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With a bold, bombastic sound that seemingly took its cues from U2 and Kings of Leon, Mona began making waves in 2010. The band had formed several years prior in Dayton, Ohio, where it performed for three years before moving to Nashville in 2007. Despite receiving attention from several record executives -- including Rick Rubin, who flew the band to L.A. two months into its Nashville residency to play a show at the Roxie -- Mona remained independent. The group eventually partnered with former Suede manager Saul Galpern and began releasing a slow trickle of melodic, anthemic rock songs, relying on the Internet to spread the music while maintaining a relatively low profile. Mona began to gain traction in the U.K. after making an appearance on Later... with Jools Holland in 2010, and with their stock on the rise, they went into the studio the following year with Muse and Foo Fighters producer Rich Costey. Their eponymous full-length debut arrived later that year. In 2013, the band returned with its sophomore effort, Torches & Pitchforks. ~ Andrew Leahey
2004 in Dayton, OH