By Serenat Kivilcim
The Weatherman [link], aka Alex Monteiro, is a singer-songwriter from Porto, Portugal, whose songs explore the pop-rock universe, reflecting his obsession for the timeless power of a good melody. He lives in a world in which The Beatles and The Beach Boys melodies are still an inexaustible source of inspiration.
Auto-biographical, intimate, sometimes mundane, other times downright dirty; his songs travel through everyday themes of love or the search of comforting places, powered by the search of self-knowledge.
As a solo artist or with his band, his shows are a constant discovery of different experiences. One of the most complete pop-rock singer-songwriters from Portugal, for sure. Alex Monteiro did an exclusive interview with Black on the Canvas, in which he shared his inner thoughts, inspirations, and philosophies with us.
Let us talk about Alex Monteiro. How did “The Weatherman” get started?
“Well, I have written songs since I was 14 years old and I founded several bands, but none ever recorded any albums, mainly because we couldn’t catch the attention of any labels, and also because the band members were changing from time to time. As for how The Weatherman got started, I got fed up with being in a band and I closed myself one week in my garage, only with a guitar, a Farfisa organ,a microphone and a tape recorder. I wrote some songs and I called it ‘The Weatherman’. I sent that tape to a few indie labels and I piqued the interest from one, who signed me to do a full album. This was in 2005. In 2006, my first album, called Cruisin’ Alaska, was released here in Portugal with huge success and critic acclaim.”
Tell us a little bit about the pop-rock music scene in Porto.
“Porto is by far the most creative city of Portugal. It gained this reputation mainly because most of the more important bands and singers were born here, contributing to the Portuguese pop-rock boom that happened in the 80′s, even though some of them then moved to Lisbon, the capital. Porto has this mystical environment, where the people feel more close to each other, rather than promoting the estrangement of the big cities.”
Are there any other artists you draw inspirations from?
“Mainly, I found most of my inspiration from many bands of the sixties, especially records from the late sixties to the early seventies. I also find it in many other artists I admire nowadays, like Jon Brion, Elliot Smith or Richard Swift.”
It feels like your third record (self-titled “The Weatherman”) is more intimate, like a journey to your inner world, or possibly a mode of self-discovery. Could you please tell us how this album evolved and what is the driving force of this album?
“Most of the songs of this album are about people and places that influence me directly, and that’s something I never done before, so explicit. It’s an album about the relation between me and the people and places that surround me, so because it was more autobiographical than my previous albums, I decided to call it simply Weatherman.”
What are the future plans for The Weatherman?
“I have many new songs I want to take to the studio do put out maybe next year. I also play live some more European shows, like Hamburg (Germany), Holland, maybe Switzerland in next September. I will try to release my music internationally, that’s what I aim to accomplish right now.”
Any advice to new indie startups?
“Always do it the way you feel you should do it and not what you think the others expect you to do.”
Photo by Lauren Maganete