The Monochrome Set Journey Into ‘Atrium of Grayness'

Monochrome Set frontman Bid talks robot life partners, post-punk's resurgence and recovering from a brain aneurysm

"My greatest achievement is not having my own Wikipedia page," Monochrome Set frontman Bid told me over the phone earlier this month, lamenting some of the internet's less desirable qualities.  

"You're corralled into this large atrium of grayness where you're just waiting to be fleeced," he said.

The Monochrome Set were formed in London in 1978, just as post-punk emerged as an eclectic extension of punk's immediacy. Fast forward 40 years, and the genre is as relevant and prevalent as ever -- perhaps as an organic response to increasing digitization and dehumanization.

The band's newest album, "Maisieworld," acknowledges that, with a robot named Maisie leading listeners on a surreal journey into "melodic pop ... and richness in lyrical content." 

"I happened to see this program from Japan about a love robot that you marry. It started to coalesce, because to me it's totally alien. I used to just wander around and that was my youth.... A lot of people are seemingly losing touch with their physical nature," Bid said.

Ironically, the Monochrome Set, literally a name for a television, have always had an observational fascination with technology; yet, Bid describes the band's music as "almost like reading a book."

In 2010, Bid suffered from a brain aneurysm, which he luckily recovered from with minimal residual effects -- other than the occasional aphasia, or inability to interpret and express speech.

"It didn't really affect my philosophy or my general day-to-day life. It's become a lot easier to write. I don't have a strong consciousness that stops me. I don't care about electricity bills.... I'm extremely lucky to have survived it," Bid said.

The Monochrome Set headline Soda Bar on Saturday, March 9. Get tickets here.

Rutger Ansley Rosenborg has been with NBC SoundDiego since 2016. Find out more here.

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