Monohan talks tough love, horse heads and having the time of his life

COVERED: ThunderGoose will set The Commercial Hotel in Bega alight on Friday, December 8. Photo: Louisa Monohan
COVERED: ThunderGoose will set The Commercial Hotel in Bega alight on Friday, December 8. Photo: Louisa Monohan

ThunderGoose bass player Shane Monohan’s introduction to music was as a six-year-old listening to folk-pop quartet The Seekers while sitting in the back of his mum’s car.

“She would listen to them on cassette and I remember I started getting right into it,” the 30-year-old said with a laugh.

“It was just catchy and fun, but I haven’t listened to them in years.”

Being able to play live in front of people is the most fun I’ve ever had. I couldn’t imagine not doing it.

ThunderGoose's Shane Monohan

These days his car trip soundtrack consists of harder Australian groups like Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus and The Butterfly Effect.

The Warrnambool native took up the bass at the age of 20 after being egged on by a few mates.

“They made me go out and buy a bass for their band, but I didn’t know what to do and I struggled with it,” Monohan said.

“I’ve always been into music, but I love complicated music I can’t understand.”

The guitar floated around with him until he moved to the Bega Valley in 2011 and met ThunderGoose guitarist Tom Mullens who forced him to learn musical theory - the rest is history.

“He fixed me with tough love, he’d just scream at me, which turned my whole life around in a way,” Monohan said.

“I just had this cheap, nasty amp and Tom unlocked the fun.

“Being able to play live in front of people is the most fun I’ve ever had. I couldn’t imagine not doing it.”

The group have become a mainstay on the local pub scene, quickly forging a solid fan base.

“The crowd sort of go for anything, but we do a cover of Royals [by Lorde] and we make it hard and grungey, but it’s a modern song so people love it, they flood in from another room just for it,” he said.

“Having a massive mix of songs is the key.”

“We usually say we’ll finish with Freak by Silverchair, but most of the time they’ll cry for one more so we’ll finish with Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine.

“Then, we have to tell them not to get violent when the lights come on and they’re told they have to leave but they’re all revved up,” he said with a laugh.

Every band has its gimmick, and Monohan is known to don a horse head mask during their interpretation of the Art vs. Science track Parlez-Vous Francais?

“I thought of it in a car trip home from a gig, I can’t see if anyone is enjoying it, but I just imagine they are,” he said.

While the band play covers live, they jam together on original ideas which Monohan says he really enjoys.

“Sometimes we just jam on things, it’s never serious but it’s always cool. I get a little excited and do some interesting things on my pedals,” he said.