Hi everyone, we are Monstercat. Ask us anything!

As an introduction to those who may not know us, we are an independent record label that focuses on developing new artists and showcasing many different forms of electronic music.

We launched just over 2 years ago and have released over 500 different songs to date, it has been an absolute roller coaster!

Here's our YouTube channel for those who have never heard our music: http://www.youtube.com/user/MonstercatMedia

Verification: https://twitter.com/Monstercat/status/401818563498872832

Update #1: YouTube seems to be bugging out and showing our old subscriber count. This is our current and what I see when logged in: http://puu.sh/5kgDR.jpg

Update #2 We are having trouble finding questions that haven't already been answered. Please consider upvoting questions that may be hidden down below that you would like answered!

Update #3 Front Page :O! Never expected this to happen...

Update #4 Been at this for 4 hours now, going to take a break and grab a coffee/some food. Will be back to answer more!

Update #5 Back and with Pizza. Saturday Night Pizza Planet Party.

Update #6 7 hours in and I'm starting to slow down. Still trying to reply to all new questions though!

Update #7 Heading off for the night. Will answer any stragglers tomorrow morning. Thanks to everyone who stuck around and submitted questions!

Update #8 Came back this morning to answer some stragglers. Will probably check periodically after this. Best wishes!

Thanks to /r/Monstercat for setting this up!

Comments: 2482 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

mrfijiwiji854 karma

am i tristam?

MonstercatMedia577 karma

Tristam is more of a state of being.

Droptek384 karma

Any information on some new Droptek songs?

MonstercatMedia315 karma

Such cheeky.

milanbourbeck286 karma

Why are you a cat?

How did you come up with the name 'Monstercat'?

What's your favorite song right now?

Can you give us an official statement to what happened to that Penguin that goes by the name Ephixa?

MonstercatMedia445 karma

  • Why are you a cat? We wanted our logo to represent our brand/history. It had to be something that related to the internet, was still young at heart and could be something that was taken less seriously.

  • How did you come up with the name 'Monstercat'? It was actually the username of one of our graphics designers. We had originally joked about calling it "Velocilobster" or "Monstercat". I think we went with the right decision.

  • What's your favorite song right now? My personal favourite is 7 Minutes Dead - Sidewinder due to how unique of a song it is. 7MD really has a style of his own.

  • Can you give us an official statement to what happened to that Penguin that goes by the name Ephixa? Ephixa, as an artist, took some time off to focus on other projects and his personal life. However, word on the street is that he is back at producing and we are looking forward to hearing his new work.

nico-fgs426 karma



MonstercatMedia184 karma

This. Is. Beautiful.

Merzick236 karma

I am a huge fan of Monstercat, you guys got me into the electronic music genre! :)

Three questions:

1) Do you plan on doing anything more with the Trap genre in the future?

2) How do you feel about your involvement with the eSports community? Seeing that Monstercat had provided music for Counter-Strike and StarCraft II streams really got me excited!

3) The question everyone wants to know: What exactly happened to Ephixa?

MonstercatMedia250 karma

That actually makes me so happy. It's always been one of our main goals to expose people to new music.

  1. We actually have a trap track coming up soon from one of our regulars. We only sign tracks on an individual basis so we need to really love the songs. We're not huge fans of the traditional "Trap" sound to be honest.

  2. We're all huge gamers, I literally just finished a 6 hour marathon session of Battlefield4. We originally got into E-sports through League of Legends but have expanded out to nearly every major e-sports league.

  3. See above

Keyori230 karma

My friend Helynt is super talented and says he sends you his tracks all the time but you decline, I'd love to know why. In my opinion he's much better than half the artists you have signed and I've been listening to your music since your first releases.

http://www.youtube.com/user/helynt1 is his channel, please check him out.

Sorry if this sounds passive aggressive, I just know this kid will go far.

MonstercatMedia127 karma

I will personally check him out now.

TheOfficialProtostar203 karma

What is love?

MonstercatMedia171 karma


xVert77x188 karma

Are you guys planning a "Best of 2013" album this year like you did with 2012? 10/10 would buy

MonstercatMedia251 karma

Yes we are! We want to incorporate a better voting system than we have had in the past.

Touchmagic103 karma

Please no stupid facebook poll :)

MonstercatMedia194 karma

The reason people use Facebook is so that people can't cheat the system. It's difficult to make alot of fake Facebook accounts.

SiKBiT101 karma

When I buy a song, how is the money split? Ex. How much does the artist get and how much do you get?

MonstercatMedia200 karma

For a $1 song.

0.30 to iTunes (or 0.4 on Beatport)

0.42 Artist

0.28 Monstercat

yawkat30 karma

What about bandcamp and monstercat gold?

Pancake9826 karma

IIRC, Bandcamp takes 30%.

MonstercatMedia104 karma

Bandcamp takes 10% but due to paypal fees it is more like 25%.

EleventySeventyOne81 karma

For people that don't know, (I'm assuming you already do) PayPal fees are tax deductible when the fee is attached to a business expense (even if you are self-employed). I only mention this because I've personally seen too many people complaining about PayPal fees in situations they could be getting that money back. Write them off on your taxes. :)
Edit: My wording is a bit off, but not wrong. The fee itself is considered a business expense.

MonstercatMedia58 karma

^ Genius!

taggerungkid87 karma

Do you have any news on the next Tristam release?

MonstercatMedia145 karma

Tristam has been hard at work over the past year working on a new EP/Album. The real time commitment has been in his sound design and vocal lessons/production. 2014 will be his year to shine as he has really developed his own “style” and sound. I had the chance to stay with him for a week while he was living in LA.

taggerungkid39 karma

Awesome, thanks for the reply! If you don't mind me asking, who is doing the replies? GQ?

MonstercatMedia95 karma

Mike Darlington, GQ, Ari and a few other members of our team are on skype.

SynonymOfHeat80 karma

What made you decide to start your own indipendent record label? Also, do you consider yourselves as a succes now, two years after you first launch, did you meet your original goals?


MonstercatMedia104 karma

We wanted to have a place where we could showcase the music of our friends. It was about building a group of artists as a whole, each artist supporting the others. From a business perspective, we also wanted to help out with the things that the artists did not want to do or know how to do. (ie setting up YouTube monetization, negotiating merch deals, distributing their music)

In all honesty, we didn’t even know what Monstercat was supposed to be 2 years ago. It has always been an evolving idea with a common vision and goal. We just wanted to have a place where we could showcase the music of our friends while involving our community as much as possible. The internet made us who we are today.

Gareth27475 karma

I have to ask, is Televisor secretly Daft Punk, or vice versa?

MonstercatMedia58 karma

Not that I know of.

Voia75 karma

How'd you guys get hooked up with MLG/Dreamhack? It seems as if you guys are the soundtrack to the eSports world these days.

MonstercatMedia86 karma

For over a year we have been reaching out to the esports scene and have gotten great feedback from nearly every major league including MLG and Dreamhack. It has been a pleasure working with them. We've always wanted to be able to give them a constant stream of new music from talented artists to use in their productions. Most other music that can be obtained for streaming is standard "licensed audio library" quality music.

almighty_bacon71 karma

Do you guys know what happened to TVDS and Day One? I know TVDS is Atmozfears, but does he have any releases planned as TVDS?

MonstercatMedia104 karma

TVDS = Atmozfears who will be making his re-debut on Monstercat this December.

viggolund167 karma

I just have some questions about the Reunion tour. 1 How many artists do you guys have? 2 How long are the shows going to be? 3 Are they 21+ or 18+ only?

MonstercatMedia86 karma

  1. Currently 3 artists will be on every show. We will have some of our other artists supporting their local shows also.
  2. The shows will be regular nightclub hours.
  3. Some shows will be 18+, some 19+ and some 21+. We may do a few all-ages events also.

wolframbr67 karma

Will Pendulum come back?

MonstercatMedia102 karma

They are supposed to be working on some new music now.

D1G1TALAXE66 karma

As a long-time fan, this AMA sounds awesome! Be sure to visit /r/Monstercat if you haven't already!

  • How many workers do you employ? All they all in one office?
  • Who does the audio mastering? I heard it was 23 but that was awhile ago.
  • Who started Monstercat?
  • Do you plan on bringing more genres to the channel?
  • How do you balance the number of new arists, and artists currently in the family?
  • Story behind Obsidia no longer releasing through you guys? I loved his stuff.
  • Obligatory "WHERE'S EPHIXA?"
  • Do you expect the number of subscribers to continue to grow, and if they slow, so you plan to pursue other ventures in the EDM scene?
  • Who is the bestselling artist on the label?
  • Any awesome things to look forward to soon?
  • How do you come up with all the album names?

Check out Piterep's deviantART page. Does the current Album artwork and is an awesome community member!

MonstercatMedia84 karma

  1. How many workers do you employ? All they all in one office? Monstercat is comprised of a team of 10: Mike Darlington (Co-Founder), Ari Paunonen (Co-Founder), Jon Winter (Head of Music), Rob Allen (Merch Manager), Gavin Johnson (Head of Licensing), Ryan Petrie (Recently joined - Design Manager), Dan Scarcelli (Recently joined - Podcast & Music Manager), William Casarin (Lead Developer), Jack Zhang (Developer) and Matt Books (Developer). We are all in the same office.
  2. Wired Masters does a lot of our mastering. They’ve worked with everyone from Swedish House mafia to Krewella.
  3. Who started Monstercat? Monstercat was launched originally by Mike Darlington, James Leusink and Ari Paunonen. Our core team has changed/grown since then to 10 people.
  4. Do you plan on bringing more genres to the channel? Absolutely, I am loving Melbourne Bounce right now!
  5. How do you balance the number of new arists, and artists currently in the family? Our goal is to be able to maintain our release schedule of 3 releases a week. If we have too much content, we won't look to find new artists unless we stumble upon something huge!
  6. Story behind Obsidia no longer releasing through you guys? I loved his stuff. We only sign tracks on an individual basis. If we don't love the music, we don't sign it. This is just how we have always been.
  7. See above.
  8. We hope they keep growing! We plan to begin licensing our music to more key partners which should help the growth and at the same time expose our music to more people.
  9. Pegboard Nerds is currently the highest selling artist.
  10. Monstercat podcast coming early 2014. We are investing huge amounts of time into each episode. We want them to be more of a listening experience than just a bunch of tracks mixed together.
  11. The album names represent where we are in our business. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions so far and I am sure you can see that in our album titles.

AwesomeNoah21 karma

23 is gone

MonstercatMedia46 karma

23 did a great job mastering our work in his spare time. However, it got to the point where we needed someone who’s profession was mastering of the music.

southboy2260 karma

What's the name of 069 going to be ?

MonstercatMedia122 karma


uGGoBoy53 karma

First, Ephixa? everybody loved him. Second, how do you choose songs on your album (upcoming and the old ones)

MonstercatMedia31 karma

The songs on our albums have been singles that we have released over the past few months. They are compilations afterall!

Our song selection process for each single really comes down to if we like the music or not. Personally, I (Mike) look for unique music that has a strong melody and positive energy.

Pancake9847 karma

Is there going to be a Christmas album this year?

MonstercatMedia80 karma

Yep! Working on finalizing the tracks for this now!

monstahcat47 karma


MonstercatMedia65 karma

Redditor for 1 year...not bad...

OfficialRezilly44 karma

Does GQ plan to release any more songs of his own?

goingquantum165 karma

Definitely. I feel like the expectations for my next single are very high and so I'm focussing on finding my sound and creating a track I'm truly happy with. I'm also balancing the workload as label manager for Monstercat and my podcast, so you should see something out early 2014.

MonstercatMedia65 karma

There's your answer!

kvicksilv3r41 karma

Will there be more Braken in 2014? The two songs you have released by him are amazing and I hope for more of him in the coming year :)

MonstercatMedia48 karma

Absolutely, he's insanely talented!

Synthtwo40 karma

I just found your channel...

Holy shit this is a treasure trove, I've never even liked dubstep as a genre until I played a few songs off of your label.

Keep it up, keep your brand as a go-to name for quality music and the sky's the limit guys.

MonstercatMedia34 karma

So happy to see comments like these! <3

uGGoBoy40 karma

Why did monstercat stop rebelling against police, and is now hiking trough country? Is there a story on your albums?

MonstercatMedia47 karma

Our album arts/names are generally a reflection of where we are as a company. We have always left it to the family to create their own stories from them :)

BlackIceFool39 karma

Do you plan on ever touring Europe? If so, would you visit Scotland or would it only be gigs in London?

MonstercatMedia53 karma

We would love to! I do know we are planning some shows in England for 2014.

TheAssailantCSM39 karma

In your interview, you stated that Monstercat was started by 2 and a half people. Where does Ephixa come into play?

MonstercatMedia55 karma

Ephixa was #2. Ari at the time was only part time. We have now grown to a team of 10.

Rekiz_38 karma

What is your view on the Minecraft community. As you know there are numerous You-tubers who use music supplied by you. Thanks!

MonstercatMedia97 karma

Minecraft is an awesome game! As a whole, we have invested hundreds of hours into building things. Mike is pretty shitty though. (Stephen Walking on the left, Mike on the right) http://i.imgur.com/Acm5tYa.png

planetsmasher6d32 karma

How many people work at Monstercat? Are any of the Monstercat artists also staff or founding members of the label? If so, who?

MonstercatMedia63 karma

Monstercat is comprised of a team of 10: Mike Darlington (Co-Founder), Ari Paunonen (Co-Founder), Jon Winter (Head of Music), Rob Allen (Merch Manager), Gavin Johnson (Head of Licensing), Ryan Petrie (Recently joined - Design Manager), Dan Scarcelli (Recently joined - Podcast & Music Manager), William Casarin (Lead Developer), Jack Zhang (Developer) and Matt Books (Developer). Of our current team, Jon Winter is the artist Going Quantum.

JaXXup17 karma

Podcast Manager? Is that for the Going Quantum Podcast, or something else that you haven't announced yet?

MonstercatMedia77 karma

I forgot we haven't announced this yet :)

ThePhantom1826 karma

1) Why did Going Quantum stop producing his own music for Monstercat?

2) What is your favorite genre that you upload?

3) If there was one artist that you could get onto Monstercat, who would it be?

4) Why is Tristam so secretive with his fans?

5) How long did you cry after listening to Trance Chords?

MonstercatMedia42 karma

  1. He's been focussing on Monstercat and his podcast. Music production takes A LOT of time, especially to stay relevant.
  2. Probably Drumstep! It's always so much fun to listen to!
  3. I wish we could have worked with Madeon while he was still just posting his music to YouTube. Have loved his music since forever.
  4. That's just the way he is.
  5. It's a crazy beautiful song. I (Mike) actually had to push James to finish and release that song. One of my favourites.

Noob2Pro25 karma

When is tristam releasing his album?

MonstercatMedia43 karma

No date on the album yet. However, we will try to get out a single from it in the next few months.

Zarrex23 karma

The million dollar question, what happened to Ephixa?

MonstercatMedia42 karma

Ephixa, as an artist, is still producing and is someone we want to hear more music from. If you are asking about why he is no longer a part of our management team then here it is:

Monstercat was originally a project between James and Mike (2+ years ago). Ari was brought in shortly after the launch of the project. Once things started to get serious every partner had to make a decision if Monstercat was going to be their full time commitment. Ari gave up working as an engineer (5+ years of University) and Mike gave up working as a Environmental Ecologist (5+ years of University). James chose to work on other projects and focus on his artist career opposed to working on the business. After over 8 months of trying to make it work it became apparent that we had to split up or drop Monstercat entirely. It is difficult to work with someone who is not willing to invest the same passion and energy into a project that you are.

This has nothing to do with acting unprofessional, or leaking music, or pirating music or any of the other rumours that get passed around on the regular. We all troll sometimes and we all make mistakes. Do I wish this could have been handled better in the past? Yes.

Higuyby20 karma

If you could have any Tasty Artists (Including ones promoted by Tasty) which would you chose? I know you have Au5 and Favright and others already

MonstercatMedia55 karma


Razzon10120 karma

Are you going to bring back hard dance?!

MonstercatMedia45 karma

Oh yes, oh yes!

thatkaibur1719 karma

How do you guys plan on expanding the latest 'Bounce' genre?

MonstercatMedia13 karma

There's a few other artists we are in discussions with. Really enjoying that sound now! It makes me happy.

DeoxinSky18 karma

So er, what ever happened to the animated music videos? The one everyone donated for? :)

Also, if demo submissions are song-based, what do you guys look for in a new artist sending in a song to be considered?

MonstercatMedia7 karma

Was posted above but wanted to make sure it was seen: Unfortunately, we bit off a bit more than we could chew with this project. We were originally quoted at ~$3000 per episode but found out while nearing the completion of Episode 1 that we were looking at more like $5000+ and a longer time period per episode than we originally hoped for. To date, we spent around $6000 on setup/episode 1 and another $8000 on the fan perks that were sent out. The remaining funds are still sitting in the bank for when we take another stab at this project. However, we are open to any ideas from the family on how we could better spend the funds. These funds have NOT been spent on any other project nor will be until the community as a whole decides on it.

leeches18 karma

I've never heard of the label but I'm curious as to the business model. Coming from a traditional label background this is very confusing.

1.) You sign songs not artists?

2.) So the artist can release whatever with whoever at anytime?

3.) Who pays for the recordings?

4.) Is this digital only releases? If so, are you basically just leveraging your user base to sell songs since anyone can technically release music on itunes?

MonstercatMedia22 karma

  1. Yep, we found that this allowed us to be a lot more particular about which songs we work with and the ones we don't.
  2. Yes they can! However, most choose to work exclusively with ourselves. We've never wanted to inhibit someone's opportunity to grow.
  3. We help fund the records if necessary, however in most cases there are usually only art costs/marketing costs.
  4. Digital only and we encourage our artists to self-release things that we can't work with using services like Tunecore. We have built a following of people who trust our music taste and choose to buy the music when they want. However, music sales aren't our primary revenue source.

AdrianoRoss16 karma

How is muzzy's hair?

MonstercatMedia20 karma

So soft.

Username_is_invalid16 karma

What happened to the "submit demo" button on your site? Do you guys not except demos anymore?

MonstercatMedia20 karma

We had to rebuild our backend. It's taking longer than I had hoped :(

Kernerfahrks11 karma

Any plans to bring #Reunion2014 overseas to the UK, Aus etc?

MonstercatMedia21 karma

Definitely will do the UK as we have some close partners out there. Not sure about AUS yet.

Nefeera10 karma

Can we be friends?

MonstercatMedia27 karma


chunk3ymonk3y9 karma

What do you want your label to become? Now that you've hit 1M subs on youtube, what's your next goal (besides more subs)?

MonstercatMedia16 karma

Diversity of music and better support for our artists.

TheOfficialSkyPatrol9 karma

Could you host some remix contests soon? =P

MonstercatMedia5 karma

I'd like to do more of these. However, they are extremely time consuming so I may have to think of a better system to handle them.

fireball9998 karma

Hey guys, love the channel, been following since it was small. It was great to see it blow up the way it did. I've got 2 questions, one is is there a minimum age your artists need to be? Also, what do you look for in an artist. Thanks for doing the AMA!

MonstercatMedia17 karma

  1. There is no minimum age, Throttle was 16 when we started signing his music. However, if an artist isn't taking his music seriously and acting like an adult, we are less likely to want to work with them.

CCondell7 karma

I love how you interact with the community, and I absolutely loved those two videos in which people wrote how MonsterCat changed their life, or the memories that go through their heads when they hear a song. Will you be doing anything like that again?

MonstercatMedia7 karma

We went through a period of growth and movement which gave us less time to create this projects. They are something we hold very dear as our community is the only reason we are where we are. Absolutely expect more campaigns like those in the future.

IAmTheDrakon6 karma

As a follower since 003 and an owner of 001-014 (and on Wednesday, ;) 015), I naturally have many questions:

1) Is there any news on the next Pegboard Nerds release?

2) I have heard both that Tristam's album/LP is coming out in November and December, are any of these true? And could you cheekily tell us many tracks are on it? ;)

3) Will there be a Christmas album for 2013?

4) When are you planning to bring the Reunion Tour to Europe, specifically the UK? Hoping it'll be OK for under 18s :D

5) Last but not least, do you know if Varien is planning on releasing on Monstercat in the (near) future? He hasn't had a song on Monstercat since 013. :(

Thanks, please answer!

varienscissorhands35 karma

Jacking this AMA to answer #5 - I'm currently pursuing a more film/tv/vg composing background as that has always been my dream. Monstercat focuses more on an EDM type feel, and my music has lost a lot of the dance elements it used to have, so probably no on that question.

However! Mike and I are close friends and I do little things for Monstercat behind the scenes when they need cool sound design stuff and whatnot. I love what they've created and they will continue to do amazing with or without me!

MonstercatMedia15 karma

<3 you Nick!

Rabbi4skincutter6 karma

can i have a free download of all of your music

MonstercatMedia20 karma

Yep, check Piratebay :)

Zzzonkedx4 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA, your label got me into the electronic music genre!

Who created/creates the equalizer(s) for your videos?

Any big secret plans for the future?

MonstercatMedia9 karma

:D Our new visualizer was created by Monstercatx - Chung.

TonyTheCookie4 karma

What new genres would you like to introduce to Monstercat?

MonstercatMedia14 karma

Psytrance! I'd also love to one day launch a sister label for Deep House/Tech House!

TastelessCandy4 karma

What advice would you give an unknown producer trying to make it in the music industry...?

Btw thanks for doing this AMA!

MonstercatMedia11 karma

YouTube and YouTube promoters are your friends! They can quickly get your music out to a large amount of people who trust in their taste. However, it will take time and expect to be turned down a lot in the early stages.

harryman114 karma

Have you looked into accepting Bitcoin there are a lot of us that would love to pay for music using Bitcoin especially since it has really low transaction fees we know that more of our money is getting to the artist instead of going to the middlemen. r/Bitcoin is there to get you up to speed if you haven't heard of it before. Please look into it you could be the first large label to accept it, you'll get lots of free press and new customers.

MonstercatMedia6 karma

We have seriously considered it. Still need to dev a way to accept them though.

Sciwyre3 karma

In an interview, you said that five of the original artists were close friends. Who were those artists?

MonstercatMedia7 karma

Going Quantum, Ephixa, Stephen Walking, Varien (Halo Nova), Neilio.

parion3 karma

How has Monstercat changed your life? Do you think you're earning more or less support now than you did in previous years?

MonstercatMedia5 karma

Monstercat has absolutely changed my life and who I am as a person. I am probably earning less than I would have in other professions but the opportunity to grow is higher with a start-up. We will have to see where this takes us!

mynameissimon_3 karma

How find the success you did? What I mean is do you have any tips for smaller organizations?

MonstercatMedia5 karma

Look at what everyone else is doing and try to find a way to do it differently. In our case, we saw YouTube as a new outlet for growing our audience.

McdoubleExpress3 karma

How many artists are currently signed to Monstercat? A list of names would be good as well haha

MonstercatMedia3 karma

These are our current artists that have released recently or wil lbe releasing soon.

petterroea2 karma

Any funny stories from the 2 years you have being doing this?

MonstercatMedia9 karma

This was a pretty funny one: http://imgur.com/kZ8cYgm

Numiiigoesrawrz2 karma

Couple questions:

1) are you planning to be releasing any female merch? I'm deprived of my Monstercat love haha. 2) What is your goal for 2014? 3) Phase 2 of the Monstercat tour has been initiated, where do you go from there? What news of the tour has been confirmed as of right now?

MonstercatMedia6 karma

  1. We will be releasing more Female merch in 2014, especially now that we have someone dedicated full time to our merchandising.

  2. Our goal for 2014 is to really provide more support for our artists, we want more of our artists to make it!

  3. We can confirm that there will be 3 artists on the whole tour with local support in each city. We do not have all of the dates locked in yet.

ImUnderYoBed2 karma

Would you guys ever consider hiring anyone else on Monstercat just to help sort through entries and what not?

MonstercatMedia4 karma

We will eventually have someone full time dedicated to this. We need to grow a bit more before we can get to this point though.

xVert77x2 karma

While on the internet, I often times find some really amazing songs from unknown artists and think, "I could really see this coming from Monstercat." My question off of that statement is do you only find new artists from applications sent to you guys or do you ever find artists while just searching the internet?

MonstercatMedia2 karma

This is really a combination of a lot of things. Demo submissions, word of mouth, listening to remixes and remix competitions, podcasts, live show streams, scouring YouTube promo channels etc. There is really no one place we look for new artists and generally stumble upon people unexpectedly.

Gab3r12341 karma

Where did you get the funding to start a record label?

MonstercatMedia1 karma

We have bootstrapped from day one. No one has ever funded the label :)