The physical distance between them hasn’t stopped Aussie duo, Maison Hall, from creating classic indie rock tunes. They have just dropped the exciting new track Montreux before their east-coast tour.

Reflective and upbeat, the single evokes The Kooks and Catfish and the Bottlemen, but sparks with innovation unique to Maison Hall throughout.  With a fun video depicting a paint-splattered, never-ending job interview, the track is a clever commentary on the push and pull of a working artist’s time and headspace, caught between creation and survival in
capitalist society.

You overcame some serious hurdles to release this latest track. What keeps you going?

I don’t think we overcame anything too existentially grand – life just gets in the way. Ben and I had both moved on from the ‘first era’ iteration of Maison Hall. I think it’s fair to say that I stayed a little bit more ingratiated in the music world, and Ben knuckled down in his professional life. We both moved to different cities. 

We’re pretty yin and yang Ben and I – our personalities aren’t conducive to big, histrionic disagreements. And honestly, at lot of that has to do with the magnanimity of Ben. He just lets me run off and do my thing, then contributes where he sees fit. So, we always had a kind of pact with each other that this band was never really going to ‘break up’. Maybe that’s got something to do with the duo aspect. I’m not sure. We talked a lot about bands like American Football and Japandroids, and their mythos – like, both of those groups achieved the greatest success after they had been dormant (in the former’s case, for almost 20 years!) 

That’s something we actually admire. This is never something I think we’ll quit, as long as we’re both alive. 

Why do you love making music?

Because I was lucky enough to have people who loved me and nurtured me, and thus gave me a literacy to express myself through it. Because it helps me make sense of the world around me. Because it makes me at once small, and less alone. 

What are you looking forward to in this upcoming tour?

I’m very much looking forward to our Brisbane show – lots of family and friends will be there! And we’re playing a bunch of new cities/venues, which will be wonderful. 

Tell us about the colourful video for Montreux.

It’s a pretty on the nose metaphor about the right brain/left brain conundrum. I haven’t ever felt satisfied in my working career. It’s very much the cold hard reality of capitalism that pushes me forward. Music, in my experience, is intrinsically escapist. It is also self-evidently legitimate. Like, I often have to convince myself that what I do at ‘work’ has substance. But with music, you write a song, and you’ve acted as a conduit for that piece to enter the world. Literal creation. The validity of it doesn’t rest on whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Hence the frustration of James in the video clip – it’s like, “why the fuck are you obsessing over paper-pushing, look at this totally new thing I’ve got!” 

What’s next after this tour finishes?

We’re going to release a second single/video in late April, then we will work towards releasing our second record later in the year. Heaps more on our plate!

Thanks for taking the time to interview me, all the best 🙂 

YouTube video
Emma Briggs

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