Best known for her musical work as half of the critically acclaimed duo, Faith and the Muse, Monica is also a solo artist, writer, composer and artist living near Los Angeles. Much of the spectrum of her creative work is centered around the Feminine and the Familiar: Matriarchal mythological themes with all the cultural echoes and seasonal faces they present.
In over twenty-five years as a front woman in Underground music, Monica Richards has a far reaching reputation of the highest respect for her powerful voice and theatrical stage presence. An old school punk rocker who began writing songs at the age of 15, her sharp, intelligent lyrics and musical talents are the highlights of Faith and the Muse, as well as her solo music under the moniker 'InfraWarrior'.
A graduate of American University with honors in Literature, Monica has published four illustrated books of tales & poetry through The Mercyground, the multimedia company she co-owns. Her first published work, The Book of Annwyn, based on Welsh Mythology, is a full reworking of Celtic tales with the Patriarchal and Christian elements removed. The book has just been translated into Italian, and a Spanish translation is in the works. She is currently working on a graphic novel series, Anafae, based on her short stories. The first three issues have been released, and issue four is in the works.
Monica is also a multimedia visual artist and graphic designer. Her illustrations, graphic collage and original artwork have graced books, CD covers, magazine articles and gallery walls.
Monica began singing in her 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, 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." [Connolly/Clague/Cheslow] and "Dance of Days" [Anderson/Jenkins], which can be found on Amazon.com and any bookstore that sells Independent publishers. See Monica's Musings on monicarichards.com 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 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 reunited with Strange Boutique for a 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 created Faith and the Muse along with partner, William Faith, 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 15 years, 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.
Monica released her tribal/classical/electro solo CD, "InfraWarrior", in 2007. She has worked a number of other underground artists, including Jarboe, In the Nursery, Lustmord, Viva Death, Matt Howden, and has also sung with Conflict & Anima Mundi.
Monica is currently working on her new solo album, "Naiades".