The enthusiasm of Adelaide four-piece The Montreals is infectious. Their latest single "Lo-Fi," the first taste of their upcoming Indigo Club EP is a rippling, fuzzed-out rock jam that bodes very well for whatever comes next. We had a chat with vocalists and guitarists Angus and Stefan about the origins of their sound, and the Adelaide indie music scene, which is growing all the time.
What brought you together as a band, and why did you choose the name “The Montreals”?
ANGUS: The Montreals were formed fairly organically, in a dingy, whiskey-perfumed suburban apartment after a bunch of directionless jam sessions. The four of us had been plugging away at degrees and part-time work, but had always been straggling musicians. Stefan approached me with the idea for an indie band and we roped Graham and Dukes (Declan) in shortly after – 10 months later and here we are!
STEFAN: We always like to leave the origin of the name undefined. I can tell you that it derived from a lyric in one of our earliest songs, a real chord bashing monster. The name went up on the chalkboard and just stuck!
What artists would you list as your major influences? Are there any that you think people wouldn’t expect?
A: Funnily enough, the whole rat pack grew up listening to heavy metal! We were all largely influenced by bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden when first learning to play and were frequent punters at Soundwave Festival (RIP). I guess some of that style and energy finds its way into our music now.
S: For the most part we all listen to a lot of diverse junk - Anderson Paak, Alabama Shakes, Mac DeMarco, The Jungle Giants, Wavves, & anything funky.
What inspired the song “Lo-Fi”? Is the title intended to be a bit meta?
S: Lo-Fi is a blur of conversations - lyrically where they end or start is vague. The name itself happened to be the most memorable word from one of those dialogues. It wasn’t intending to self-define the track, although it would be ironic if it were to, as the production and sound is far from lo-fi! What I like about it is it's all strung together by this obnoxious 21 year old voice in every chorus telling you that “I don’t care”, in essence “I'm right because I said so”.
Is there a secret message hidden in the sound collage that opens the song?
A: The ‘Lo-Fi’ introduction is interesting. Initially, it was a random concoction of noise, but now it feels like it definitely resonates with the EP as a whole.
S: There’s a lot of sound moving backwards & forwards to the point where you sort of lose its pulse, that’s probably metaphorical somehow… It has a powerful instability.
What’s the indie music scene in Adelaide like?
S: The indie music scene in Adelaide is definitely budding. It's experiencing a new wave of emerging young guns such as indie folk outfit The Winter Gypsy and garage rockers West Thebarton Brothel Party. Other names to keep on your radar are psychedelic troops Zen Panda, as well as indie boys Lost Woods!
A: It is satisfying to see so many strong local artists putting their hand up in really competitive Australian market. Live entertainment is such a hard industry to crack and the wealth of talent here is driving a small resurgence in the live music scene.
Do you have any grand plans for what’s next?
S: This next 6 months are totally kicking! The Indigo Club EP is being released in spring and there's a lot happening behind the scenes at the moment. Not to spoil anything but new tunes, music videos and an east coast tour are all in the works!