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Jen catches up with Montaigne about her new release “Clip My Wings’

Sydney avant-pop heroine, Montaigne has dropped her daring new single Clip My Wings (due out Friday August 28), alongside the announcement of an extensive national tour kick starting at Jimmy’s Den in Perth on October 3, moving through to Mandurah, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Toowoomba and Mullumbimby before finishing up at the Gorgeous Festival in McLarenvale on November 28.

 Co-written, produced and mixed by Tony Buchen (The Preatures, Andy Bull) and recorded at Albert Studios, Clip My Wings is about the value of autonomy and standing up for what you believe in.  The single boasts a bigger sound for Montaigne and an even more opulent and dramatic melody than what we’ve heard from this vocally gifted songstress.

 Clip My Wings is about attempting to push back against your oppressors,” explains Montaigne.  “I am resilient and have become more self-confident, I am less afraid to stand up for myself and my self-belief and I am expressing that through this song.”

 Montaigne has established herself on the live circuit, recently supporting San Cisco, Megan Washington and electro phenomenon Japanese Wallpaper.  In April she embarked on a sold-out national headline run and also graced stages at Groovin The Moo and Sydney’s Come Together Festival.  Next up Montaigne will tour Clip My Wings taking her band on the road: Neil Anderson (keys), Gus Gardener (bass) and Miles Thomas (drums).

Tickets to the Clip My Wings national tour are on sale now (see below for full list of dates and ticketing outlets)

Hi Jess, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for a chat.

No problem!

You have taken the Montaigne name from the pioneer of the modern essay Michel de Montaigne, who looked at the world through his own eyes and is still relevant in today’s society. He is inspiring with his quotes about relying on his own judgement.

My fav quote of his that is super relevant today is

“Even on the highest throne in the world, we are still sitting on our ass.”

That is one of my favorite quotes!

Well that leads into my next question, Do you have a fav quote or is it his whole philosophy that you like?

Both, I always fudge the wording of it, are one of them is,” I have never met greater monster nor miracle than myself” I think that is awesome and it is definitely something that are try to convey in my music. I think it is  important to embrace that no one is perfect basically I think it’s very important that people have darkness, the capacity for error in themselves and that is how people improve without darkness we wouldn’t value life. That kind of vibe so that is something I’m very fond of it.

I have had a look on your facebook page and you have posted Freddie Mercury as one of your main inspirations, I think you and many musicians,

Can you describe to us how he inspired you?

I only really discovered Freddie Mercury in the last few weeks, I grew up with my parents playing Queen in the house, you know what the singles that they had,’ Bohemian Rhapsody’ and’ I Want to Break Free and all that. I’ve always been a fan of  ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but never really thought of Queen. I never gave any thought of them as a band, two weeks ago sitting with my friend in my living room and we were showing each other performances that we really liked and one of them was the Queen performance of live aid and I freaked out. I thought Holy shit! This is incredible I have ever seen anything like it! This is amazing! I thought that’s what I want to do and that’s what I want to be!   I was obsessed and have been watching documentaries, listening to the podcasts, listening to the music. This is only a recent obsession,  it is very concentrated infatuation. Freddie just makes me a better performer and I want to be a person with more confidence.

When he performed, it was like rather than him being a a performer it was I am performing with you, it was like we are all here together. His vocal warm ups were singing to the crowd and people singing back to him. I find that magnificent. I was watching a documentary about “We are the Champions” and that song is not about Freddie, or his band all his friends.It is about whoever is singing it, I think that is really a great thing.

As you a relative newcomer on the scene can you tell me about your background and what made your mind up to become a musician?

When I was young I always wanted to be a massive pop star! Ever since I had a voice, I was  always singing and always loved music I was into Nicky Webster, Deltra Goodrum, and  Kelly Clarkson and anything that was on the radio really and then I got into more screamo, pop punk stuff when I was 12 or 13 and then that sort of shifted into folk kind of music like Fiest,  then while I was about 15 I got really backing to pop for example Glee and then after that I took an alternative turn, my French teacher introduced me to a album which is one of my favorite albums now, then I go into experimental and other artists. I have always had this passion but there’s always been those other things that distracted me from it as I never believed that music was something to do with my life as a career because people told me it was too tough and I thought you were just a ready-made popstar and that was it, you were born Taylor Swift and your life was set for you, thatching of thing. I didn’t know you could actually work your way through the ranks of the industry. I wanted to be a Doctor, a graphic designer and a journalist and novelist, and I  wanted to do what David Attenborough did, being a Zoologist  I just wanted to do everything. Music was always the undercurrent in constant, it was always my passion but I always used to hide it because wasn’t going to help me as much but then this opportunity came along and then I thought wait, I can do that.  It took me at least a year I suppose to figure out that this is exactly what I wanted to do and I was a bit scared of it for a while, my parents were putting a lot of pressure on me and I have no idea what to do.I think I just freaked out about that but when I got my managers, they started  educating me to get out into the industry and to engage more people I became more confident and I realised this is absolutely what I was born to do. I had that realization about a year ago.

Listen to the single ‘Clip my Wings’ here 

You start your tour this Saturday night in Perth and then have one in Mandurah, one of the most beautiful places in Australia, usually Perth fans are complaining they miss out on all the good artists, I hope they support you!

I have been to Perth but not Mandurah.

It is lovely, you can sit by the water and see dolphins playing in the water. It is beautiful.

I can’t wait!

You finish your tour off with two festivals, Mullum and McClaren Vale Gorgeous Festival SA

Do you have a preference for tours or festivals?

I like the scope of festivals, the massive stage, in the massive crowd and festivals have a certain vibe but I also really love shows, I hate being at festivals but I love performing at festivals.  On of the positives of festivals, is that it is a little bit bigger than shows.

I guess you get more exposure at festivals and get people who walk past your stage.


I read that you said “Clip My Wings is about attempting to push back against your oppressors,” This is an invaluable message especially for the youth who even more so than when I was growing up , experience bullying. Did you experience bullying and wrote this song to have this concept or was it to make yourself more confident? Or both?

I suppose you could call it bullying. I wrote that song, well the lyrics in less than an hour and the melody for it over the day. Tony and myself, Tony my producer wrote that song in a day. we just went in spontaneously and I was very angry that day as I received an email from somebody that I was having tense dealings with for several months and this is ended and we have been reconciled the last few weeks but I was very angry at this person, I felt very hard done by them, it was a bad time. That song came out very quickly as I have a lot to say about it, the lyrics came out almost immediately and  same with the vocal melody. I write my best sand quickest songs when I’m feeling something very intensely and partically in this time with concentrated feelings bubbling within me and I just kind of  needed to release it.  I am glad that this song is becoming an empowering song for people. I started to see things more clearly and see the way that I was treated and I thought I should be treated better than this, I was like this is crap and I don’t deserve it. It did make me realise that I was my own person and that I wanted to take control of my life and I want freedom and I wanted to self actualize and not to have someone constantly tell me, that I’m doing things the wrong way or that I’m not doing enough, like I’m not working hard enough and I’m letting other people tell me what to do when in fact this person was telling me don’t let other people tell you what to do and you have to listen to me. It was like  that was Bull shit, all I am not going to take that any more.  A lot of great musician start from having been bullied. One musician I know wanted to be a musician’s so to the people that are used to know, it was like a fuck you look at what I’m doing now. She just kept getting bullied, it was probably the racism and she writes incredible music and now people are preening to her because of look where she is now, she is famous and she’s doing really well. That was never my motivation but is does feel good because the people I went to high school are doing fuck all with their lives and I thought why were you so mean? I used to play soccer at an elite level and I used to get bullied by these girls and I did not understand the motivation for that.They just did not like me for any reason, I was a nice person but they progressively shunned me from the groups, and that sort of thing, Iike talking behind my back and would badmouth me on the field, I was just like why? I think the world would run much smoother if people were just kind to one another. I think if you can discuss that in music that is really great.

Your new music video Of ‘Clip your Wings’ is certainly a fantastic video, and your promo states ‘An Astounding commanding performance for you. I agree it was! How difficult was it for you to perform in this way? 

It was very very painful but I got through it. It was one of those things that all the pain and the hard work would be worth it. I maintained an optimistic attitude throughout the day and I knew that if I had a bad attitude about it, the rest of the team would have been bought down and generally would have been low and people would have been at each other’s necks and would have been awful and frankly  that day was a place full of good people and they knew how to manage stress and they organized themselves and it was very cold and I was getting thrown about and pushed and pulled and was hoisted and stuff which was very painful and the day after the shoot I got lots of bruises but it was definitely worth it. It was exciting just knowing when you’re doing difficult things if it is something that excites you it makes it easier. We knew it was going to look good and if we worked through that difficulty  it would be worth it. We were all just kind of chuffed with it.

The way it turned out was brilliant. I never really thought that it would be painful, I thought it would be uncomfortable.

A lot of chafing happened!


Clip your Wings was the most played song in the first week of release on triple J,   rage and MTV AUSTRALIA for adding this to their programs. How is it feeling that the momentum is building and indeed you are about to fly?

haha, very exciting, I can’t wait for this to be my full-time thing and when I start to get some money coming in, I can put in 100%, I am already putting all my energy into it,  and then I don’t have to think of my shitty hospitality job as well. Every step higher that I take means that I’m closer to making this my career and that’s really exciting to me and I just can’t to do this. are one of the form lots, I wanna do long tours, all this is just a step towards that. I want to explore myself artistically and I think that’s the most exciting part of me.

I interviewed Boy & Bear not long ago and they are super nice, how stocked are you to be supporting them?

I am pretty  stocked, they are really nice people and a great band.

Wow I am actually shocked, I have got through all my questions!

That is funny as I talk a lot and people are always telling me to wrap it up!

Thanks, I wish you all the best for your tour and this exciting time in your life!

Thank you very much!

You can keep up all the news on Montaigne on her facebook page here.

Her tour info is here


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

Listen: Clip My Wings             Buy: Clip My Wings                   Buy: Life of Montaigne

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