Mono Pause/Neung Phak Interview


Published in The Fanzine, Aug. 2005.

Each night of Mono Pause’s cross-country tour in 2002, masked men came onstage, threatening to kill them if they continued to play while a voice with a heavy Eastern European accent announced over the sound system, “Tonight’s concert by Mono Pause has been canceled. Please find the exit and leave.” In most cities some audience members, skeptical of the staged event, lingered to see the show. However, according to band members, of all the venues they toured, Los Angeles was the only city where the crowd immediately cleared out.

Based out of Oakland but with strong roots in River Falls, Wisconsin, multi-faceted experimental rock group Mono Pause operates under many names but are perhaps best known under the guise of Neung Phak – a loose Thai translation of “Mono Pause” (also conveniently the name of a Lao dish of chicken, coconut and banana leaves). The band plays interpretations of catchy Southeast Asian pop, disco and traditional music and also writes their own songs in a similar style. Band members Mark Gergis and his brother Erik have traveled extensively throughout the region and were inspired by nightclub bands there and the tapes they made of shortwave broadcasts, sometimes basing a song around a 30-second snippet interrupted by static from one of these tapes without any knowledge of the identity of the original performer.

Read the complete article at The Fanzine.

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