Montpelier Interview

All the way from Brisbane, Australia Montpelier answer a few questions for MSB!

It sounds like things happened pretty fast for you guys... still without a name and only a few demos when you were founded by Kevin Augunas, how did he come along exactly?
It all started when Andrew (our keyboardist/manager) flew over to southxsouthwest on behalf of the band. Long story short - he met a girl in a bar in Austin Texas who then invited him to catch up in New York, it just so happened that she worked at an agency managing some of the big name producers over there. She invited him up to her office and asked if he had any demo's, she then played them over the office loud speaker. As she was talking and listening she began to pop the demo cd's he brought along in envelopes and sent them off to a number of producers she thought might like us. Andrew then met up with Kevin in La and after a few months of organizing back home, we found ourselves over there recording our debut EP with him. It still blows my mind.

How did you settle on Montpelier for a name, and what does it mean to you? Montpelier was one name on a list of many possible band names Dave put together. We started jamming together at a place called Wizzard studios on Montpelier Rd in Brisbane. Dave and I thought it was perfect, Andrew and Johnny weren't so sure, but it grew on them pretty fast.

I read both singers had their own bands before Montpelier, what were they and what happened to them once you formed this one? ¨What type of music was it and how does it differ from Montpelier? Dave, Andrew, and John were playing in a band called The Quills. So there are certainly some strong stylistic elements of The Quills which still breathe in Montpelier. In the years leading up to joining the band I played music with three of my closest schoolmates. After 5 years together a few of us went overseas and disbanded soon after. When i got back to Australia I spent a lot of time writing without a band. I had just started a band when Dave gave me a call and asked me if I would be keen to have a jam.

What are your influences behind this band?
We all enjoy bands like Arcade Fire, Death cab for Cutie, but it would really depend on who you talk to. I am going through a massive beatles (again)/talking heads/blur faze at the moment. Tender by Blur has been playing on repeat in my house.

Did Biffy Clyro contact you directly to join their Australian tour?
Their booker emailed asked us if we were keen!

How excited were you?
It was our first international support so we were over the moon.

Were you huge fans of them and Frightened Rabbit when this came about?
We certainly knew of them. Andrew and Dave had been big fans of Frightened Rabbit for some time. After playing with both of them and seeing them perform, we definitely became bigger fans and have a great deal of respect for what they do musically.

What was it like to have Tim Powles so interested and intent on working with you?
It was very humbling and exciting. Tim is such a great producer and has a magnificent musical mind so it has been an amazing experience to be able to work and get to know him.

Whose idea was the "Last Boat" video? (LOVE it.)
It was created by a very talented Sydney animator named Paul Andrew Rhodes

Who helped you make it and how long did it take?
Paul uses paper stop motion so there were many, many, many sleepless nights for him I would say.

What is riding the squid a metaphor for?
It was either that or riding two dolphins, one on each foot. We didn't quite have the budget for the dolphins so we went with the giant squid instead.

What are we to expect from you this February with your next single?
Well it's nearly finished and it's sounding very large. A lot of strong layered harmonies and big guitar sounds. Andrew (piano) and John (drums) work especially well together on this one. It's a very upbeat track.

Do you have any plans to travel across to Canada anytime soon? Doo it...
No plans in the very near future but if you spread the word we will start packing our bags. I love Canada so it would be great to get back over there and share
our music with you and see some old friends.