Husband and wife duo, Trent and Shellie Monk are collectively known as We Are the Monks. They have just released their brand new self-titled album this month. Produced by Mitch Dane (Jars of Cay, Bebo Norman) and Ed Cash (Kari Jobe, Chris Tomlin), "We Are the Monks" is poised with stellar tunes about God, faith and relationships. We are so honored to be able to catch up with them for this exclusive Hallels' interview with them:
Hallels: For readers who are not familiar with We are the Monks. Can you tell us a little of who you are?
We're a husband and wife duo out of Nashville, TN. We travel the country playing colleges, churches, coffee shops and sometimes living rooms!
Hallels: How would you describe your style of music?
We like to call it "soulful, acoustic pop, with a message." We sing mostly about our faith and family.
Hallels: Trent, you were part of Monk and Neagle, how much of that has influenced this new record? And how's this new album different?
This is similar to the Monk and Neagle days in that there's harmony, except now it's my wife! And I feel so blessed to have her up there with me. The sound is a little bit more organic and folky.
Hallels: On this debut album "We Are the Monks," you got to work with two very talented producers Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay, Bebo Norman) and Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe), how are they different in their approaches to music?
Yes, they are both great and we were honored to work with them! They're both very laid back and easy to work with, which we love and are both great musicians and songwriters in their own right. The only difference is that Mitch is a little more rustic and stripped down and Ed tends to do more big production.
Hallels: What is (are) the overall message(s) of this new record that you would like listeners to grasp?
Overall, we want listeners to grasp the hope that's found in relationship with God in songs like, "Walking on the Water," which challenges us to step out in faith. And with "My Help" which is a reminder that our help comes from God. Also, we hope listeners are encouraged to think about their own relationships in songs like "Here We Go" and "These Arms."
Hallels: Two of my favorite songs on the record are "Here We Go" and "These Arms," what're the stories behind these songs?
"Here We Go" is sort of autobiographical, thinking of our story. I really feel like there is power when two people come together with united goals and set out to tackle the world. "These Arms" was written as we awaited the arrival of our baby, Oliver. He's our first child and the emotions that have come from him joining our little family are quite overwhelming. I'm sure this is the first of many songs that will be inspired by that.
Hallels: With the release of this new album, what are your plans now to promote it? Will you be touring? Where can our readers go to find out about your touring dates and/or purchase your new album?
We are touring as much as possible. All the dates can be found at www.wearethemonks.com. The album can be purchased online via iTunes and Amazon, just search for We Are The Monks. We also, of course, use social media to help promote and we'd love for your readers to come find us!