THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Monty Bevins

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Monty Bevins
It's been three years since singer-songwriter last released his music (the EP Traveller) but forgive him, he's been busy.

In the interim he took that EP title seriously and toured constantly then two years ago settled down into fatherhood and recorded his debut album, the fittingly titled Time to Bide, at Lee Prebble's Surgery in Wellington.

Some men take fatherhood in their stride and just move on through it, others use it as a time for reflection, weighing up life and the new relationships it entails.

Bevins is of the latter and as a soulful folk, singer-songwriter at home with an acoustic guitar and personal songs, Time to Bide sees him embrace the thoughtfulness.

The opening song is Be Here Now . . . and Bevins is very “present” across this story-telling and imagistic album.

He is taking himself on tour again (details below) so it is timely to ask him a few questions . . .

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Where did you grow up, and with who?

Not quite there yet, but leaps and bounds these past couple years in Matapouri with my son Matai and partner Tui

Was music an important part of your childhood?

Not really, I remember Kris Kristofferson and Kenny Rogers on the long road trips to my grandparents' farm in Taneatua, but otherwise, just sport.

What are your earliest childhood memories of music which really affected you . . .

The Offspring's Americana obviously. How do you start at 11, and escalate? Jack Johnson was the first one to affect me in terms of infiltrating into a vision/path.

Was there a time when you felt it was going to be music and nothing else?

November 2012. I 'd been playing one covers gig a week at 'Gasworks' in Miramar, selling 'half price' bicycles half arsed, and healed from, at that point, my longest term relationship combusting. Packed my Toyota Sensible with a ludicrous amount of kit and hit the road forever. I wanted to be doing it, you know?

When you started on your music career were people around you supportive or did you have to find those people?

It's a continual search, to find and foster those who sit patiently in your circle of trust. They come and go. The "when are you going to get a real job" used to irk me, now I'm stauncher on my careers importance/purpose. And every now and then when I'm really faltering, and this has only happened twice, I call Adam McGrath.

The first song of yours which you really felt proud of was . . .? And why that one?

a2717102043_16Hard Ship on the Traveller EP. Because I put my own 'looking good' / ego aside and dove into an awkward / humbling conversation with a Cambodian taxi driver after apologising to him for my ignorance around the Khmer Rouge stuff. And for my lyrical intricacy and perseverance, weaving multiple levels of meaning and tying verses together poetically through crafting away until it sat.

Any one person you'd call a mentor, angel on your shoulder or invaluable fellow traveller?

My ol' mate PT, quirky empathic cat with very good ideas from a macro perspective

Where and when was the first time you went on stage as a paid performer?

Wharf Hotel, Dunedin, 2007.

Ever had stage fright or just a serious failure of nerve before going on stage?

Yeah I remember folding for a short set at the Cabana in Napier where I'd gone from thinking I had an hour 'til I was on, to being on, now. Threw my chat, if I ever had it.

As a songwriter, do you carry a notebook or have a phone right there constantly to grab ideas they come? Or is your method something different?

It's funny whenever I have a notebook and pencil ready in the pocky, the good ideas generally don't come. Sensitive stuff. So, often a phone, because I can sneak around my fickle transmitter by justifying its inclusion as needing to be contactable at all times.

What unfashionable album do you love as a guilty pleasure?

Surely Americana isn't unfashionable.

Any piece of advice you were given which you look back on which really meant something?

Be careful what you wish for.

It's after a performance/concert and you are in a hotel room or back at home, what happens then?

Rigorous self administered performance feedback session, of course.

No.
A beer with salt and vinegar chips while watching some standup comedy

Is there any fellow artist you admire for professional and/or personal reasons?

Screen_Shot_2021_08_15_at_10.22.07_AMAdam McGrath, his songs are full of very real content, and they're like missiles from and to the heart. His approach is old school / no b.s. and I love him.

And finally, where to from here for you do you think?

Well, by the time you're reading this my debut album "Time To Bide" will be out, which I'll be touring the country with October 15 - November 1. Who knows where it will take me after that ... to all the good small spots I hope.

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You can hear and buy Monty Bevins' Time to Bide album at bandcamp here.

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