With tour dates this month and next month, an upcoming appearance at Mullum Music Festival, as well as new much including 'Clip My Wings', Montaigne recently took some time out to have a chat with us.
Emily: You first got a song played on radio when you became a finalist on the Triple J unearthed high competition. Was it then a hard decision to stay and finish school rather than pursue your music?
Jess: No well I wasn’t really entirely sure if I wanted to be a musician. I was actually really into academia and my school work. Music was something I always wanted to do as a kid, but never thought it was realisable, so when the comp came around I was already on a different path and I always wanted to finish school. My family has always prioritised education, so it wasn’t really a hard decision for me.
E: Your new song “Clip My Wings” gives a message of standing up for what you believe in. have you found that your music has a more, deep and meaningful sound now compared to when you first stated?
J: Um I feel like the deep and meaningful code has always been there, like when I write my songs I write them to get to the core of me, but the sound has changed. And I think that has a lot to do with getting familiar with the production side of things, Tony has helped a lot with that too. I also know myself better, my influences and what I like, it’s all helped to get where I am today.
E: Yeah speaking about Tony (Buchen) he has helped co write and produce “Clip My Wings”, he is this awesome guy who has worked with other very cool Aussies like The Presets and Andy Bull. How was that experience?
J: Yeah working with Tony is a fuckin’ delight! He is one of the best people I know. He’s a fantastic producer and we know how to tune into each other and tap into each other’s creativity and we communicate pretty well which I love, he’s very open and honest. He won’t kiss my butt and make me feel special, he isn’t afraid to say “listen Jess, that’s a shit idea” and if I feel the same I can say the same to him. But yeah he is fantastic and there is a reason why I keep using him!
E: “I’m a fantastic wreak” was an awesome breakthrough single for you. Did you ever think you would get this type of response from it?
J: I try to never expect too much from my music. I’ll take on board other people’s opinions, and keep them in the back of my mind. I’m all for hope but I never expect anything.
E: Now you have done some pretty cool tours and support tours with some great bands like San Cisco, Megan Washington and Japanese Wallpaper. Do you have a favourite moment from theses tours?
J: Oh man, so many moments! Um there was this one where I got a little bit drunk… I wasn’t smashed but there was a free bar so I drank a bit. I got tired and got my tour manager to take me back to the hotel. I got back to my room and stripped down to just my undies and I wrapped myself in a towel and passed out mid-way through texting. Then the next thing I find I had woken up and I was standing outside my room! In just my undies and a towel! I was dying to pee and was just wondering for about five minutes about how I was going to get back in my room. So I ended up going down to reception and asking the guy at the front desk for a key to my room. He was looking at me like I was either a prostitute or a crack addict. As I was down there my whole band ended up coming home and they were like “what the fuck is going on?” We then spent a very awkward elevator ride up to the room. (laughs) and till this day we all laugh about that!
E: (Laughs) well it was lucky you had the towel!
J: (Laughs) Yeah I was so lucky that in my sleeping state I still grabbed the towel! (laughs)
E: (Laughs) so now your version of Chandelier that you did for like a version on triple J has made it onto the new CD. How was that experience and how do you feel having it on CD?
J: I’m very excited and honoured! And I don’t know how they do it, but it’s at like number 5 on the track list which is so cool! So yeah I’m very happy about that! (laughs).
E: You also have the video out for “clip my wings”. Talk us through what it was like on set for that.
J: Oh man, it was an intense day! It was very cold in a ware house outside of Melbourne, in a place deceptively called Sunshine. (laughs) I was wearing next to nothing it was all very, very uncomfortable. It was just a day of pain really. But I stayed optimistic and made sure my mood was totally chipper. I ended the day with some epic bruises and pain, but everyone was just lovely to work with, it was a delight despite the pain!
E: Yes well it does look very impressive!
J: (Laughs) Thank you!
E: Now you have a national tour coming up. Are you pumped to get out and do your own shows?
J: Oh absolutely I’m always pumped to do any shows but to do my own is awesome! I just really love performing, I think it is what I was born to do. I think I’m going to improve a lot and these shows are going to allow me to do that, I can learn to properly engage with the audience, I’m still shit at that, I’m the most awkward person on earth and I just don’t know what to say, and whenever I do start to say something it turns into a fucking essay, so I gotta work on that. (Laughs) But yeah really excited!
E: Well congrats on the new single and I look forward to seeing your show when you come to Melbourne!
J: Awesome! Well I look forward to seeing you there! Thank you so much!
Written by Emily O'Brien
You can catch Montaigne on tour at the below dates.