Montage are a relatively new progressive hard rock group that hails from Finland’s capital city, Helsinki. Their music is a mixture of traditional hard rock and the hazy sounds of folk, early prog rock and psychedelia. Montage will release their debut album via Secret Entertainment on May 16th, 2014.
Montage’s music could be described as traditional hard rock with a prog twist, but one can also find jazzy and folkish elements in their songs. The band’s main influences are The Doors, Rush, Caravan, Marillion and Black Mountain. Almost all of the instrumental parts are written by guitarist Roni Seppänen and then arranged by the whole group. The lyrics, written by the whole band, mostly deal with hippie-like themes with a hint of dark humor.
The band started working on their debut album with producer Matias Melleri in 2012. The album consists of eight eclectic hard rock songs, featuring such titles as “Misty High”, “Strawberry Skies” and “Devil’s Whip”. The southern rock inspired feel good anthem “Misty High” was released as the first single from the album in late 2013.
Guitarist Roni Seppanen answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire, after the band’s appearance on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence.
How did you come to do what you do?
Roni: Most of us have known each other since high school, so we’ve played together in various bands in the past. A few years ago we started to come up with songs like ”Strawberry Skies”, which is featured in this Progstravaganza compilation, and we noticed that we’d like to start making music with more room for fantasy. That’s pretty much when Montage came into picture.
What is your first musical memory?
Roni: I don’t really remember my first musical memory but I do remember checking out some of my father’s records as a little kid. I was a big fan of old rock ’n’ roll and I thought guys like Eddie Cochran and Elvis were really badass. A few years later I found out about all these early heavy metal groups and got more deeply into music.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Roni: The inspiration can come from pretty much anywhere. I think for me it almost always has something to do with the music I’ve been involved with lately. Finding a cool new sound on guitar or hearing a few interesting chord changes on the radio might easily evolve into something much bigger.
What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
Roni: I was listening to some old Caravan and Frank Zappa stuff when I was working on this particular song, so it felt natural to keep a 1960’s feel in the lyrics as well. So the lyrics are basically about the many shades of the 1960’s hippie movement.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
Roni: Not really. If I have a good idea for a riff or a catchy melody for the chorus it’s pretty easy to come up with the rest of the song. I try not to overanalyze and just let the imagination flow.
What is your method of songwriting?
Roni: I try to document pretty much all the ideas I have, so I always have these slips of paper lying around the house. Whenever I have free time I like to go through these ideas and see if I can come up with something that makes sense.
How do you see your music evolving?
Roni: We’ve already written a quite a lot of stuff for our second record. Everything seems to be more melodic and maybe also a little less guitar-driven. It’s not a preplanned move, but that just seems to be the direction we are heading with Montage right now.
What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
Roni: I think the most important thing is to be true to yourself and try to get to know other like-minded and hard-working people. I don’t believe in luck, but I think if you put a lot of effort into something good things will happen eventually.
What are you looking forward to?
Roni: We hope to reach a lot of new listeners and evolve as a band at the same time. It would be great if we could catch the attention of both rockers and prog music fans worldwide.
Prog Sphere is currently compiling first ever Progstravaganza CD compilation. For more info visit: