Can you tell us a bit about the band? Where are you from and how did you all meet?
We are Day Trip To Monaco. We’re a 2-piece student band, currently studying at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). Our drummer/keyboard player Alex Howley is from Stroud, Gloucestershire; our singer/acoustic guitarist Megan Gallagher is from Oxford.
We first came into contact in a LIPA Freshers group chat before we started university together in September this year. Alex was writing what he thought would be a solo EP, so asked for LIPA students to perform on it for him. Megan offered to sing, so we met up in a café in Burford, Oxfordshire to discuss the EP. Megan presented a song she’d written to Alex, which he loved and knew he needed it on his EP. The day after we met, Alex rang Megan about forming a partnership for the EP so that we could release a mixture of Alex’s and Megan’s music together, and from that moment on we’ve been working on music together ever since.
Day Trip To Monaco is a pretty unique name, where did it come from?
When we formed Day Trip To Monaco, we were brainstorming for quite a few days for a name, only drawing a blank each time. After a while, Alex asked Megan for 5 of her interests other than music to see if any aligned with Alex’s. Travelling was a mutual interest, so Alex suggested ‘Day Trip To…’ We then listed all of the countries we’ve been to and France was a mutual for us both. Although Monaco isn’t technically in France, we thought it sounded better than quite a few French places when put on the end of ‘Day Trip To…’ and we liked how it sounded. The other option we had was ‘Arizona Road Trip’, so we put it to our social media profiles to decide for us, and Day Trip To Monaco won the majority of votes. It’s fair to say we’re pleased with the outcome.
You released today your latest single Time For You. What does it mean to you, as a band?
This one is special to us as a band. This is the first song we recorded at LIPA. Our EP (also called Day Trip To Monaco) was recorded remotely due to Coronavirus, so this was our first opportunity to get in the studio to work. It will also be the first song we ever perform live as a band when we play LIPA’s weekly gig ‘The 2ube’ in January.
I hear there is a pretty cool story about how the song came to life, can you tell us more about it?
Before Day Trip To Monaco, Alex had written and released 3 albums as solo projects. Time For You was originally a song that was on his second album, and put on the third album as a remastered version. With it being Alex’s favourite song of his own creation so far, paired with the knowledge we would be using it in our set for The 2ube, we decided recording our own version of the song was the next step. It’s very much a Day Trip To Monaco version of the song, not just simply a re-make of the original track, which is important to us, as it gives Megan the opportunity to put her musical input and creativity into the song too.
Where do you guys look for inspiration?
One of the defining features of our music is our notable difference in musical background/taste. Megan is very indie orientated, whereas Alex has come from a more funk-based background. This blend of musical styles has always been the pivotal sound of Day Trip To Monaco, which means our influences don’t land in just one place.
Megan’s big influences are groups such as Easy Life, Blossoms, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits.
Alex’s inspiration comes from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Jacob Collier, Snarky Puppy and Tower of Power.
What have been some of the biggest challenges to overcome?
The biggest challenge of all has been forming a band in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. Trying to build and interact with a fanbase without gigs or opportunities to get ourselves seen and known has been the biggest difficulty for sure. When we released the EP, we’d never played a gig together, had only just formed our social media accounts and our biggest source of promotion was either from word of mouth, or from a few local radio stations. We’re definitely excited to get out and be able to meet and interact with people and start to build our fanbase even more. Our little community of fans are a big part of what makes creating music so enjoyable and thoroughly rewarding.
Although this year has been pretty dead with gigs, are there any plans to play live next year?
We’re looking forward to getting as many gigs as we can next year, particularly through the summer when we’re done at university for the year. We’ll probably be looking at gigging Liverpool as much as we can, as well as gigs around our 2 local areas. Live performing is a huge part of why we both love music, and the fact we’ve been deprived of it for so long is real incentive to make every gig feel like it could be our last so that if anything was to happen to live gigs again, we could always say we ended that batch of gigs on a high.
What lies next for Day Trip To Monaco?
We’ve got a few more singles in the pipeline for the next 5 or 6 months. Then our energy will most likely be focused on gigging and interacting with as many people as we can, whether it’s through our shows or just being out in the public eye. We’ll get an album done eventually, perhaps by the end of 2nd year of university if we really get going with it, so definitely watch this space, exciting and productive times lie ahead for us!
We’re also really excited to say we’re featuring in Everton Football Clubs’ pre-match show for their Carabao League Cup Quarter Final game against Manchester United on December 23rd 2020. We’re playing I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues by Elton John for that feature, although given the circumstances it will unfortunately have to be pre-recorded, rather than a live performance.
Where can we find out more about you?
All of our social media links, as well as all of the links to our music/videos can be easily found on our website ( www.daytriptomonaco.co.uk )
We’re particularly engaged with our Instagram page, and that’s the platform we’d love to grow initially more than anything else ( @daytripto_monaco )
Anything you would like to tell us?
We’d just like to say that any following from anyone and everyone out there is and will be hugely appreciated. Without a community of fans engaging with us on social media, downloading our music and coming to our shows (when they’re allowed to go ahead), making our music would feel so much less rewarding. We’re so appreciative of every single person who takes the time to listen to our music, and we of course hope we can repay that time with enjoyment and knowledge that there’s more to come. So please do drop us a follow on our social media accounts, as well as our Spotify Profile and watch this space with us!
And with that, what more is there to do but check out the awesome new single from these two. I’d like to thank them both for taking the time to answer my questions and wish them the best of luck for the future.