The New NWOBHM - Monument fly the flag for metal both old and new.

With two successful EP's, a redefining cover of Deep Purple's Black Night and some big tours coming up. Monument's own axe-man Lew Stephens caught up for a quick chat.

Since the passing of Deep Purple keyboardist and co-founder Jon Lord, almost a year ago, much of the metal world has been in mourning, as one of the most defining figures in metal has now passed. His legacy however has lived on, and even been amplified in the past year. His work with charity organisation The Sunflower Jam is now being returned in kind by the organisation, as they organise a night dedicated to the Leicester Legend, at the Royal Albert Hall in April next year. Suitably dubbed 'Celebrating Jon Lord' the night so far is featuring the likes of Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) as well as Deep Purple members, Ian Paice, Roger Glover, Don Airey and Steve Morse.

The charity has also received backing from upcoming and hard working New-New Wave of BHM lads, Monument, who released a truly stellar twist on the Deep Purple classic Black Night as tribute to Jon Lord back in April. 'We all knew we definitely wanted to do a tribute to Jon Lord' admits guitarist Lewis Stephens, 'we came to a conclusion that one of our most favourite songs by Deep Purple and Jon Lord, was Black Night' 'We knew we weren't going to take any profit from this CD because it would be just wrong. Charity was the first thing that came to our heads, we were like, let's see what Jon would have done, and let's make it as much about Jon as we can. The Sunflower Jam came up, we asked them if could put it out for their charity and they loved it.'

Stephens was full of praise for the organisation that according to their website 'supports initiatives that bridge the gap between integrated, functional and conventional medicine.' When asked if he would like to play the Sunflower Jam concert, which has consistently had some of music's biggest names supporting the cause he jumped at the opportunity 'Any day, get us on that bill! In cases like that, it's just being around people that you've looked up too since you started playing or listening to this type of music, Just being in the same room as them, it sparks all this childhood nostalgia. It's a great feeling and that's why I love being in Monument. I feel like this band are gonna give me the opportunity to just get somewhere. I feel it's got a lot of potential'

A big part of this  NNWOBHM is bands whose stage presence and musical style is drawn from Iron Maiden whilst there may be other influences Iron Maiden often are the central influence, whilst Lewis acknowledges the fact, his loves lie elsewhere 'I like Maiden, but I don't love Maiden as much as Pete (Ellis -Vocals). I grew up on Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin ... it's a very bluesy feel. Dan (Baune - Joint Lead Guitar) he's an amazing guitarist and he's influenced by Paul Gilbert, so he's got the shred element and the nice scales. Matt (Drums) he used to be in Biomechanical so he can do all them thrash beats all day. We've got our own style, yeah it sounds Maiden because Pete's influenced by them, but it's our individual elements that totally change that.'

With the success of their two EP's an album is now in the works for the quintet, 'We've recorded three songs, they're the three that we feel are gonna be singles, it's just every one feels like a hit. We're jamming in the practice room and the feel is unreal and the energy going into it, it's as if we're doing a concert because the music gets you going so much. Me and Dan got a really nice harmony going, and it takes me back to when I first watched Live and Dangerous (Thin Lizzy)

If the work of The Sunflower Jam interested you, or maybe their concerts look too good to miss, check out their website here 

With links to all their releases so far, why not check out Monument and 'like' their facebook page