Montë Mar
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Montë Mar

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Rock Indie

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Judging from the sleek sophistication, island undertones and precise arrangements on the debut EP from Montë Mar, it’s immediately apparent the Los Angeles quintet didn’t just fall out of their bedrooms with a few chord progressions and lovelorn lyrics. Three members met while playing in and around the USC jazz community — in fact, Brian Green, Kyle Crane and Bill Zimmerman comprise the jazz trio Eastsiders might have encountered at their backroom gigs at the Satellite. Guitarist Jonathan Patterson is known in other parts of the world (especially Brazil) as Capital, a nickname bestowed on him by Del The Funky Homosapien. Green has toured with Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli and Chris Botti. Berklee-educated drummer Crane has his own list of credits … and, well, you get the idea. Green, Crane, Zimmerman, Capital and bassist Dylan Durboraw are sonic explorers, and their lush EP, titled “Different Place,” reveals a West Coast sound with melting-pot flavors. Shimmering with guitars, neon synthesizers and surprise appearances by kalimbas and Portuguese lyrics, opening songs like “Complicated Number” and “Time” drive the buoyant melodies forward. “Brown to Grey” dangles harmonies in atmospherics, and “Wine and Camouflage” is a dancefloor number lurking behind polyrhythms and a jazzy bass line. - Kevin Bronson


The most interesting music is oftentimes also the most difficult to describe. This is certainly true of Los Angeles’ Montë Mar. Although frontman Brian Green, guitarist/vocalist Capital and drummer Kyle Crane all studied together at the University of Southern California’s Thorton School Of Music, the band didn’t officially come together until eight months ago when they solidified their current line-up with the addition of keyboard/vocalist Bill Zimmerman and bassist Dylan Durboraw.
It takes most groups years to to build the sort of musical bond that makes Montë Mar’s sound so unique and captivating. But Green says things gelled extremely quickly; as soon as these five musicians started performing together it clicked. “From the beginning I felt like we were on the same page musically,” he says, “and I think that’s helped get other people excited about what we are doing, too.Every time we get together it just seems to get better and we’ve been lucky to have such a positive experience so far without suffering from any major setbacks.”
This positive energy is evident in the three songs the band have posted on their MySpace Page: “Time,” “Complicated Number” and the just-released “Wine And Camouflage”– all of which sound distinctly different from each other but possess an instantly infectious and carefree California sound. This is not lost on Green. “I grew up in California and there’s something about that California surf vibe that I’ve always been drawn to,” the singer explains, citing musicians like the Beatles and Beach Boys as a major influences. “Even though I probably couldn’t tell you who the artists are on the soundtrack to ‘Endless Summer,’ there’s something about that type of music that just resonates with me.”
Montë Mar will be embarking on a West Coast tour in August and have plans to record a full-length at some point, but right now they are concentrating on trying to get one new song posted on their MySpace page every month in order to keep their growing legions of fans captivated. “Trying to post new music each month seems like a more practical way of doing things for us,” Green says about this unorthodox recording model. “There’s something really nice about being able to put all of your attention on one track and trying to make that sound as good and natural as possible.”
Despite the fact that all of Montë Mar’s members studied music at some of the most formative schools in the country, it’s important to them that their chops never overshadow what’s best for the song. “When you go to music school it’s easy to get caught up with what you’re capable of doing as opposed to what you want to listen to,” Green says, “and the one common thread between all the music we love is that the song always comes first.” Not that he’s discounting his education, however. “It helps to have the skills to be able to carry out whatever it is you hear in your head,” Green admits, “but that’s definitely not the focus of our music.”
“Every time we get together we have fun,” Green says, “and that’s the type of feeling that motivates everyone to push forward and bring the music to a better place.”
To hear new material, be sure to keep checking the band’s MySpace page every month for new songs. - Jonah Bayer of Myspace Music


A group of USC Alums, led by guitarist/vocalist Brian Green, are creating songs that combine dynamic and intricate instrumental textures with soaring melodies. Building upon a previous project, “The Whisper in the Roar,” the members of Montë Mar look forward to infusing their recordings and live shows with a heightened sense of spontaneity and artistic abandonment.



Just a few seconds into any song written or produced by Brian Green, his attention to creating a lush sonic landscape becomes incredibly apparent. Whether on his jazz-centric solo album Scenic Route, or in his work with the new band Montë Mar (whose website launches this Friday), it is very clear that full-bodied texturing and nuanced layering are essential to his final products.

Montë Mar owes its roots to a previous musical endeavor with guitarist/vocalist George Krikes, entitled The Whisper in the Roar. Green and Krikes met at the University of Southern California, and quickly discovered that their disparate influences would create an interesting amalgam through collaboration. As Green recalls, “George comes from more of a Folk background, with influences like Simon & Garfunkel and Tom Waits; people who are storytellers through their songs. On the other hand, a lot of my influences come from music with a lot of intensity and intricate textural parts, like Radiohead.” In molding these two backgrounds, Green and Krikes created a unique sound – one that references both classic songwriters and ambient, wall-of-sound production.

This meshing of dichotomous influences is chronicled on The Whisper in the Roar’s self-titled EP, a project that is impressively expansive in its depth and scope (and is available for purchase on iTunes). The opening track, “Jane,” instantly explodes with a wailing overdriven lead; compounded with soaring falsetto vocals and pulsating rhythm parts, the track’s immediacy consumes the listener. “Hello,” the following song (and one of the EP’s highlights), is similarly compelling; with its driving electric textures and reverberating, delay-heavy accompaniment, it is at once reminiscent of Steve Reich and Phoenix. After the release of the EP, Green and the other members of The Whisper in the Roar (most of whom attended USC) spent time performing at various well-known LA venues, including Molly Malones and Cinespace. Unsurprisingly, in just a few short months, the group enjoyed a healthy following and a significant amount of that famous LA buzz.

However, recent personnel changes have prompted the formation of a new band, Montë Mar, with new goals and directions for the music. With a group of all USC alums (including Whisper in the Roar member Bill Zimmerman on keyboards and vocals, Devin Hoffman on bass, and Kyle Crane on drums), Green is striving to build upon the successes of The Whisper in the Roar by incorporating even more interests into Montë Mar’s musical lexicon. Green tells me that the new band has been hitting the studio hard, constantly keeping in mind concepts like “conveying more vulnerability and artistic abandonment in the music, as well as allowing more freedom for spontaneous moments to occur.” Also of particular interest to Green is revamping the group’s live show; Montë Mar will strive to infuse the billowing layers of sound achieved by the group in the studio with an organic excitement that can only be created on stage.

Clearly, if Montë Mar’s new track, “Time,” is any indication, I can’t wait to hear forthcoming recordings and check out the band live. It is with great excitement and anticipation that I urge Campusounds readers, and all music enthusiasts, to keep a constant lookout for the progression of this highly inventive group.

binspired,

Jeff - Campusounds


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio


Montë Mar is a modern alternative/pop band based in Los Angeles, California that formed in early 2011. The group came together out of a collective desire to play original music after frontman, Brian Green, resigned (from) touring as a sideman with numerous artists including Michael Bublè to pursue a more creative path. Montë Mar’s music tends to be colorful, with thoughtfully layered melodies over a bed of explosive drums, making live shows a mandatory workout for all who attend. Montë Mar has managed to create a one of a kind sound that is capturing audiences along the West Coast.

Montë Mar's debut EP "Different Place" has spawned critical acclaim and features on Myspace Music, 98.7 FM, BuzzBand's groups to watch in 2012, and Fox's Good Day LA. The band is a regular at the LA music staples, The Satellite and Bootleg Theater, while also garnering fans through residencies at the Silverlake Lounge, festivals such as Eat See Hear and Make Music Pasadena. Montë Mar is Brian Green (vocals, guitar), Bill Zimmerman (vocals, keyboards), Kyle Crane (drums), and Dylan Durboraw (bass).