring, and genuinely enjoyed their new album. Hold on Billboard charts, Saucy Monky is coming… I would assume sooner rather than later. Their new album “Trophy Girl” is being released in three installments. Learn more about that and everything else about the two lead girls – Annmarie Cullen [vocals, guitar] and Cynthia Catania [vocals/guitar] – when they sit down with CherryGRRL.
1. So, how did you girls start playing music together?
Cynthia: I met Annmarie at one of my shows, but we knew about each other from being in the LA music scene. Somehow, we were on each other’s mailers. We started to correspond a bit – I remember sending a congrats note after she signed her publishing deal. Shortly after that I went to see her play at her weekly residency. And I was really impressed. The bar was packed and she was delightful. We corresponded more, and eventually she invited me to play a show with her. After that, she asked me to co-host a night with her, at that same bar. I was very active in the indie music scene, hosting my own shows before being indie was en vogue. She brought me in because I knew a lot of people, and knew how to pack a room. From those shows, we started writing, singing and performing together. We were having so much fun we decided to start a project. Hence the beginnings of Saucy Monky.
2. Ever dated?
Annmarie: Oh yes indeedy! We dated for a few years, broke up, and nearly brought the band down with us. It was a very difficult time, but our love of the music forced us to work through all the challenging times. I think our band and friendship has emerged stronger than ever.
3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Annmarie: Love. Life. Highs. Lows. Death. Loss… rarely happiness. Ha!
Cynthia: TV! Just kidding.
4. Who are some of your musical heros?
Annmarie: I love Ani Di Franco for being such a pioneer in the indie music movement (and so ahead of her time). I admire METRIC for their musicality, U2 for their longevity and Aimee Mann and Rachael Yamagata for writing songs that can break my heart.
Cynthia: I recently discovered Broken Bells. Also, I’m very influenced by a bunch of Irish bands I came to know while touring out there, like bellX1. Also I’m influenced by great songwriters like Elliott Smith. So many artists, really.
I’ve always been inspired by Ani’s work.
5. What’s the coolest show you’ve ever played?
Annmarie: The OXEGEN Festival in Ireland with Wilco and The Colours Festival in the Czech Republic with Marianne Faithful were highlights for sure. And opening for Metric at the San Diego Indie Fest.
6. How is this album different from your previous ones?
Cynthia: Well, I think we’ve evolved as people and musicians. And I have become a better producer. I like the stories on this album. We’ve put more real life experience into the writing process. I think we are less veiled as writers nowadays as well. So there’s a raw honesty and vulnerability in the songs. The arrangements are more spacious, which also shows some growth.
Annmarie: We liked the idea of having some new music to release every few months. We also find that in this “iTunes singles world” – a 3-song EP is sometimes more digestible for people who are just discovering your music.
8. How would you define your music?
Annmarie: If Tegan and Sara had a baby with Coldplay and Metric, the baby may sound a little like Saucy Monky. Indie Rock with Singer/Songwriter sensibilities.
9. Whats up next for you?
Annmarie: We play our last show of the year at the HOUSE OF BLUES in San Diego, then I go home to Ireland for the holidays. We have a remix of our song AWKWARD in the works that we plan to release in Europe. We also will be releasing parts 2 and 3 of our EP next year.
10. Are you currently on tour?
Annmarie: We are playing shows in the LA and San Diego area, but want to venture further in the new year. If you want us to play in your city, drop us a note and we will come see you!