If ever there was an artist I'd love to listen to talk, it's this girl! With a voice to make anyone jealous and possibly the greatest 'I drank a bit too much alcohol' story I've ever been told, meet the incredibly talented Montaigne.
So first off, why do you choose to go by the stage name Montaigne rather than your actual name?
The first reason was because I didn't want my new sound or image associated with my sound or image as Jessica Cerro because the two were very different both in aesthetic and maturity and I wanted people to know that I've developed in all ways. The second reason was because when I perform, or when I'm writing music, I don't feel like Jessica Cerro the average human girl, I feel like a mononym. I feel like I'm doing something bigger than eating raisin toast and pooping every day. Half the reason I connect with music so [much] is because it augments reality which would ordinarily drive me insane with its mundanity.
Does anyone call you Montaigne when you aren't on stage or working?
Hehe. My inner circle of friends calls me that in jest, but that's it.
Your latest live track A Cinematic Plea For An End showcases your amazing vocal ability; why did you choose a live track opposed to a studio recorded version?
I only played small capacity venues on my last tour, not that many people have seen me perform live, and the people who have seen me seem to think it's pretty alright, so why not let everyone have a sneak peek? Maybe it'll get 'em to the next show!
Your debut EP Life of Montaigne was released to acclaim, how did this feel? What, if any, reactions were you expecting for your debut?
I'm very glad people are connecting with it. I'm listening to Arc by Everything Everything right now and thinking about how good it makes me feel and how much I love their music and it's incredible to think that people from all over the world have sat down and done the same. I wasn't really expecting too much, I suppose I was hoping it would do well and I could continue to pursue music as a full-time occupation, but I try not to have too many expectations about anything to do with myself. That's how a cool head is kept. I suppose my only expectation really was that people wouldn't hate it. I don't think my music is awful.
You've recently supported some other seriously talented people on their tours - namely Megan Washington and San Cisco - how do you find the role of support artist?
[It's] pretty great! I just like performing so any opportunity to do that is good fun.
Being a little bit of a regular on the national tour circuit, do you have any particular memories that still make you pinch yourself?
YES. On the last night of my headline (which was in Perth) I was a bit drunk and went to my hotel room before my band because I was tired as hell (timezones mess me up a bit), I stripped down to nothing but my underwear and remember throwing a towel on the bed and must have passed out without realising. I woke up standing outside of [my] room with nothing but my underpants [on] and that towel wrapped around me and really needing to go to the bathroom. I didn't have the room key with me either and I really needed to go to the bathroom, so I drunkenly stumbled around the floor for about five minutes looking for a toilet or something [before] realising it was futile and that I would need to go down to the lobby and get a spare key. Down I went, I arrived in the lobby, the concierge looked more-than-mildly disturbed and I said, "Listen, I have no idea what's going on but I really need to go the bathroom and I can't get into my room. Please, I need [a] key". I think he thought I wasn't a customer there/was on drugs/possibly a sex worker because he was a bit reluctant. Thankfully (but also not because it was quite embarrassing) my band walked into the lobby back from being out and looked as confused as the behind the desk, after an awkward and silent elevator ride up to our room - them clothed and me barely so - I went to the toilet, apologised and went to sleep. How I got outside of the room is, to this day, a mystery. I probably sleepwalked. Thank God sleep-walking me picked up the towel.
I'm a big fan of Triple J's Like A Version, were you nervous performing in this atmosphere?
I actually was a little bit! I don't usually get too nervous, but things that are recorded live tend to make me a little shakier than usually because they're eternal. That's probably one reason why I sang it so poorly; also that couldn't hear myself too well. Given the conditions though I still think I sand it alright? I don't know.
What was the reaction like to your cover of Sia's Chandelier?
Pretty polarised I think. Some people didn't like my lack of enunciation, some people wrote it off as indie crap, some people thought I didn't sing it very well. They're all right, what can I say. On the other hand, some people also really liked it and thought it was a good cover! I'm pretty happy with the reaction, really.
After such a fun start to the year, what's next for you?
Shows! Writing! Recording! New songs! Single! Album!
Thanks so much for stopping by Love 'Em!
Please, the pleasure was all mine.