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South of the Border with Kristian Montgomery
By Matthew S. Robinson
(more articles from this author)
2001-06-14
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Though some bands are more or less content to commit themselves to vinyl (er- plastic) and leave it at that, most musical artists worth their salt (or whatever their favourite seasoning is) will tour.

For Boston bands, a good "tour" will usually include Central Square, Kirkland Ave, Cardinal Medeiros Way and (most recently) Somerville Ave. Some may get out to Saugus, Salem, Lowell or even Providence, but most stay at least within the confines of the original colonies.

Kristian Montgomery decided to take his band one step further. But oh what a step it was! "When we arrived in Nicaragua," Kristian began. Wait a minute....Did you say "Nicaragua?!" This was going to be a fun interview!

[Matthew Robinson] How did you decide to go to Nicaragua?

Kristian Montgomery That's where our bassist Roc was born. It was kind of his homecoming. Besides, we had the money to go.

[Robinson] Had you or the band been there before?

Montgomery Roc was born there, but otherwise no.

[Robinson] What was it like when first got there?

Montgomery We stayed in Managua the first night. It was really a culture shock. I had never been to a Third World country. You'd see the big hotels right next to people living in little shacks cooking by an open fire.

[Robinson] What did you do first?

Montgomery Roc's brother Gabe had set us up with a few gigs and appearances. We even had some press down there! When we got there, we went right to the television station where we performed live on the Nicaraguan version of MTV. We played four songs acoustically and Roc translated while I spoke to the VJ. After that, we went to a radio station where we did another interview and took calls from listeners. The phones rang off the hook! Next, we went to play a gig at El Guasimo [Ed Note: Spanish for "the garden of booze"]. At night, we slept outside on cots. One night, a drunk woman harassed us with a machete, but we had, um, "protection," so she left us alone.

[Robinson] What were some of the other highlights?

Montgomery We ate turtle eggs for breakfast and we bathed in "The Curtains," which is a giant reef that rises from the sea, creating a natural curtain of water that pours over you when the tide rises. We also played mini-concerts for people walking by on the beach. It was paradise! It's such an amazing country and it has come so far. The landscape was so beautiful and the women were the most amazingly perfect creatures you'll ever see. Roc was so excited to have us see his homeland.

[Robinson] What is the same and different, musically and otherwise, between the U.S. and Nicaragua?

Montgomery I'd say that it's not that different. There's a lot of rock and roll down there and the radio stations are playing a lot of what we hear in the U.S.. A lot of the native music, like Hispanic rock and Latin bands are there, but we're getting that too.

[Robinson] What was the reaction to the band?

Montgomery People loved it. People were all over the place. They watched us on TV and knew us by name when they saw us on the beach. It was pretty wild. People were definitely into it.

[Robinson] Any plans to go again (or to another exotic area)?

Montgomery We're hopefully going to go back in September to play again and sell some more CDs. We sold at least 100 when we were down there. Maybe we'll go to another country like Honduras. I don't know. But basically it's the coolest place in the world. You can be your own king. American dollars go a lot farther down there and there aren't as many rules. The atmosphere is just much more relaxed.


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