These are the days

After two years together, The Monday Nights are finally releasing their debut album. David Keating speaks with Kalem Mahoney, leader of the group out to defend the reputation of the first day of the week.

“There’s still an anticipation, right?” says the Monday Nights’ lead singer and songwriter Kalem Mahoney. “Almost every time before playing, I can’t really have a conversation with anybody. It’s not a nervousness or anything, it’s just an anxiousness… it’d be there if there were only 20 people.”

After two years-worth of Monday night jams with his friends and Novaks alumni, Mark Neary and Elliot Dicks, you can feel a similar kind of anticipation from industry and fans for The Monday Nights’ new self-titled album.

This band didn’t appear out of nowhere. Mahoney can boast a successful 11-year run and 12,000 albums sold with his alt-rock band, Gearbox, and big-label representation from Sonic/Warner Records was in place for The Novaks, making Dicks, Neary, and Mahoney established in the business. But does that past experience give The Mondays Nights a better footing for the public’s attention?

“We’ve all done this for a long, long time,” says Mahoney. “I guess you could look at that as an advantage, or it could be the complete opposite.”

But word is definitely getting around. They’ll be one of the headliners on the ECMA Rock Stage at Marble Mountain in Corner Brook one week and releasing their CD at The Ship the next.

After Gearbox wrapped up a couple years ago, Kalem took time to step back and write the material that became the starting point for The Monday Nights. He says the music quickly took on a life of its own.

“It all just kind of worked, we didn’t try too hard… We didn’t try really, hardly at all,” he says laughing. “But it just happened, it just worked. It was one of those kooky things. We were just lucky.”

As he was spending his Monday nights working with the band, Mahoney was also busy writing songs for Great Big Sea—including the tune “Shines Right Through Me”, which was a single from their 2004 album Something Beautiful.

“I really like writing,” he says. “I just like the whole idea of something coming from nothing.”

The Monday Nights—Mahoney, Dicks and Neary, along with Grant King of Exit Party and Brad Power of Trailer Camp and Kujo—is a departure in sound from both Gearbox and The Novaks, a blend of rock, folk and shades of alt-country.

“It’s just like a mixed bag,” Mahoney says. “I think it’s what I eventually turned into from the other things I’ve done.”

Appropriately enough, boxes of the band’s new CD will arrive this coming Monday.

“I always kind of looked at it all, even this whole CD, and of all the playing we’ve done before and all that as a kind of intermission or something. It’s like the beginning of the second act… the name just works for that. [We’re] somewhere between the week and the weekend.”

The Monday Nights CD release party happens March 6th at The Ship. Online, visit The Monday Nights at www.themondaynights.com