You can’t deny that the Australian music scene is an entity entirely of its own – local bands pinwheel across the country, you’re struck by EPs of dazzling quality from all directions, and local music scenes steal your heart. Hailing from Adelaide, and only forming in late 2015, The Montreals are no exception to this, crafting eclectic folky indie-rock. They’ve recently dropped their first EP, mixed by Magoo (The Jungle Giants, Art Vs Science), and mastered by Steve Smart (Vance Joy, British India), and have released a dope little film clip to accompany their “Indigo Club: single.
You list bands including The Jungle Giants, The Last Dinosaurs, Foals, The Kooks, The Strokes, and The Arctic Monkeys as influences. What would you pick as the quintessential albums that really helped to define who you are musically?
Stefan: Alabama Shakes – Sound & Colour
I absolutely adore this record – from start to finish it’s an invitation into Brittany Howard’s soul. She has a voice that has such terrific presence, and the band has serious chops as well. The build up in “Gimme All Your Love” is one of my all time favourite instrumental segments.
The Strokes – Room on Fire
Room on Fire taught me you didn’t have to be fancy or technically proficient to create clever, and incredibly powerful riffs.
Dave Van Ronk – Inside Dave Van Ronk
Folk dominated a lot of my earlier listening, bare bones emotional writing rules. No production tricks, nothing fancy, just pure honest songs.
How would you describe your sound in five words or less?
Stefan: Glittery, golden vomit.
Now, you haven’t been a band for that long – how did The Montreals come about?
Stefan: The Monts began in my sweatbox of an apartment over a ton of rum. Being childhood friends, Angus & I sat up hollered indie rock and folk tunes all night long… The other two members were floating around uni degrees and part time work, unsure what to make of themselves so we roped them in for the ride.
A lot of your reviews are glowing – you’re surely not the only band in Adelaide? Not many bands that have been around for such a short time have that kind of following.
Angus: Adelaide has a ripper little indie music scene which is ever-blooming. It’s been amazing to see the diversity of punters that our music attracts and we are super thankful to anyone who takes the time to check out our tunes. Put your eyeballs on Zen Panda, The Winter Gypsy and Chiara La Woo for some other South Aussie gems!
Tell us a bit about making the “Indigo Club” film clip.
Stefan: The film clip was wild – we had The Vaccines & The Strokes blasting the whole time and just threw a party at Rocket Bar (an Adelaide nightclub) with all our mates.
Angus: Cheers as to our boy Charles Phillpot for filming us playing dress ups for the day!
You’ve got a couple of other film clips around – tell us a bit about what inspired you, and how you come up with the concepts for your clips?
Angus: Let me paint you a word picture…
Graham: “We should get cop outfits, wear fake moustaches and wig people out. Oh and Stefan, we should punch you in the face in slow motion”… And then we went ahead and punched Stefan in the face in the name of ‘music’.
Your EP was mixed and mastered by some amazing people – how did that come about?
Stefan: The EP was a groovy experience, it felt as though people just kept opening doorways the further it progressed. Magoo, being the first which began with an interesting email chain regarding the direction of it all. After working with him for a week or so he then recommended his personal preference as to where it should be mastered. That’s how we were put in touch with Steve Smart of Studios 301, which meant by the end of it, the EP had bounced all around the country.
East coast tour in early 2017 – tell us a bit more about what to expect there?
Angus: What to expect: low to medium quality musicianship, medium to high quality ultimate frisbee matches. But seriously, we’re stoked to be hitting the road with fellow Adelaide ledge dogs The Byzantines for eight dates up the East Coast! Bring on two weeks in a van with six sweaty young men.
And apart from the tour, what else can we expect from The Montreals in 2017?
Stefan: [It] is looking to be absolutely wild. There’s talks of a Japan tour at the moment – potentially to support a few new singles we’ve been tinkering with, so that’s exciting. Also a couple of festivals as well have approached us so we’ll probably be playing everywhere so keep your eyes peeled!
THE MONTREALS TOUR DATES
February 10th | Fat Controller, ADELAIDE
February 24th | Karova Bar, BALLAST
February 25th | The Workers Club, GEELONG
February 26th | The Workers Club, MELBOURNE
March 1st | Rad Bar, WOLLONGONG
March 2nd | Transit Bar, CANBERRA
March 3rd | Brighton Up Bar, SYDNEY
March 4th | The Lass, NEWCASTLE
Photo by Charles Phillpot.