Paul Monnin addresses positive side of apathy in new folk/blues song



After exploring spacey roots rock and alternative-country with Age Nowhere, frontman Paul Monnin has journeyed down a different Americana path. His first solo single is “No One Cares,” an original folk-blues nugget released on August 5.

Monnin, a local artist, recently discussed his influences for the short, catchy song, which finds him delivering a humorous, John Prine-esque vocal over some sweet fingerpicking-style acoustic guitar.

The message: “I’m not trying to be hipster apathetic. Yeah, it’s funny no one cares but there’s more to it. You can approach apathy from all kinds of different angles. It talks about why people don’t care and why that’s OK. It’s about the positive implications of no one caring. There’s too much going on and everybody is oversaturated and dead inside. But also, no one is listening to what you’re saying. All of that negative stuff in your head is mostly just you hyper fixating on yourself. No one is paying attention to you.”

A man alone: “My main goal for this song was to create something true and real — something representative of my solo performances and fully based in reality. There are no overdubs. It’s just me and my guitar. I recorded it in my dining room on an eight-year-old Microsoft Surface Pro using an entry-level USB audio interface and a cheap MXL 990 condenser mike. I mixed it myself and sent it off for mastering, which helped a lot with the audio quality. But I didn’t put too much into it. I wanted to get a song out.”

Guitar heroes: “I was first motivated to pick when I was 19 years and listening to Iron & Wine. Sam Beam is incredible. He really brought that finger-style guitar element to the indie rock of that time. I first heard of Mississippi John Hurt about eight years ago and was immediately, completely enamored with his style. Obviously, he’s a blues player. It’s Piedmont-style but there are different variations of that root fifth kind of idea and introducing melodies on the higher strings. I’m at a pretty elementary place, but talk about hypnotizing, listening to Mississippi John Hurt is absolutely hypnotizing.”

Let’s get visual: “I directed the video. Brandon Berry shot it and edited it. We didn’t take a bunch of shots. I didn’t micromanage things because I’m trying to honor the meaning of this song. Why would I spend hours and hours pouring over every last detail of the video? Why would I do that? No one cares anyway so I just put the song and video out.”

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