Falkirk indie rockers Mono Six were in a dark place at the end of 2012 after suffering the loss of both their gear and their bass player.
It was a black Christmas indeed for remaining members Iain King and Steven Jack.
Singer Iain said: “We played a gig on the last Friday before Christmas and left a lot of our equipment in our rehearsal space in Stirling overnight. Then we got a call from the landlord saying there had been a break in.
“We had thousands of pounds worth of gear stolen.”
The equipment theft was quickly followed by the departure of founding member and close pal Alex Anderson.
“Alex is still a great friend,” said Iain. “But he had to leave due to work commitments. We were forced to cancel a lot of gigs and all the plans we had.”
Both events combined to deliver a mighty kick to the privates of a band that had been going places.
Good luck followed bad, however, and the band’s first step on the comeback trail began early in 2013 with the recruitment of new bass player Brian Sharp.
“Brian has been absolutely brilliant,” said Iain. “He was a friend of the band before when he was playing in another group and had been to a few of our gigs.
“He fitted in really well and Alex even gave him his blessing.”
Brian made his debut at Glasgow ABC’s mini-music festival “A Quiet Night In” and, with new equipment gradually building up, Mono Six mark II was well and truly up and running.
“We’re quite indie,” said Iain. “We’ve also got a lot of rock influences. I like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, but I don’t think that comes through a lot in our music.
“Our drummer Steven is a rock guy who likes Queens of the Stone Age and the Foo Fighters and Brian is pretty much the same, but we’re all open minded.
“I like melodies - anything with a good tune. When I started I just wanted to shred away on huge solos like Jimi Hendrix, but now I admire guys like Johnny Marr who do something different.”
His current guitar hero is actually a guitar heroine - former Polyphonic Spree member Annie Clark, a.k.a. St Vincent, a Texan with a unique technique on the old amplified six string and who has recently worked with ex-pat Scot David Byrne.
A self-confessed “recording nerd” Iain loves to create amazing soundscapes in the studio, but admits nothing can compete with belting out Mono Six songs ‘Girls Like Guns’, ‘We Were Electric’ and ‘Waiting to Fall’ to a live audience.
“We like the challenge of playing in front of strangers rather than playing to our mates. You look out at the crowd and notice people you didn’t know before coming back again and again.
“We’ve played more gigs in Glasgow than we have in Falkirk, but we are still a Falkirk band who happen to play in the city. We’re definitely not another ‘Glasgow Band’.”
Mono Six are building a sturdy fan base in Glasgow, but they are certainly not going to expand their line-up anytime soon.
Iain said: “We are definitely operating a strict three-piece policy. We tried bringing someone else in, but playing with another guitarist restricts you.
“We like the space to play.”
You can see Mono Six play at North Star, in Vicar Street, Falkirk, tomorrow (Friday), Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh on Saturday and the Scribbler’s Picnic in Stirling on Sunday, May 12.
More at www.monosix.co.uk.