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The Eighth Note: Monty Bevins

Last edited: 16.11.17 | Comment? | By










‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

Today’s guest is Monty Bevins.

Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
I’m Monty Bevins. The last fixed abode I had was in Wellington November 2012, and since then I’ve been touring full time throughout NZ gathering stories/inspiration/experiences as I go, and writing/performing them in each cranny on my acoustic guitar. Other than sharing a moving story, I like to write folk songs that often focus thematically on time being a very precious commodity, and how lucky we are to even be alive. I’m still urged to remind people of these simple but often forgotten notions…that it needn’t take the death of a loved one or a divorce or a heart attack to ask yourself: “are you happy with your life, anything you’d rearrange? is there something you’re not doing just ’cause it requires change” (from the 1st verse of ‘What We’ve Got’).

What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
Yes! I had a decent song writing chunk up north in May, I wrote a bunch of new ones and it looks like 5 have come through the peer feedback/live reaction/’can I get in behind them each night’ filters and so I’m getting all prepared to record them in a couple of weeks at The Surgery (end of November) – yeeha!

Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
The most current representation of my music is a video of one of the aforementioned ‘newbies’ called Lovers Again, filmed on the Raglan Wharf last autumn. It’s a song about the empty nest syndrome, inspired by a beautiful family I met in Arthur’s Pass a few years back who I’ve since become good friends with. In that time their 3 daughters have all grown up and are out doing their thing in the big wide world, out of that family home where they took their first steps, measured their heights on the door frame, and talked through some big ones on grandad’s hand made furniture. When I visited one day, Guy & Uschi were getting set to move out, south to a smaller place for themselves, and scared witless about it.
Otherwise, my last EP’s at montybevins.bandcamp.com, or facebook/instagram to follow ‘the tour’.











What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
Well, I still am, but…
Mum used to play 2 CD’s on the long drives to her parents farm in Whakatane when I was a young fulla. Kris Kristofferson and Kenny Rogers! So, though I didn’t know it at the time, maybe the folk/troubadour seed was sewn right there on those Matata straights!
As a 15 year old I still hadn’t sung outside the shower or even picked up a guitar yet, so Jack Johnson’s ‘In Between Dreams’ was incredibly useful/influential in its accessibility (melodically and lyrically) to set me rolling down this path and establish a strong desire for wanting to learn how to play acoustic guitar and sing in the first place.
Ben Howard’s ‘Every Kingdom’ was just as grabbing with more subtle/developed/alternative tuning instrumentation and less literal lyrics…and on it has developed as I get more entrenched in the subtleties of songwriting.

Which other Wellington musician(s) would you most like to work with?
So many incredible musicians in Wellington are deep in their work as well as just good non egotistical people. I’m inspired by lots of ’em but well… Rick Cranson always gets my nose scrunching and rib cage swirling when I hear him play, Nikita Tu-Bryant‘s quite the creative force, very active and infectiously enthusiastic/passionate, I hope we can create some music together. Though not strictly Wellington anymore, I admire the depth to which Warren Maxwell goes for music/song writing/delivering a message, sitting down with him and my pad and pen one day sure would be great. Oh man, I could go on… Thomas Oliver’s quite obvious dedication to detail/intricacies/quality from a song writing and performance perspective is very inspiring. Haven’t specifically met any cello players in Wellington, but I would like to work with one of those…!

What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
Though not strictly a music venue, I’ve had 2 ripper gigs at Bicycle Junction, they’re very supportive and ‘get it’, and I’ve found that any venue that can open doors exclusively for the concert that night is a good start at maintaining an attentive intimate environment. The first of those Bicycle Junction gigs was part of a 20 date 3200km nationwide tour I did… on my bicycle. Yeah. Don’t ask.

In your song writing or composing (or the band’s song writing) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
Usually, I’ll pair up a guitar riff / chord idea that’s come up from an inspired noodling session with a suitable lyrical idea that’s come up from a particular conversation/event/reflection/strong feeling. From there on, for me, it’s a slow painful nutting out process involving lots of artist child/censor battles.
I like to roll newbies out unfinished during an often more heightened ‘performance state’ to have live feedback/reaction shape the eventual song too. I love that my supporters notice that the songs have developed each time I come round.
Rarely I’ll get into a state where there’s an undeniable urgency to blurt out a full length lyric/poem that I can then just put music to… but sometimes and when it does it’s all a bit easier (the song Come Back Here was like that).

Where/when is your next gig?
Well… it’s a secret ACTUALLY Alistair… but it’s WITH Nikita Tu-Bryant, Myele Manzanza, and Matt Mulholland on Sunday November 26 as part of the Songs By Twilight series, pairing rad local independent companies with beautiful music in an intimate setting.
If there’s any tickets left for ‘Songs by Twilight No.3’ you can grab them by emailing: music@nikitatubryant.co.nz

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