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Spotlight: Monarch

Diversity Riff: Punk? Electronica? Alt-country? It's in there. Part of Monarch's diversity on its new album is due to the wide variety of music the band members (who also include singer Dan Mills and bassist Jason Taylor) listen to on their downtime — anything from Black Sabbath to Converge and Mercury Program. "All of us have different agendas as musicians, and we all come from different backgrounds, musically," Beverly says. "We are all about contradictions as a whole, and it comes through our writing a great deal."

DIY guys: Monarch's new album was released by Pop Faction, an independent label/artist collective that Beverly helped create with local musicians Oura Sananikone and Michael Otley. The band will bring its metal mutiny to New York and Philadelphia for a couple of dates at the end of August and then focus its efforts on the South this fall. "It would be nice if whenever we went on tour, anyone could go buy a copy of our CD at their local shop," Beverly muses. "But having distribution for a label is like joining the country club. You have to pay to get in, but they won't even take your money unless they think they can make money off of you."

Don't try this at home: To warm up his voice for Monarch's bruising vocals, Mills doesn't sip tea with honey or spray his throat with VocalEze. That's for lightweights. "The only thing I've ever seen Dan do to 'warm up' his voice is drink a lot of PBR and smoke a lot of Marlboro 27s," Beverly says. "It's amazing to me that he keeps his throat from falling out of his neck."

Headbanger's Ball: "RVA metal has grown a lot in the past few years with bands like GWAR, Lamb of God and Loincloth making waves in the national and international community," Beverly says. "There must be something in the James River that makes people like Buzzoven want to twist heavy music into a Southern mold and blast it out as loud as possible. The community now is as strong as ever. The guys in Battlemaster, Municipal Waste, The Setup, Immortal Avenger and Accursed Dawn are all doing what they can to bring metal glory to our hometown." — Kate Bredimus

Monarch's record was released July 26.

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