We had the chance to have a little chat with the Brussels, Belgium based quartet Montevideo. They recently released a new EP on Smile Recordings titled “Horses” that came out with an amazing remix treatment from Mickey.
Besides the interview, we got them to share what are their favorite 2012 albums so far. Which is, frankly, a very difficult thing to answer in April right? Take a look at the Nite Five episode themed “Albums”.
Learn more about the band and their upcoming plans from the nice interview one of the members, Jean, gave for Nite Versions. And of course, enjoy the Nite Five tracklist they have selected for you while reading these lines.
Kindness – Gee Up taken from “World, You Need a Change of Mind”
Retro groovy funk, noticing groovy Cassius side of Philippe Zdar, in the production.
Sébastien Tellier – Cochon Ville taken from “My God is Blue”
He’s still a genius, has the same sensual approach of the writing of a song as we have. :)
The Shins – Simple Song taken from “Port of Morrow”
Such an elegant and brilliant band, who is still suprising us even after 3 or 4 albums…
Hot Chip – Flutes taken from “In Our Heads”
They’re still one of the best “crossover” bands ever. They still keep on finding the perfect match between dance and radio star “pop”. Really classy.
Air – Sonic Armada
taken from “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” (February 03, 2012)
They are still fond of organic sound and live recordings. They could have chosen the electro side of pop music but decided to keep it more subtle than that.
You’re coming from Belgium. You probably already said this but why did you name the band after Uruguay’s capital?
We were back in 2005… the day before going to a crapy “rock” bands contest. We had such an aweful name at that time, I won’t say no more…
Anyway, we had to come up with a new one ’cause we were gonna officially play five new songs the day after. Back in the 80’s there was this Art Gallery in Antwerp called Montevideo. And there’s also this psychatric clinic in Paris where old rock stars are recovering from their drug addictions (laugh) Our ex-bass player suggested the name, and we said “Why not?”
The fact that it was the capital of Uruguay didn’t bother us, it was simple, international, easy to remember! We are still wondering why journalists keep on asking the same “pointless” question. (Nite Versions: Sorry!) Usually bands pick up a name, cause their previous one sounds silly, or nasty (laugh)
I recently saw Ed Banger’s Busy P wearing a “BELGIANS DO IT BETTER” tshirt. They couldn’t have said it better since most of our favorite artists and bands come from this country.
Belgium is pretty much in the center of Europe (our home town Brussels is 1H30 away from Paris or London not far from Berlin either), bands and producers are emerging with noinhibitions and are crossing and mixing all those cultures into their very own interpretation of “the music”. As we are a small country, we get different influences more easily from other countries at our borders… Bands are making their own music without a strong stamp. Everybody knows everybody, we have to export ourselves quickly or die, which make the Belgian artists sound difficult to recognize and special at the same time.
So what’s your favorite names in music coming from Belgium?
There’s a long list of artists we love! In alphabetical order that would go like: A for Aeroplane, B for Billie (Belgian 20-year-old singer from Antwerp), C for Compuphonic, D for Das Pop… (laugh) And a bunch of newcomers such as ATTAR! and A.N.D.Y (ex-Mustang), Great Mountain Fire, Moonlight Matters, Mickey & Safari…
You recently unveiled your latest single, “Horses”. What’s your inspiration behind the new stuff you’re currently recording?
We’ve been listening to lots of stuff – Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, Primal Scream, Stone Roses… Rediscovering our classics… Jim Jarmusch movies… Images are really important for us behind a song. With the passing of time, there’s a sort of unconscious guideline that we had through the working process, dreamy atmospheres involving castles, cavalry, stories with knights.
“Timeless” could be a great album title for our forthcoming one. We are still looking for one though.
Speaking of that, tell us more about your upcoming album. How does it sound? Who are you working with?
We’ve been looking for a new sound, something fresh, stylish and elegant at the same time. What describes our sound right now could be: early Bowie and Robert Smith meeting Pink Floyd who all decide to make some dance music together in Krautrock era with a 2012 producer named Joakim! :)
What else are you guys interested in besides making music with the group?
Gab, the bass player, is an architect. He loves staring for hours at Google Maps and analyzing every new city arrangement we discovered by reading the city map.
Pierre, the drummer, used to work in an advertisement agency for a while. He now wants to specialize in movie and video editing (he did the “Fate & Glory” clip with a 100$ camera)
Emmanuel, the guitar player, runs a bar/venue with a bunch of friends in Brussels. He also studied Psychology and is quite good at coaching the band mentally when someone is about to make make a nervous breakdown. :)
I’m (Jean) an hyper active person. I produced one band called Great Mountain Fire, I’m DJing, have other musical projects, work for a new website where people share passions… I don’t think I could do anything else than things related to music. Maybe I will become an actor some day :) Friends around me keep saying I should at least try it in future.
How would you describe yourselves with an adjective?
Gabriel “absent-minded”, Pierre “peaceful”, Manu “industrious”, Jean “ecstatic”.
What’s the last song you listened to?
“Gee Up” by Kindness, The Magician’s latest Tellier remix, “All This is That” by Beach Boys, and “What a Fool Believes” by the Doobbie Brothers.
What’s the best thing about Belgium?
Simplicity, beer and open-minded parties.