With only a year as a band under their belt, Prince & Beggar are already making an impression on the local scene. With the recent release of their debut album, shows at Stone Pony, and a passion for music, lead vocalist Chris Moncada tells The Aquarian how it all began.
Where are you all from?
How long have you been a band and how did you get started?
We’ve been a band for about a year. I had been jamming some of the songs with college friends but they were unable to dedicate the time to take it to the next level. I then recruited my producer and sound engineer, Liam, on guitar. I knew Alex, our drummer, already because he is a good friend of my brothers.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
We describe ourselves as indie rock but cover a variety of sounds in that spectrum. Think Thrice, Radiohead or Brand New. We are obsessed with reinventing ourselves and not releasing the same song over and over again.
What was your latest release and can you talk about that a bit?
We just digitally self-released our debut record, Surfacing at Zero on Jan. 5, 2018. It spans from hardcore to folk and electronic rock. Lyrically, the subject matter cuts deep. “Flight School” details my insecurity as an artist trying to make it in such a cutthroat scene. “Stay Awhile” is an anti-suicide anthem that aims to uplift people with fun dance music.
What is your writing and recording process like?
Our writing process starts with me coming up with the foundation for a song. We then record it in our guitarist’s home studio, the LRHQ in Dumont. Our guitarist, Liam, polishes up these ideas and Alex then comes up with the drum parts. From there, we just keep layering the songs until we’re satisfied with them.
What are current projects you are working on?
We are currently in the process of writing our follow-up album.
Is there any significance behind your band name?
Prince & Beggar is inspired by the song “Beggars” by Thrice. It deals with the concept that everything we are in this life is a gift. “If you’d be raised in a palace, or live out in the streets/
Did you choose the place or the hour you’d be born?” That line really begs the question for me: What really separates a prince and a beggar if such circumstances were removed?
What is your favorite memory as a band?
We played our first show at a battle of the bands at The Stone Pony. It was fun because we brought a lot of people out and were able to debut a bunch of new songs.
What are your goals for the future as a band?
For the immediate future, we’d like to get signed to an independent record label that really believes in our music and then hit the road as much as possible.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
Playing shows, increasing our social media presence, and recording our follow-up to Surfacing at Zero.
Where can readers find your music?
Pretty much on any online streaming service you can think of (Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, etc.). Just make sure to search our name as “Prince & Beggar” and not “Prince and Beggar”!