In this rendition of The Coachella Valley Art Scene’s Sounds of the Desert, Andy Lara (who is a local musician) takes a moment to sit down and interview his friends and fellow musical peers, The Monopoly.

Andy Lara was born and raised in the Coachella Valley and is very much adored by The Coachella Valley Art Scene.  This is not Andy’s first time writing features for our blog… check out a really cool article Andy wrote up a while back recapping a Matisyahu show at Space 120 in Palm Springs:

So, without further ado… I present to you an musician on musician interview between Andy Lara and The Monopoly…


INTERVIEW: The Monopoly

via Andy Lara


(photo: Andy Lara with a cute girl at Coachella 2011)
Matthew Claborn is a 24 year old singer/songwriter based out of Indio, CA. He lives in a very, large spacious home in Coachella, CA with his girlfriend, his dog “Mary Jane” as well as his two cats “Oliver and Charlie.” His band, The Monopoly has just recently finished recording a new EP titled “Hook. Line. and Sinker.” Produced, Mixed,and Engineered by Dave Swanson, Todd Weinsteick, and Marc Jordan, The EP finds the band at their most experimental, focused point in their career.
Blending elements of post-hardcore, emo, and at times, jazz, the EP marks a huge turning point for the band.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Claborn, Vocals, and Alex Maestas, Drums/Bass, to discuss the writing and recording process for the album.
( photo: Matt Claborn of The Monopoly, photographed by Andy Lara)
ANDRES LARA: So Matt, this is the 2nd EP that you release with the Monopoly. Where was it recorded and how long did it take?

MATT CLABORN: The drums were tracked at Lovejuice Labs in Riverside, CA. The guitars, vocals, and bass, were all tracked at THUG Studios in Hollywood, CA. We spent about 9 days in the studio, total. But I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. It came out far greater than we expected. In fact 10 times better. We are all really happy with it.
AL: I understand you worked with some big name producers this time around. Can you tell me more about that?

MC: Yes, we worked with Todd Weinsteick who formerly played guitar with the band Glassjaw. Todd has an amazing plethora of amps and pedals. It was really awesome working with him.
If I remember correctly, I think we borrowed an amp from the band Alien Ant Farm. (Laughs)

(photo: The Monopoly)
AL: One of the songs on ‘Hook.Line. and Sinker’ is called “Shagg Makino Pt.2 1/4.” Could you share with me a little bit about how that came about?

MC: Shagg Makino is a character in the game MADDEN 2010. He is not an actual football player though, he is a random guy who payed a large amount of money to get his name featured in the game. He’s actually really good. Me and the guys always get him on our franchise. We drafted him as a running back and he is simply unstoppable. (Laughs)

AL: You guys, however, are no strangers to the local scene. Alex, you have previously worked with The Feedbacks, The New, and KURA. Matt, you played guitar and sang in Jane Eyre and Tiger in Transit, and your other guitarist, Matthew Sanchez, has previously played with local reggae heroes; Soul Opus. None of those bands really share any common resemblance. Are there any bands that you can all agree on that influence you?

AM: For me anyway, I have always loved and will always love Radiohead. Radiohead and MUSE.
MC: A huge influence for me is Dance Gavin Dance…
(photo: The Monopoly)
AL: Going back to the EP, are there any reoccurring themes or issues that you discuss?

MC: I think this album reflects a side of me that is really different from anything I’ve ever done. I talk about the struggles and agitation that accompany being stuck in California in this era. Life in general was so much simpler and easier back in the 50s and 60s. I wish I could have grown up in that era of time.

AL: What is it about that specific time that attracts to you?

MC: Well I’m a huge Frank Sinatra fan, as you can see by the giant Sinatra poster in my living room! (Laughs) I really adored the simplicity of life back then. Everything was so plain and innocent. We live in a strange world these days.

AL: I Agree completely. So whats next for The Monopoly? Any shows coming up?

MC: At the moment, we have nothing booked. But we have lots of plans for the summer so stay tuned kids!!
Listen and download The Monopoly’s latest project here:

Jonny Craigslist by THEMONOPOLYMUSIC

Shagg Makino Pt. 2 1/4 by THEMONOPOLYMUSIC




Check out their website here:



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If you are a band/solo artist, or a music journalist, and would like a feature on The Coachella Valley Art Scene’s Sounds of the Desert… please email Sarah at thecoachellavalleyartscene @ gmail .com