Q and A with Montpelier
Montpelier have recently released the lovely Peter Gabriel-like single Last Boat, which is about vocalist Greg Chiapello’s coming to terms with living with OCD as a teenager. The guys have a lot more planned for the year though and I have interviewed Greg to get the scoop-y juice.
Also, clicks for the coffee mention! I couldn’t go a day without it!
A Has Been: Do you think Montpelier’s sound has evolved much since your early days?
Greg Chiapello: I think it has definitely matured and developed. We had only been together for a few months before recording over in LA so I think the new record will be a strong reflection on how close we have all become both musically and as friends. Some of our favourite bands are the ones who continue to evolve and try new things, so we want to follow down that path and really push ourselves creatively.
AHB: I read that after meeting someone at SXSW you got a little more recognition, starting in New York. Do you think it’s important for Aussie artists to travel in order to get their name out there?
GC: One of our band’s ethos is ‘fortune favours the brave.’ I think by Andrew going over there without a whole lot of knowledge and doing what he did really says a lot about going out on a limb and backing yourself and the team you work and create with to find opportunities. I believe if you have substance you will find opportunity if you go and get it. There are opportunities everywhere, you just have to be open and ready for them.
AHB: How has the reception been since then?
GC: It has been very positive and has been becoming even more so with the last couple of tours and releases. Just after we got back from LA there was an element of people not really knowing what we were about and thinking we were just a bunch of rich boys throwing money at a big name producer. The fact was that an opportunity had presented itself after a lot of hard work amongst the band and we were given the chance to record with someone we respect and learnt a hell of a lot from in the process. All at a very, very modest budget to say the least, so we snapped it up. Since then we have had the chance to prove ourselves and are looking forward to building on that with the next release.
AHB: Outside of music, where do you draw inspiration from?
GC: My family and friends are a big source. My room mates are in theatre and music so hearing their stories inspires me a hell of a lot every day. Hearing what other musicians are doing now, and what others have done in the past… Movies and a glass of red is a good combo. Also coffee, the sky, and nature. Pretty much everything actually.
AHB: What plans have you got for 2011?
GC: We are currently in the final stages of finishing the EP. First of all though we will be releasing a couple of tracks in the lead up. Also a lot more touring followed by a break towards the end of the year to retreat as a band and start working on a whole heap of new songs we have waiting in the wings which will hopefully become an album.
AHB: Can you share any memorable live moments, as a performer or spectator?
GC: Playing with the guys continues to get more and more exciting. I love playing with Dave, Johnny and Andrew and wouldn’t trade it for anything. For me every time stepping out on to a stage with the guys is memorable. Supporting Frightened Rabbit in Melbourne was a great experience and gave us a taste of how fun the Scottish can be.
As a spectator I saw Glen Hansard up close at the Sydney Opera House last year. I stood right at the front and centre… That was damn special! That man breathes passion and is very inspiring to watch!
Seeing all the bands in the Brisbane music scene play and support each other is also something very special. We are very good friends with the Charlie Mayfair crew, so forging ahead together and watching them grow into what they are now is amazing! Being a part of our town’s music community is something which I am very proud of.