In over twenty years as a front woman in Underground music, Monica Richards has a well-deserved reputation of the highest respect for her powerful voice and theatrical stage presence. Hailed as a nonconformist by critics, Monica is an old school punk who began writing songs at the age of 15, and her sharp, intelligent lyrics and musical talents are the highlights of Faith and the Muse, and her new solo project.
Monica began singing in her early teens, fronting a number of bands (Hate From Ignorance:82-'83, Madhouse: 83-'86) during the heyday of the Washington D.C. hardcore punk scene. She performed at the same time as other well-known D.C. Punk bands - Bad Brains, H.R. Band, Minor Threat, and SOA (Henry Rollins' first band), and was one of the earliest female singers in the harDCore scene.
Her early days are well documented in books that chronicle the harDCore scene: "Banned In D.C." and "Dance of Days" , which can be found on Amazon.com, Tower Records, and any bookstore that sells Independent publishers. See Monica's Musings on her early days for mp3s and more photos.
Monica formed Strange Boutique in 1987 with the intention of exploring a more art-driven style of music. With Daniel Ingram (Ex-Untouchables/Youth Brigade/Madhouse), Ex-Beefeater guitarist Fred "Freak" Smith, and the addition of bassist Steve Willett in 1988, the band's first EP, "Easter Island" was released in the Spring of 1989, showcasing Monica's more refined voice and the band's diverse musical talents. Strange Boutique released 3 CDs on their own Bedazzled records label, performed throughout the U.S. and even in the UK in support of for Killing Joke before the band broke up in late 1993. Monica Richards reunited with Strange Boutique for a 10 Year Reunion show in Washington D.C. on July 3rd, 2004, and a 'Best Of' CD of Strange Boutique songs was released on Metropolis Records, entitled Strange Boutique - The Collection: 1988-1994.
In 1993, Monica began Faith and the Muse with William Faith, (Ex-Mephisto Walz/Shadow Project/Christian Death) with the purpose of having no boundaries to their music, reaching across historical genre and cultural style. Amidst a diverse musical background ranging from Dark Alternative Rock and Electronica to World Music & Neo-Classical, to Jazz, Avant Garde and Folk, Faith and the Muse allowed Monica to combine her love of art, theater and music. With the release of five albums and one double CD live/remix album, along with extensive touring throughout the U.S. and Europe over the last 11 years (more than 250 performances), the band has managed to gain the attention of a vast assortment of music fans, owing to their constantly evolving sound: indefinable but unmistakable. Faith And The Muse have been called an "art band with a pop sensibility", refusing to conform to current fads in music. Well-known and widely respected in the Underground community, Faith And The Muse have already made their indelible mark on Independent music and culture. Monica's theatrical side and penchant for costume are released full force, allowing her a larger-than-life presence on stage.
Faith and the Muse has just released : ankoku Butoh : - a CD/DVD/Book set now available at www.mercyground.com!
Monica released her solo CD in 2007, the InfraWarrior album. This evocative project, composed by Monica Richards alone, is at once hard-hitting and sensual, a revolutionary and seductive culmination evolving from her many years as an Independent artist. InfraWarrior ranges from Neo-Classical and World Music to Avant Garde melodies; at times personal and at times filled with rage at unaddressed social issues, Monica is an artist that is not afraid to speak her mind.
Monica is also a member of Anima Mundi. Latin for "World Spirit", Anima Mundi is a collective family of musicians. Coming fulll-circle back to her original punk roots, Anima Mundi is old school Anarcho-punk, addressing issues such as animal rights, vegetarianism, women's issues, and Permaculture…
Monica is also a writer and poet; she graduated from American University with honors in Literature and has published three books through her own company, The Mercyground. Her most popular release is "The Book of Annwyn" , a fully realized creative work which contains re-workings of Welsh-Celtic tales as well as her poetry, essays, original art and graphic design.
As a multimedia artist, her talents run the entire spectrum of the visual arts, from graphic design and imaging, Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil, Sculpture and traditional Fine Art paintings. She is best known for her larger-than-life expressive mythical symbolism, and her intense use of color and contrast. Monica's artwork is centered around world-wide Matriarchal mythological themes, and all the different faces and seasonal personalities they possess. Monica has just released Anafae, a brand new graphic novel about Mother Nature.
Monica Richards é considerada um ícone da subcultura gótica. Cantora, compositora, artista e escritora. Ela tem atuado como vocalista de inúmeras bandas inclusive Madhouse, Strange Boutique and Faith and the Muse, e também como artista solo. Mais conhecida por seu trabalho no Faith and the Muse, "InfraWarrior" (seu primeiro álbum solo), é a essência do "poder de dentro", ricamente em vocais texturais e paisagens sonoras cinematográficas tribal e ritual. O resultado é um álbum revolucionário e sedutor, uma evolução de mais de 20 anos como artista independente. Suas músicas variam entre neo-clássicas, melodias avant-garde com cada canção contando sua própria história.