By Nicholas Jason Lopez
In a similar vein to bands like Four Year Strong and A Day To Remember, Blackpool-based quartet Octopus Montage can both carry a melody and make you want to break a wall.
This has been exemplified in past pop-punk/metalcore-blended bangers like “Grow Up” and “Dopamine” and was on display again, as the band recently released the music video for “Voices,” all taken from their forthcoming first full-length album ‘How To Live And How To Lose.’
In their time together, they’ve played in venues such as The Sanctuary, The Waterloo and The Boulevard and have shared stages with Crazy Town, Mallory Knox and ROAM.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with members Dec Naylor and Alex Jennings about their new music and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Alex Jennings – (Laughs) I’ll give you the honest answer, of which, there isn’t one, really. We’ve obviously been asked the question before due to our outrageous name and we often just make up stories, my favorite being the time I managed to get a magazine to publish that Dec had a weird “kink” to do with octopus tentacles and that’s where the name came from. Obviously, this isn’t true and neither is the story that we spent a day at The Sealife Centre just watching octopuses. The real story is that it came from Dec writing a bunch of random words down on a piece of paper and connecting “Octopus” and “Montage” and the rest, as they say, is history, I guess. (Laughs)
Music Bugle – How would you describe Blackpool to someone who has never been there before?
Alex Jennings – Bomb-site. Dump. Shit hole. All the bad things that you hear about Blackpool are true and you’ve probably only heard about half of it, but I like it. I like the fact that it is rough around the edges and it’s not horrific all the way around. The surrounding areas are actually really quite nice. It’s just Blackpool.
Music Bugle – What inspired the song “Dopamine” and did the music video come out how you envisioned?
Alex Jennings – I wrote the bare bones and most of the lyrics that you hear now about a week before my 19th birthday. I was in a bit of a weird place. I wasn’t in a dark place by any means. I just seemed to be in a rut, like a perpetual state of just feeling “meh.” At the time, I’d written two or three demos, all of which you will have heard or will be hearing very soon, but they were all very “scream”-oriented and I’d never really tried my hand at writing a pop-punk song. I remember going into my makeshift studio in my bedroom and just thinking, “F it, I’m going to write a Blink-182 song.”
I sat down and just tried to play the most simple thing I could. Four chords, a bouncy rhythm and a simple melody and that’s kinda where it all started. Once the basic demo was down, there was no doubt in my mind what the song was going to be about. I effectively poked fun at a lot of my insecurities and it’s not changed too much since then. Due to the pandemic and the UK being in lockdown, we couldn’t get together and film the video we wanted to, so instead, we called upon our followers, friends and family to help us out. We had a group call and came up with the idea to base the video around our pets and that’s kinda where it all stemmed from. Me and Dec often share video editing duties and this was Dec’s turn, so all I had to do was hang out with my dogs. How sick is that! I love how wholesome the video is, it came out better than I ever could have imagined.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Alex Jennings – I am listening to so much of The Amity Affliction. I’ve had a thing for years now and I can’t stop listening to “Forever.” I’m also constantly bopping to early Asking Alexandria, I See Stars, Real Friends and my favorite band of all-time, Vanna. If you haven’t heard “Safe To Say” by Vanna, then what are you doing with your life?
Dec Naylor – I’m listening to the MGK album nonstop, along with Lil Aaron, Lil Lotus and Juice Wrld.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Alex Jennings – It’s been hard, but there has been silver linings. Obviously, we haven’t been able to see each other, play shows or even rehearse, but it has given us the chance to knuckle down, focus on writing and learn about how to market ourselves properly. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have focused on what we have, learnt what I have personally and create songs that are banging, but of course, I am somewhat biased on that last bit!
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need to escape?
Alex Jennings – I use a lot of CBT, hypnotherapy and mindfulness skills to relieve stress. That takes you to a really pleasant state and I believe that everyone should try it. In terms of more of a physical place, nights out are a great way for me to blow off steam. Being able to just dance the night away and hang out with my favorite people without having a care in the world is somewhat therapeutic and of course, you get to have some drinks too.
Dec Naylor – I like a hot bath and alcohol…
Music Bugle – What do you hope for in 2021?
Alex Jennings – Good health to everyone, especially those around me, some shows, a good laugh and some luck. I believe there is only so far you can push to be the best. We aren’t going to stop pushing but you need some luck along the way. We have been blessed with an amazing fanbase, supportive network and I long for it to continue. However, if from today, we didn’t get another single stream and we just faded away, I would be forever in debt to those that have supported us.
Music Bugle – What’s something you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Alex Jennings – Bands supporting bands. We are blessed to have bands like Vampire Money, Blacklist, Section 9 and many more as our friends. However, many bands I have personally come across seem to think that it is “kill or be killed,” especially in Blackpool. I would wish that there wasn’t so much backstabbing. Bands in the scene can’t help each other if they’re being two-faced with one another. We’re a pop-punk band. We want to be friends with everyone.
Music Bugle – Have you been working on any new music?
Alex Jennings – Always. Keep those eyes peeled!
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Alex Jennings – I don’t have a quote, but rather, I imagine myself on my deathbed. I can only be happy knowing that I put in 100 percent into what I loved. Anything other would render me, in my eyes, a failure.
Dec Naylor – “Don’t give up, you’ve still got more people to prove wrong” and “Smooth seas don’t make good sailors.”