Chain D.L.K.: Hello Mono Mono, good morning or evening depending, please tell us who are you???
Mono Mono: Hello! Mono Mono is an interactive electro-pop music project who combines high energy music, theatre, magic, audience participation, and explosive special effects to create a mind-blowing entertainment experience. I am a one man operation….my real name is Jeffrey Beringer. I play electronic music from my laptop and perform the vocals live, and provide props, costumes and machines to the crowd so that they become an active and integral part of the show. Hence the show is interactive and democratic and quite different from a typical show where an artist has all the control and tries to entertain a passive group of spectators. Also the show employs numerous techniques to try to stimulate as many senses as possible…including taste, touch, smell and the 6th sense…as opposed to merely focusing on sight and sound like most shows. The show is bilingual Spanish/English and though I reside in San Diego, California, I perform frequently in other US cities and Mexico. Oh…and usually the show is a big big mess to clean up afterwards hahaha.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about the story of this project, past and present.
Mono Mono: The Story of Mono Mono began one day when a boy met a girl. In this case the girl was Faca Faca, a well known electro artist in Tijuana, and I was the boy. Faca was helping me work on a theater project I was doing, and she invited me to help her do one of her solo electro shows at a bar in Tijuana. Faca had purchased a huge bouquet of hundreds of flowers to pass out to the crowd during one of her songs. The flowers were bound by a piece of twine, and while performing Faca could not get the twine untied…she got frustrated and began wildly thrashing the flowers about on the stage. The huge bouquet exploded and the flowers burst apart, falling in pieces all over the crowd. The crowd of course went wild and started grabbing the petals and pieces of flowers and throwing them everywhere. It was like being in a blizzard of flowers, and in that moment I fell in love with the electro scene and Mono Mono was born.Faca was sort of an informal mentor for me and we traveled all over Mexico together doing shows. I began composing songs specifically for electro shows and performing with Faca and soon had a repertoire large enough to do my own solo shows. My early songs were sort of innocent and fun…I sang about pinatas and aliens…but I have a sort of perverted streak and soon I was writing about pansexuality and teaching the crowd how to say naughty words in other languages. The crowds really love the depraved stuff and it just encouraged me to write more. I have a long love affair with Mexico and I incorporated many Mexican slangs and cultural traditions into my songs…like the quinceanera tradition….but always with a sort of depraved twist. Some of my songs also became more political in nature…talking about knocking down the border or my song “Mexigringo” which suggests we are all one culture. For the most part I combine a sort of irreverent attitude with comedy and the end result is that I am able to explore some very controversial topics in my show in an atmosphere that supports building bridges between people and cultures instead of inciting anger or division.Faca had been a master of utilizing props in a show and eliciting audience participation and I took her torch and ran with it. What started out as a bouquet of flowers quickly evolved into hundreds of dollars of confetti, streamers, balloons, inflatable toys, costumes for the crowd, smoke machines, leaf blowers, foam machines even huge inflatable structures the crowd could get inside and radio control lights the crowd could operate. Suddenly instead of merely presenting songs I was actually trying to create something spontaneous and live with the people in the room…and everyone played a part. It was like a whole new art form….instead of performing for the crowd…I was orchestratng a performance of the crowd itself. It makes every show completely different and amazing.Hence the show keeps evolving and I continue incorporating new technologies and ideas. After working with some corrupt and inept promoters I have started promoting my own events and my focus recently has been on bringing amazing artists together and presenting a show that is accessible, interactive, danceable and totally mind-blowing every time.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your projects for the near future, new albums, tours?About touring what bands did you play with and who where the most fun to tour with?
Mono Mono: I am planning to incorporate a pre-recorded video component and also a live video component into the show so that aside from being a live entertainer I am also playing the role of a filmmaker and VJ. I am also working on adding more of a “plot” to the show so that aside from the songs and the scandal there is an actual story to give cohesion and pique interest even more. I just completed my first tour of the US southwest and my second tour of Mexico…I am working on my next tour this fall. I feel that the model of selling an entire CD was aimed to motivate people who really just want one song to have to shell out 10-15 bucks to hear it. I have been trying to go to a single release model which seems more consumer friendly…so I have been releasing a new song every month or so, instead of 12 songs all at once. The people who are most fun to tour with are FACA FACA and DJ ZkSID!
Chain D.L.K.: What is the source of inspiration when you write and how does the writing process happen? Are there any musicians or bands that were influential in your music development? If you could pick any producer in the world with no limits for your music who would it be?
Mono Mono: The writing process happens differently for different songs…sometimes I come up with a concept first and look for a rhythm and melody and lyrics to express that idea. Other times I will hear a rhythm or melody…or some phrase will pop into my head…and a whole song will just sort of evolve from that initial spark.Artistically I have been very influenced by Cirque du Soleil, magicians like Lance Burton, Penn and Teller and other shows I have seen in Las Vegas. I feel that they manage to be innovative but at the same time know how to tap into the classic values of entertainment and appeal to crowd of people who might not already be familiar with what they are doing. Obviously I have also been strongly influenced by FACA FACA. She is perhaps the person who most influenced my style and my rhythms. Numerous other artists have influenced certain songs….Masterkrft, Daddy Yankee, Avril Lavigne, Bjork, Paul Oakenfold, Paquita la Del Barrio, the Flaming Lips…The truth is I really like working alone when it comes to producing tracks…so I wouldn’t work with any famous producer we’d probably just end up fighting. I just wish I had a larger budget for mastering….mastering is a bitch!
Chain D.L.K.: What kind of instruments do you use analog/digital? Any special effects?
Mono Mono: I use my laptop, a microphone and occasionally a pedal operated vocal processor. The software I use to produce tracks most often is Reason and Pro-Tools and to perform tracks live I-tunes. In the show I use numerous strobe lights and colored lights, foam, confetti, streamers, bubbles leafblowers, fog machines, flash paper, and a large assortment of inflatable toys and costumes for the crowd.
Chain D.L.K.: Where are you from and where do you live? Are you happy in the place you are right now, or you wish you where somewhere else? is there a “music scene” in your town?
Mono Mono: I was born in Upstate New York, and raised in Philadelphia but I think I truly came “of age” in Mexico when I moved there in 1999. I moved to San Diego two years later but have spent a great deal of time in Mexico since then.The electro scene in San Diego…and in Southern California in general… happens if you make it happen, but you really have to work here. Its not like Mexico City where the electro scene seems to have a life of its own and you can just jump on board and go for a ride….
Chain D.L.K.: Do you have any other hobbies, interests, things you enjoy doing beyond music?
Mono Mono: I like working out, chatting online with total strangers, making new friends, riding my bike in Mission Trails park, going to outrageous clubs, singing Karaoke in Tijuana, and looking for love in all the wrong places.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you like eating? What are your favorite foods?
Mono Mono: Eating is a pleasure but also a chore. If I could just absorb energy from the sun and never have to eat, or just live solely off of love…thats what I would do. I eat out alot because I don’t like to cook…my favorite restaurant is the Soup Plantation. I also love burritos and pasta…and of course…chocolate cake.
Chain D.L.K.: What about films? Any film expert among you? What are your favourite films of all times? And TV? do you watch TV? Do you listen to the radio?
Mono Mono: I believe that we are oversaturated with useless information driven by a mad corporate media establishment desperate for ratings and the desire to sell us useless products…and I try to tune out as much as possible. I almost never watch TV or listen to the radio and get my news almost exclusively from the internet or friends. I do enjoy films…I go as often as my schedule allows…my favorite film is usually the film I have seen most recently…though some that have stood out over time are …Henry and June….Harold and Maude….Betty Blue…Sexo y Lucia…Thelma and Louise…I really love travel movies and movies about journeys….
Chain D.L.K.: What is the thing you like the most and the one you hate the most?
Mono Mono: When thinking of what I really like…sex definitely comes to mind. I like experiencing brief moments where I feel complete. I like being able to control the way I spend my time.I really hate bureacracy and I hate the fact that peoples ideas advance so much slower than technology…we have the technology to almost eliminate work, hunger and illness on our planet but our ideas are so antiquated that we trap ourselves in economic and social systems that seem to just promote wasting time, confusion, suffering and stress.
Chain D.L.K.: What is the main thing you would change in the world and the one you would keep the way it is?
Mono Mono: I think if I could infuse everyone’s heart with lots and lots of love all the changes I want on earth would happen naturally. If I could keep one thing the way it is my physical body would stop aging and I would be youthful and bodacious my entrie life but also wise and rich….
Chain D.L.K.: What is a thing that you couldn’t be without?
Mono Mono: …usually the things I am most attached to cause me the most grief…let’s get rid of everything HAHAHA!…that being said….I think as an indie artist I couldn’t be without Myspace and the Internet….it has empowered me and opened so many doors for me and continues to open more
Chain D.L.K.: Ask yourself a question and answer it!
Mono Mono: Question: I noticed that this is the 13th question. Why is it that there is never a 13th floor on any building? Shouldn’t this concept also apply to questions in interviews? Answer: HAHAHAHAHA
Chain D.L.K.: A message for our readers?
Mono Mono: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Chain D.L.K.: Thanks so much Mono Mono!!!!!! Looking forward to your next tour!
[interviewed by Ant Dakini] [proofreading by Ant Dakini]