Few artists could make a successful transition from earning a Masters in Flute Performance from the Boston Conservatory to performing with the Visions 2000 Gospel Choir to fronting the power pop punk band ZETA BANE. Monica Attell has done that, and her stature within the independent music scene is on the rise.
Attell was exposed to a wide variety of music from the start; her older brothers had different personalities and tastes in music, so Monica listened to everything from the Muppets to Yes and the Beatles to Barbra Streisand. As a result, she says she’s always found something to “hook her ear onto” with just about any kind of music.
After graduating from the Conservatory, Attell knew she needed to go where the music was, because the chances of earning a chair in a symphony orchestra were “one in a million.” “At the graduate level, everyone is really good,” she says. She started playing jazz gigs, singing backup, and playing flute for a lot of jam bands. Then the opportunity came to front ZETA BANE and, inspired by her love for Jethro Tull and his fusion of classical and rock, she made the jump.
Fueled by Attell’s powerful yet versatile vocals, which can range from ballad to hard-driving power pop punk goddess, ZETA BANE opened for acts such as Berlin; Wakefield; David Johanssen; and Attell’s brother, stand-up comic and Comedy Central personality Dave Attell.
Following her passion for making music, Attell decided to perform her own material, and teamed up with bassist John Propper, a fellow music teacher and product of a Boston music school (Berklee); and drummer Todd Budich, also a graduate of Berklee and a former member of Decifunk.
The album “Bank Geek” followed, the title a nod to the band friends that she’s known since starting the flute in fourth grade. “My best friends were always in the school band with me,” Attell says. “When you get to high school, you realize that’s your support group. Many of my band friends are still playing, too.”
In August 2005, Attell put her second passion--teaching music--to use, traveling to Haiti for eight days to teach recorder to over 250 children and 75 teachers. Her documentary about the trip, “The Pied Piper of La Gonave,” premiered at the Avon Theater in Stamford, CT and has been shown at Yale, the University of Bridgeport, Sacred Heart University, and SOBs in New York City.