This pop songstress is enjoying the spoils of success right about now. Whether that be supporting Megan Washington or San Cisco on their recent national tours, heading out on her solo ventures, her cover of Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ for Triple J’s ‘Like A Version’ or the recent release of her own original gems like ‘I’m A Fantastic Wreck’ and ‘I Am Not An End’, her’s is a flower in full bloom.
But, with a new live video out and about, we wanted to discover more about Montaigne.
1. Name : Montaigne.
2. Where are you based? Sydney.
3. How did you get your start in music? I without the slightest hope of becoming one or even understanding what it meant to be one, became a Triple J Unearthed High finalist when I was 16/17. That got me into the industry, but I’d been writing and singing songs long, long before that.
4. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. My sound started off in the realm of folk-pop because I was listening to a lot of that kind of music – Regina Spektor, Feist, Fleet Foxes, Ingrid Michelson etc. – as well as commercial pop and so it was quite… basic, I suppose is the word I would use. It was also a bit playful, very grass-roots 16-year-old stuff. I hadn’t gone through much in life, y’know, and my sound tends to correspond with the way I’m feeling or the emotions I have felt. After having had a few more serious life experiences, my worldview changed and my music taste and songwriting style with it. I listen to near everything now but I have a great proclivity for big, epic, ambient, orchestral, stadium pop-rock songs. I now tend to write songs that have the capacity to become dramatic and grandiose.
5. Who have been your musical influences? My great musical influences so far have been Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Feist, Regina Spektor, Owen Pallett, Björk, Yann Tiersen, Florence + The Machine, Bat For Lashes, Bombay Bicycle Club, Everything Everything, FKA Twigs, Sufjan Stevens, Delta Goodrem (weirdly enough), The National, Sigur Rós, Jónsi, St. Vincent, Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, T.a.T.u. I really love interesting and strong vocals.
6. What are your favourite songs of all time? Ah shit. ‘Death And All His Friends’ by Coldplay, ‘Dakota’ by Stereophonics, ‘No Cars Go’ by Arcade Fire, ‘Lemonworld’ by The National, ‘Chicago’ by Sufjan Stevens, ‘Animal Arithmetic’ by Jónsi, ‘Lizstomania’ by Phoenix, ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ by Toploader, ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie, ‘Us’ by Regina Spektor, ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, ‘You Make My Dreams’ by Hall & Oates, ‘Sweet Disposition’ by The Temper Trap, ‘Manhattan’ by Kings Of Leon… god there are so many and I feel that I am doing an injustice to all the songs that I’m not mentioning.
7. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I’m obsessed with doing sudokus. When I’m on tour or in transit or just have free time I’m constantly playing on this sudoku app on my phone.
8. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? My very close and dear friend Dave Le’aupepe told me: “Jess, don’t be a fucking dick.” And I think that’s good advice!
9. Tell us about your latest release. It’s pretty melodramatic hey, heheh. I wrote it when I was about 17, I can remember the exact moment that I started to write the lyrics (after school, walking by the staff carpark next to the vine-covered school chapel). This song started off all at once and then grew slowly after that. I’d written the first verse, the first chorus, the second verse, and then another lyric for the second chorus alternate to the current one almost straight away. I got in the studio with Tony [Buchen] and he described the second chorus lyrics as “something [I] could get away with because [I’m] young” and I said to myself no effing way and changed them within 10 minutes. The old lyric was “You tell me you want me to stay/But you’re in a comedy and I’m in a play/Of Shakespearean tragedy/Where it’s the story that finally bleeds. Pretty lame. I also added the bridge-verse thing and the last chorus during its tracking because we ended up making it climactic and it needed more in order to achieve that climax. In terms of its lyrical content, this song was based on me being a very masculine and unconventional kid to the disdain of someone close to me. This person had other expectations. I did not want to fulfil those expectations, I wanted to be me. I also really liked this girl a lot, and always expected, in romcom fashion, that she would one day realise that she liked me back and we’d end up together. This expectation constantly hurt me, because it was never realised. This song is pretty much about the damaging effects of expectation/idealism. Those two things can be a tool to control.
10. What do your future plans involve? Trying to forge what I am doing now into a successful long-term career because I am in love with making music and playing music and working with other people. I will hopefully be working with a bunch more people in a writing and performing capacity (I love singing with my mates Gang Of Youths at their shows), travelling, and experiencing as many new, constructive and positive things as possible.
11. Where can our audience catch you live? The next tour I’m doing is with Japanese Wallpaper in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. I think most of those shows are sold out!! Except for the Syd U18 and the July 6th 18+.
WEBSITE : http://montaignemusic.com.au/
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/montaignemusic?ref=hl
TWITTER : https://twitter.com/actualmontaigne
INSTAGRAM : https://instagram.com/actualmontaigne/
SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/montaigne-music