The Monopole in Plattsburgh will celebrate 120 years, and to get the party going, West End Blend. Last week, NYS Music spoke to Corey Rosoff, owner of the Monopole, about the legacy of the bar’s live music and history in the North Country. Sam Horan, drummer for West End Blend, spoke to NYS Music about Thursday’s show, gave a musician’s view of the venue, and talked about their latest video for “Attitude.”
Pete Mason: Bands seem to pass through The Monopole as a rite of passage. How have your experiences playing The Monopole changed over the years?
Sam Horan: Our first show at Monopole was back in September and from the moment we stepped into the club it was clear that this place had some serious history behind it. So many great bands have come through their doors and it was great to have the opportunity to do the same. That show was a really great first welcome to Plattsburgh. This will be our second time playing Monopole and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate their 120th anniversary with them!
PM: What makes The Monopole such a great music venue?
SH: I think what really makes Monople such a great venue is it’s people. Everyone from the staff to the clientele. The people of Plattsburgh that go out and support shows there. That’s what sold it for us.
PM: With the release of “Attitude” this past October, what makes this studio release the best representation of West End Blend?
SH: Every time we make a new record we strive to create something that best represents the band and where we are at in terms of song-writing, line-up and direction. With Attitude, I think we really found a way to capture the band in a way that is very accurate to what you would see live at a current West End Blend show. In comparison to our previous albums, Attitude really shows an edgier and more raw side of the band that you might find with us live. The song writing process has been very natural and shows how we have evolved from our first album. We are very excited about this one and we can’t wait to share it at Monopole!
PM: Your current tour is one of your most extensive yet. What spots have you hit on the East coast that stand out, and what is coming up the rest of the year for you guys?
SH: This tour is definitely our most aggressive tour to date and it really marks itself as a big step in this bands touring career. We’re all super excited to be out on the road right now and we look forward to even bigger tours in the very near future. In terms of East Coast stand outs, I think my favorite show so far was our hometown CD release show at Arch Street Tavern in Hartford CT. We are in the middle of a south-eastern tour taking us through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina right now so its hard to choose favorites until we’ve hit all of these spots! I have a good feeling this 120th anniversary show will be a band favorite…
PM: Tell us about the experience shooting your video for “Attitude” at ‘Funkhaus’ and how the video captures West End Blend’s energetic live performances.
SH: That video was a lot of fun to shoot! We basically decided to renovated an old garage next to the Funkhaus and turn it into a large recording space for the shoot. For those who don’t know, the Funkhaus is the house that acts as WEB headquarters. It’s where we record, rehearse and write. This was an ambitious project and we were on a very tight time schedule to finish renovations. I remember at one point, everyone in the band came over the Funkhaus with hammers, screwguns, hack saws and paintbrushes in-hand, and just scrambled to get the space finished before the shoot. It was a crazy amount of work getting the space ready, but when it was finally finished, all of that work was worth it. The space (dubbed Funkhaus Jr.) looks great and we have since used it to recorded some brand new WEB material.