#TunedIn: The Psychedelic Monks
By Marisa Sullivan
Take a trip through the cosmos and get your soul ready to jam with The Psychedelic Monks. This four-piece jam band, complete with a projector and light show, is bringing a funky/cosmic/fiesta beat to the eyes and ears of their fans. With almost four years together and a long list of shows under their belt, The Psychedelic Monks have proven they are a musical force to be reckoned with.
New Smyrna Beach natives Ian Hood (guitar and vocals), Max Bressan (bass and vocals), Evan Ahlswede (guitar and steel pan) and Evan Clancy (drums and vocals) have come a long way from where they started. Over the last few years, they’ve played music festivals such as Suwannee Hulaween, Orange Blossom Jamboree and most recently a nudist festival! During our interview they emphasized that they simply love playing shows, and there clearly isn’t anywhere they won’t perform.
I couldn’t even sit down with them before asking where their name came from. After a few laughs, they told me it was from a skit in a show called “The Mighty Boosh.” During the middle of their very first set, the lead singer introduced the band as The Psychedelic Monks, and from there on out the name has stuck. The name alone is why I initially went to see them play. After only a few seconds into their set, I was captivated by their sound and almost lost in a trance by the light show and video in the background. This was all before my first drink.
The Psychedelic Monks bring a sound and vibe that really gets the crowd grooving. They admitted that 90 percent of the time they don’t make a set list, or when they do, they don’t follow it. They read the crowd and decide which song to play from there. Most of their songs evolve far beyond how they are rehearsed. Guitarist Evan Ahlswede perfectly described it as, “having structure but drawing it out.” After all, they are a jam band that interlocks genres across the cosmos.
It is hard to convey this feeling with words, but if you haven’t seen this band perform, you’re doing yourself an injustice. It is a full-on sensory experience and you must check them out! You can find their upcoming shows, music and photos on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and on their website: ThePsychedelicMonks.com.
Keep an eye out for a show near you and the release date of their first album this summer! Remember to support local music and stay #TunedIn.
Monk Dates for May/June:
• May 18 – Orange Blossom Jamboree – Brooksville, FL
• May 19 – Tortugas – Flagler Beach, FL
• May 25 – Kona Tiki Bar – Ormond, FL
• June 22 – Wills Pub – Orlando, FL
• June 30 – The Roof – Daytona, FL
Marisa Sullivan is a sales specialist and freelance journalist for ECC. She has a Communication Degree with a focus in Multimedia Journalism & Production from the University of North Florida. Her passions for music, photography & writing are what inspires this column. #TunedIn