By Aigli Andritsopoulou.
As he prepares for his appearance at Primavera Sound 2018, Bjenny Montero introduces us to his everyday life. The Australian, currently Athens-based artist and musician, among plants caring, books reading and collaborating with some of the best-known names of the psych rock scene worldwide, finds time to create a unique cosmos through his music and art full of sweet melancholy and feel-good aesthetics.
We had a little chat with him just before he departs for the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona where he appears with his band on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of June.
Montero, Vibrations, official music video still, 2017. Directed by Maria Damkalidi. Camera by Iason Arvanitakis
A. A.: A bright and colourful palette defines your art. Does a combination of child-like doodles with expressive illustrations constitute a smoother way to get through the complexities of life?
B. M.: I love bright colours. Art and music for me are about healing and warmth. I don’t think they’re child-like since we all have our different ways of dealing with darkness.
A. A.: What comes first? Art or music?
B. M.: Art comes first at the moment but I’d like to make more music if it comes back into my head.
Courtesy of the artist
A. A.: Do you think that the record sleeve’s art carries the essence of the music inside?
B. M. : It should! Sometimes it doesn’t though.
A. A.: Do you listen to music while drawing? What kind of?
B. M.: I like the Beach boys
A. A.: Your style as a musician and an artist has a nostalgic vibe. Do you use past actual - or non-actual memories, as part of the living experience and source of inspiration?
B. M.: I don’t know the difference between real and non-real memories anymore. As long as they’re nice ones it doesn’t matter.
A. A.: You have collaborated with world-renowned musicians as Jay Watson (Pond, Tame Impala) and joined Mac DeMarco as main supporting act during his European tour in November 2017. What is your opinion on the local scene in Greece?
B. M.: I don’t see much live music but when I do it seems pretty groovy. Live shows start late here and I get sleepy early these days.
Courtesy of the artist
A. A.: You have been an Athens-based artist for quite sometime now. Is living in Greece your way to live outside your comfort zone?
B. M.: Oh no I love having a comfort zone. You have to make a comfort zone wherever you go in the world. You have to make one inside of you.
A. A.: So, why Athens?
B. M.: I came here by accident and fell in love with Athens and Greece.
A. A.: Future plans we should know about?
B. M.: Watering my plants, exercise, shopping at the market for vegetables, Reading books. Taking it day by day. But you don’t need to know about that.
A. A.:Free space for adding thoughts:
B.M.: Be nice
Montero - Vibrations (Official Music Video). Directed by Maria Damkalidi. Camera by Iason Arvanitakis
Stream/download the single via digital stores http://radi.al/MonteroVibrations, Chapter website https://chaptermusic.com/store/montero/vibrations/ or Bandcamp https://monteroband.bandcamp.com/track/vibrations
Performer by Montero produced by Ben Montero, Jay Watson and Riccardo Damian.
Label: Chapter Music