Drifter Diary 31 – Invited To A Do
October 29, 2015
Busker Interview – Kung Fu Jesus (UK)
October 30, 2015

Busker Interview – Matt Montez (UK)

''For too long I thought no one would be interested and once I decided “I am a musician” the game changed. I’ve learnt to live on next to no money, never buy anything new and how to always be on the road.'' - Matt Montez
Matt Montez originally from Leeds UK, started his solo music career whilst travelling Australia. Inspired by the ‘peace and love’ attitude and the beautiful tranquil surroundings, his flow of creative writing was ignited.
Matt is now touring with vocalist Gem who brings another layer to the performance, vocally and spiritually as they share their musical journey together.

His music is influenced by a nomadic lifestyle and connectedness with nature. A mixture of alternative acoustic, folk and reggae, bringing diverse sounds and spiritual lyrics. The songs contain messages of inspiration and living in the moment.
Mat has been traveling and touring extensively around Australia and Asia and after recently completing a european tour he has his sights set on Asia once more. We met Matt online and he was more than happy to share some of his stories and experiences with us.
What is your name, where are you from and what do you do?

I’m Matt Montez from Leeds, UK and I play alt-acoustic with hints of folk and reggae. I also play a little percussive guitar using the guitar as a drum at the same time as playing.

How long have you been busking?

I first busked while travelling in Australia in Coffs Harbour Markets in 2013, so that makes it nearly 3 years. A crazy guy wearing a silk top, pearl necklace and a cowboy hat asked me if I wanted to share a beer with him…. he only had one. Turned out he was from my hometown Leeds.

Where are the best places you have busked?

I always loved playing Australian Markets on a hot sunny day. Some of the best were Bellingen, Byron Bay and Eumundi. The UK at christmas time has a really nice atmosphere. Everyone buzzing around buying presents, people seem to appreciate the music more over the festive period…. Although keeping your fingers warm is pretty impossible.

Tell us about your best busking and worst experience?

My worst was probably when a guy decided to sit in front of my busking amp. He loved the music and screamed wooo and wheye yeeehaaa….. LOUDDER!.... that was the nice part. But everyone who came walking past, the man hurled abuse at. It was very awkward and he ended up turning nasty pushing into my mic stand and trying to push over my guitar. Although it did end in a giggle with one passer by:
Old Man : “[email protected]&k off”
Passer by : “what’s that mate?... happy christmas”
Old Man : “[email protected]&k off [email protected]$ker”
Passer by : “ awww merry christmas to you two, mate J”
The old man nearly exploded.

My best busking experience was the day a stranger came up and convinced me that I needed to record an EP, as he and his friends loved my music. That was the kick up the ass that I needed and I went home that day and booked in my first recording studio, Deva Studios in Australia.

What gear do you use when busking?

I use a Roland Street Cube EX. In Australia I used the lower model Roland Street Cube, but the EX really packs much more of a punch. The clarity of sound on this amp is fantastic, I’ve started using it in small gigs as I prefer it to most small PA’s. I use a Shure SM57a Beta, rather then the SM58.
I think there’s something very subtle but a special sound that seems to work well for my voice. My Guitar is a Freshman Apollo AP3 JEM, it has a pick up and an internal mic, which is perfect for using the guitar for pecussions.

An overall explanation of where you have been with Busking, how you travel and where you would normally stay.

I started in Australia for a year and half and developed my sound there. I returned home and busked over Christmas in Manchester, Harrogate and Leeds.
This year I escaped the worst of the winter and took my guitar to East Asia. I travelled across Cambodia and Thailand, playing gigs along the way to cover the costs of travelling. I’d stay in Backpackers and the atmosphere at the gigs in Asia were amazing. I think because you’re not at home and don’t have your home comforts, so everyone was really up for a party.
I’ve now returned again and been busking/ gigging around the UK. I hitchhiked through Netherlands, Germany and Austria busking and playing gigs along the way. The crowds in europe are the best, I met so many amazing people and can’t wait to tour again next year.

What do your friends and family think of you Busking?

I’m lucky to have a very supportive family, everyone loves the music and encourage me to carry it on. My dad always encouraged me to look for what I enjoy to build a career and my mum always encouraged and helped me follow my passion in the arts.
Nearly all my friends are either musicians or music lovers and they all offer their support along the way. My friends and girlfriend are truly amazing and keep me going especially when I need them most.

What have you learnt and adopted into your life musically and on a whole?

Busking taught me so much and broke down any barriers I had, evolving me as an artist.
I learnt that people did want to hear my music and so I started sharing my thoughts and dreams. For too long I thought no one would be interested and once I decided “I am a musician” the game changed. I’ve learnt to live on next to no money, never buy anything new and how to always be on the road.

What is your advice for anyone looking to busk?

Do it! Take the plunge…. But don’t do it for the money… it’s the wrong business. If you’re out for the money, you get none… if you do it for the music and the enjoyment of playing music, people feel it and see that, and as a bonus you get more money.

Where can we find you online and what are you up to now?

I’m now touring full time with my backing singer Gem. She adds beautiful harmonies that mix perfectly with the vibes I am trying to create. We are currently about to tour Vietnam with a headline slot at Quest Festival in Hanoi. We are planning a UK and European tour in spring 2016.

On my website is a link to all major stores to stream or download our music

Website - http://www.mattmontez.com

Soundcloud - http://soundcloud.com/mattmontez

Youtube - http://youtube.com/montezband

Twitter - http://twitter.com/montezband

Facebook - http://facebook.com/montezband
Thanks Matt, be sure to give this guy a follow and if you have any crazy experiences, good advice or just want to drop us a line, you can say g’day at [email protected]

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