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Nathan LaMontagne 

with Arroyo Grande musical project Circus of Nero

NEW TIMES: How would you describe the genre of music that is Circus of Nero?

LAMONTAGNE: Alternative? I don't think there is really one set sound for Circus of Nero. It can range anywhere from loud, aggressive guitar-based songs to songs heavy on electronics and synthesizer to something as simple as just one piano. The whole project is a victim of influence.


NEW TIMES: What's the story behind the name?

LAMONTAGNE: The name is based off of the Circus of Nero, an actual place in Rome, named after the Roman Emperor Nero. Both the band and the place were originally named Circus of Caligula (after another infamous Roman emperor).


NEW TIMES: Was the Emperor Nero himself significant in the decision?

LAMONTAGNE: I've always been rather interested in Emperor Nero. Filled with mania and immense power, he really left his mark on history. Maybe by using the name, I'll get a bit of that mentality, but is that a good thing? It is widely accepted by many Biblical scholars that the first Beast in the Book of Revelation was supposed to be Nero.


NEW TIMES: Are you playing any gigs in SLO County anytime soon?

LAMONTAGNE: Yes, there will be concerts coming up in SLO relatively soon. I've had a couple offers, but seeing as Circus of Nero is a solo project, I am currently getting a live band together and ready. A solo project is a lot of responsibility to say the least.


NEW TIMES: Can you recommend any other local bands?

LAMONTAGNE: If there is one live band I've actually enjoyed seeing, it would be the Sad Dads. They bring a lot of that old DIY 1970s glam rock back with a nice punk twist and do so very effectively. Their attire is rather New York Dolls meets Divine [from John Waters’ films].

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