In 2015, Monreaux was on a roll. The local band’s live performances were becoming increasingly impressive, and the group’s fan base was growing.
Then the band had to hit the brakes.
Last year, before front man Giorg Tierez’ annual Burning Bash, he announced that Monreaux would not be playing at the show. Bassist Chris Dub had a newborn child, and his work schedule made practices and gigs hard to schedule. Meanwhile, guitarist Marcus Bush had stepped away from the band due to personal matters.
While Monreaux remains on hiatus, Tierez is pushing on and will be throwing the sixth annual Burning Bash, on Friday, Aug. 25, at Bart Lounge. On the bill will be DJ Skyhigh, Stevie Crooks, Ocho Ojos, Cakes, Killjoi, Robotic Humans, and Bass Nurds. Reggie Martinez, the owner of California Barbecue Company, will be onsite with a barbecue stand.
Tierez said during a recent interview that he decided to change things up this year.
“I wanted to keep it fresh, and I think I have fewer bands this year because of bringing equipment on and off,” Tierez said. “At Bart Lounge, it’s upstairs, so all that equipment going up and down the stairs makes it difficult. I think we’re going to have one drum set for everyone to use, so all the bands have to do is bring up their amps and stuff.
“I’m not going to be stage-managing this year. Last year, I was back and forth, and we started way too late. We just had too many acts, and I trimmed it down this year.”
On the subject of Monreaux, Tierez said he and drummer Ryan Diaz have been ready to go.
“I actually talked to Marcus (Bush). … He’s doing good, and I’m going to be visiting him soon, and we’re going to talk about Monreaux. … Chris (Dub) is still busy being a husband and dad. Ryan is ready to go and is like, ‘Let me know!’
“I’ve been writing, and I have about 15 to 20 songs right now. The bass ideas are there, and I think I’m going electronic with keys and synth, but still keeping it dark and desert.”
Tierez said Monreaux’s hiatus doesn’t bother him, because, well, life happens.
“I think everyone had an outside issue at one point,” he said. “We all deal with that, and you can’t get away from it. You can’t be like, ‘Excuse me, life. I’m trying to be in a band right now!’ Life will fuck you anyways, no matter what, even if you decide that it’s going to be 100 percent about your band. You can be on a successful ride, and all of a sudden—bam! Something happens. You can’t fuck with life.”
Tierez said chemistry concerns have kept him from recruiting new members for Monreaux.
“I’ve talked to a couple of people about coming on and playing with us, but it comes down to chemistry,” he said. “You can have a bad-ass guitar player join the band, but he might just be doing it because he’s not doing anything else, and might dig it or might not dig it; that’s why you need the right chemistry. It’s hard to find that mix of people where everyone likes what they’re doing. That’s the hardest part about making a band—finding people who are equally excited while writing the songs.”
Tierez has played a gig or two solo, but didn’t care for it.
“I’m able to do it, but I don’t know if it’s my thing,” he said. “I know there are some locals who do it every week, and they’re hustling, which is great, but that’s not me. I like the group environment and feeding off my band members—having that energy back and forth and working off of it.”
Even though Tierez will again not be performing at this year’s Burning Bash, he said he still loves putting it on.
“We started it back in Burning Bettie, because it was my birthday and the first show we ever played as a band,” he said. “But I’m able to bring in a mix of people and a mix of bands in one night, and not many people can do that. I pride myself on that, and maybe I’ve just made the right connections and the right friends. Maybe I’ve made the right impressions. But these people are willing and are like, ‘Fuck yeah! Let’s do it!’
“All of the bands who have performed want to do it every year. I love that I can do that, and that it’s successful. It’s always a great show and tons of people.”
The Sixth Annual Burning Bash will be held at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 25, at Bart Lounge, 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Cathedral City. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/445848675773077.