INTERVIEW: Montaigne

Montaigne vert high res Sep 2015

Unique pop songstress Montaigne blessed us with the quirky and intimate EP “Life Of Montaigne” and followed it up with the cinematic “Clip My Wings”. Her grand pop songs play on her eccentric personality and will have you hooked immediately. Montaigne is touring around Australia throughout October and November so make sure you check her and discover this unique treasure. I recently got to chat to her and her honest and sassy answers make for an interesting read;

  1. I feel like a lot of people would ask you “Why you chose the stage name Montaigne” but I guess the real question is what attributes do you think you have similar to the philosopher Michael Montaigne? Also were there any other stage names you considered?

What great questions! Congrats you win. I think that he and I think in a similar way. We’re both very interested in how to live in the best way possible. We both find it important to self-edify, we both attempt to carry ourselves with modest equanimity so much as is possible. We both like to talk about life as it is, to express ourselves as we are rather than what society thinks we should be. He talks plainly and openly about topics which make conservative parties feel uncomfortable. Those are the things I feel we share, or at least some. There are many things we don’t share, and I’ve chosen him as my namesake for the reasons we are not alike as much as for those for which we are. I want to bring people to Montaigne, or Montaigne to people I suppose, and I want the connotations of his name to be reflected upon me.

I considered other philosophers’ and classical/ancient writers’ names for their phonaesthetic appeal, like Seneca I recall, but they were already taken! I Then I found Montaigne, in whom I had a genuine interest. So yay I’m glad that worked out.

  1. Your EP “Life Of Montaigne” saw you create this very cinematic sound in your music that showcased a quirky side of you as well as a raw vulnerable side. When you went into the studio to record this EP did you know the direction you wanted to head toward or was it experimental?

I only knew WHO I wanted my music to sound like, and how I wanted it to feel. I wanted it to sound like Takk… by Sigur Rós, and Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett, M83, Edward Sharpe, Coldplay, a bunch of artists. I wanted it to feel like emotional transcendence or something wanky like that. Like the skies of Kingdom Hearts landscapes.

  1. Your songwriting is very intriguing. Did you pull from your own life experiences or are you a people watcher and pull inspiration from situations that were happening around you?

All autobiographical for the EP and new single. If I write about other people it’s usually tinted with my perspective or personal experience.

  1. Your new single “Clip My Wings” has been creating a lot of momentum for you, the song is quite personal and sees you opening up in a different light about standing up for yourself and finding that self-belief. When writing these type of songs do you get worried about putting it out to the world?

Nope not really. I’m comfortable with revealing the place I’m at mentally and emotionally.

  1. The video clip is visually stunning, where did the concept come from?

Both the brains of myself and the directorial team. I had this image of falling from the sky and watching oneself fall from the sky à la Kingdom Hearts and Guy Franklin narrativised it and filled in the gaps. Him and Pixel conceptualised the desert context, Chloe Greaves styled me, and Natalie Burley did my hair and makeup with my guidance.

  1. Okay, so it’s debut album talk time! Have you finished it yet? Can we expect it soon?

I’m actually in the studio working on it right now with Tony Buchen. It is not finished. It’ll be out next year, I’m not sure when!

  1. What can we expect from it? Is there anything on it that may surprise your fans (musically/lyrically)?

Possibly? It’s different to the EP. I feel like the lyrics are still all me, though some of these songs are a little less inward-looking and more externally observational.

  1. What is your favourite thing about the Australian music industry?

How easy it is to meet and become friends with people. “Oh, you know the friend of this friend of mine? We cool.” “You’ve heard my name before? We tight.”

  1. You’ve just kicked off your second national headline tour. What can audiences expect this time around?

I don’t like to describe what they can “expect” – they just have to come to the show to find out, don’t they!

  1. You’re doing a bunch of All Ages shows on this tour which a lot of acts don’t do anymore, why did you find this so important to do on this tour?

It wasn’t actually up to me so I can’t claim responsibility for that idea, but I do like doing AA shows. Still important though. Young people are the most passionate and enthusiastic fans, and developing fans from a young age means they’ll be around for a long time. I still get nostalgic and have a deep, deep attachment to Kingdom Hearts which was my thing when I was 11-13 – young fans grow deep attachments to the memories of seeing their favourite bands live in their youth, it’s a fulfilling experience which has a long-term impact if only subconscious. I really like AA shows, and I wish I could do more.

  1. Do you believe that the music industry these days favours imagery over artistry?

I’m kind of tired of this question – I don’t think it favours it more or less than it has been in the past. The importance of branding will stay around always because people desire/are attracted to the visually striking. Those who have good branding AND are very talented will “make it”, and will be remembered for their talent. Those who have great branding and a bit of talent might “make it” but will be remembered for their look. Those who have neither probably won’t do very well at all. That’s just the way the human psyche works, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. Plus, you have to remember, good imagery is just the thing that catches the eye, that then opens one up to an audience who might pay attention to their beliefs and personality. The imagery is needed for capture, the rest is needed for Stockholm syndrome.

  1. Here are a few sentences that you have to complete with the first thing that comes to your head;

– My ultimate music festival line up would be….. Björk, Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Coldplay, Florence + The Machine, Talking Heads, St. Vincent, Earth, Wind & Fire, Queen, Bombay Bicycle Club, John Mayer, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Tkay Maidza, Blink-182, The National, Muse, Bat For Lashes, and I feel like Noah & The Whale would be good?

– Something no one knows about me is that…. I don’t think there’s anything that NO ONE knows about me. I was massively obsessed with the Jonas Brothers and had a purity ring when I was 14?

– If I had superpowers they would be….. The ability to fly combined with invisibility.

– One question I can’t stand in interviews is… Tour is coming up. How do you feel about that?

– I don’t usually… Listen to the Jonas Brothers anymore, but when I do for old time’s sake, I still think it’s great pop music, and I have no regrets about that time in my life.

– The most unexpected thing in my music collection is… I’m not too sure anything would be unexpected, I have pretty eclectic music taste.

– My rapper name would be… I have the same initials as Jesus Christ so Jessus Christ Superstar.



Sat 03 Oct | Jimmy’s Den, Perth WA

Tickets available from

Sun 04 Oct | Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah WA (All Ages) *

Tickets available from | 08 9550 3900 | MANPAC Box Office

Sat 17 Oct | Lake Kawana Community Centre, Sunshine Coast QLD (All Ages) *

Tickets available from

Sun 18 Oct | Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton QLD (All Ages) *

Tickets available from | 07 4927 4111 | Pilbeam Theatre Box Office

Fri 06 Nov | Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC

Tickets available from | 1300 724 867

Sat 07 Nov | Goodgod Small Club, Sydney NSW

Tickets available from | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

Thu 19 Nov | Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

Fri 20 Nov | TheGRID, Toowoomba QLD (All Ages)

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

Sat 21 Nov | Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby NSW (All Ages)

Tickets available from

Sat 28 Nov | Gorgeous Festival, McLaren Vale SA (All Ages)

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

* Show is part of the Set List regional tour

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