of Montreal released the R&B influenced False Priest last month, and before the record hit shelves frontman Kevin Barnes kindly answered some questions involving his R&B contacts, his love for John Lennon and his favourite cover songs. With an extensive tour promising to be, in Kevin Barnes’ words, ‘an unconventional live show’ and the new record being met by many positive reviews, it’s been a successful few months for of Montreal. of Montreal are clearly dedicated to their art, and when it’s as intriguing and diverse as this we should be thankful that they are. ‘False Priest’ recently came out. How does it differ to your previous releases and what kind of influences will we be able to hear? It's very influenced by 70's Funk and R&B. I have been listening to a lot of Parliament and Sly and the Family Stone, as well as Charles Ives and Penderecki. It's sort of a pop/funk/happydeathcartoon of an album. You worked with Solange Knowles on the new record. How did that come about? She is a friend of mine, I co-wrote a number of songs with her and she has performed live with us many times. Are you ever nervous about releasing a new record? Nope, it is what I live for. Well, not really releasing, but creating albums is what I live for. Which has been your favourite record to write and create? The next one, which I haven't started working on yet. The past albums don't really excite me, I'm only interested in the present and the future This will be your tenth studio album - do you think a band can ever record too many albums and how do you think you’ll know it’s the right time to stop? Ha, I don't think a band should ever stop releasing records, as long as an artist feels inspired they should continue to produce their art. Do you have a favourite festival? I enjoy Razzmatazz in Spain a lot, it's very hot and sweaty and crazy. Have you played any gigs that are particularly memorable? We have been on tour with Janelle Monae in the states for the last few weeks, we have played some very memorable shows, my favourite so far was in New York City a few weekends ago. Do you think it’s important to write about personal experiences? That definitely resonates more with a listener than complete fiction. I guess complete fiction is kind of impossible though, as one always reveals something personal in their writing, no matter how obtuse and abstract one tries to make it. My favourite album of all time is John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album. that one kills me every time. It's the most emotionally intense album I've ever heard, really intense animal misery. But it is also very beautiful and uplifting in a strange way. He feels the pain so deeply so that we might be spared. It's sort of the Jesus crucifixion of pop music. Your live shows are incredibly colourful and there’s always a lot going on. Do you think that the performance and delivery is more important than the music in a live setting? I think it is equally important but not more important. we think of ourselves as a musical freak theatre collective. Defeating the static image is our goal. We definitely spend a lot of time and energy in thinking up new ways to create visual elements for the shows. It's fun and creatively rewarding to try and create an unconventional live show. Your music is diverse and it’s hard to pin point one particular style or influence. What would you say is the most prominent influence in your music? aAlonging to establish and populate a funky new reality, outside of the one I find myself in. I'm an escape artist. I create to escape. Lastly, you’ve covered songs by bands such as Franz Ferdinand. What’s been your favourite cover to play? Right now we are doing a Michael Jackson medley as our encore. It's really fun to attempt to sing as high as MJ. He was a gem.
You can visit the band by heading to http://www.myspace.com/ofmontreal. Make sure you check them out at one of the dates below 10/5 - Manchester, UK - Academy 2 10/6 - London, UK - Koko 10/7 - Paris, FR - Cigale 10/8 - Lille, FR - Grand Mix 10/9 - Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg Max 10/10 - Berlin, DE - Admiralspalast (Studio) 10/12 - Stockholm, SE - Debaser 10/13 - Oslo, NO - Rockefeller 10/14 - Copenhagen, DK - Amager Bio 10/15 - Brussels, BE - Botanique / Orangerie