Neon Beige takes Monty into hip-hop territory 

The Sociables frontman goes in a new musical direction with new label

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Brand new colour Jeffrey Montgomery, a.k.a Monty Biggins, is starting a new project in hip hop.
  • Photo submitted
  • Brand new colour Jeffrey Montgomery, a.k.a Monty Biggins, is starting a new project in hip hop.

Ferrets in Bathtubs, something you might want to be immersed in.

At least that is Jeffrey Montgomery's hope.

Montgomery (a.k.a. Monty Biggins) is best known as the frontman of the Whistler Americana band The Sociables — but it turns out he has other ambitions, too.

His new project is a hip-hop band called Neon Beige; Ferrets in Bathtubs is the record label Montgomery started to produce this band and other music ventures.

"It's mostly aligned to my history from before I came to Whistler. I've always been an original artist and when I move here I had convert into something that was pub friendly," he says."There were a few projects that led up to Neon Beige. In 2011 I was connecting with the hip-hop community in town and shortly after, MCA from the Beastie Boys passed away. So I was listening to a lot of music and was inspired to write something in the realm."

The Sociables took over his attention and Montgomery concentrated on pub rock for the last two years.

But a change is as good as a rest and when he found himself spending more time at the WMN Studio in Function Junction he decided to act.

"Last summer I decided that I wanted to get creative, so I started writing some instrumentals. At some point I thought I'd throw some lyrics over top of it and the hip-hop thing came about," he says.

The result is the new six-track EP Fingers. Bang!, which was released at the end of November.

"It's the whole lyrical thing about rap that attracted me. I'm not into the hip-hop scene," says Montgomery.

"The aggression and hype is not really who I am. I found the style to be an opportunity for more syllables, essentially. A lot of metaphors come about and it's very poetic. You have to shorten concepts. You get be very creative with that — hip-hop gave me a different opportunity to voice some thoughts."

The Ferrets in Bathtubs label was developed in 2002 but re-created for its current incarnation more recently, while Montgomery was still in school studying sound engineering. He used it to create short albums back in the day, but it was put on ice in recent years. Having it allows Montgomery to explore his producer side.

"For a long time, people would ask me what my instrument or thing was and I would just tell them I make music," he says.

"This project was an opportunity to showcase that. Moving forward, with the rebranding of the label, I've picked up some local artists that I am producing and it is a chance to work with some performers locally. The idea of the record label is to brand it from just being my licensing platform to actually seeing if I could support local talent and put some people out into the world."

So to that end, Montgomery is putting out an open call for the community's musicians to work with him. A new The Sociables album is also planned for 2015.

Fingers. Bang! is available on neon-beige.bandcamp.com/releases and a lyric video for the single Kindness and Love can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS6KvCxXUjc.

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