bill bodkin takes a look Laura Monzo, who will play tonight at The Downtown in Red Bank, N.J. …
When I Perform Live My Band Includes: Right now, just me.
I Started Performing Professionally In: When I was 16 … which was the year 2006.
I’m Based Out Of: Hazlet, N.J.
Records Coming Out Soon? I plan to record an EP hopefully by the end of 2012.
My Sound Has Been Likened To: Natalie Merchant, KT Tunstall and sometimes I hear I sound like R.E.M. — weird, right?
You’ve Seen Me Before [In Other Bands]: Just my band.
Famous/Awesome Bands I’ve Performed With Before: Oh boy, I love me some Anjelia Pelay and Emily Grove.
PB: How did you become involved with M.A.D. Wednesday?
LM: A.J is a great friend of mine. I have played a few times. It’s amazing!
PB: Who are some of the artists that have inspired your sound, and what inspired you to perform professionally?
LM: Gwen Stefani, I love! KT Tunstall is one of my favorites to see live because she is lights up and loves what she does. I love Ingrid Michelson, too.
PB: On your Facebook page, you mentioned you might do a cover video series soon. Is this something you’re going to go forward with? What was your inspiration to come up with a series like this?
LM: I have been having a hard time writing songs lately. I think if I learned a bunch of covers. I might be inspired. I have a hard time writing love songs, so I started learning some happy positive songs. So far, so good … but the songs are a secret right now.
PB: There are thousands of independent musicians out there for people to discover, download and enjoy. What do you think makes you stand out as an artist so that people should check you out?
LM: Hopefully, my voice. I think it’s different than most. I don’t think it fits my frame. It’s loud … maybe sometimes too loud.
PB: What would say has been the biggest moment of your career so far?
LM: I think playing The Stone Pony [in Asbury Park, N.J.] was pretty cool. All Jersey musicians love that, right? It was amazing.
PB: What’s your opinion on the current state of the Jersey Shore independent music scene?
LM: I mean, I love it. The people around here are insanely talented and sweet. Everyone supports everyone — there is nothing bad to say about it at all.
PB: And more of a silly question. On your Facebook page, you said when you aren’t singing, and performing you enjoy buying shoes. If you had one pair to wear for the rest of your life, the ultimate pair of shows — what would they be?
LM: I have been obsessed with Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers … and of course, I own my own version of them. I can wear them every single day if they were comfortable.