To be honest I had no idea who MONTE PITTMAN was really. So I had to interview him. Answers from Monte. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
How do you like to people to view you? As a musician, an artist or something completely different?
-A little of all of those. Everyone is going to view it differently and that’s part of the fun. Looking back at what I’ve done, I see it as someone with versatility. That’s been an important factor to my survival. If you like guitar music, I have something you’ll like.
How do you introduce what your stuff to people that are new to your music?
– My first album “The Deepest Dark” was just acoustic guitar and vocals. I did it that way so I could perform wherever and wherever. After that was “Pain, Love, & Destiny” which wound up being a hybrid rock and acoustic album. I wanted to be able to play that material either way. Then “The Power Of Three” was my first heavy album and that got my signed to Metal Blade Records. The last album I put out was “Inverted Grasp Of Balance”. For that one I sought out to make the heaviest, craziest album I could at the time. Now I’m releasing two different albums on the same day. “Better Or Worse” is acoustic but the instrumentation builds as the album moves along. It feels like a heavy album. “Between The Space” is my new heavy album. It gets straight to the point. I have something between all of that you’ll like. It might be something acoustic to start or end your day. It might be something heavy that makes you drive faster.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Emotion seems to be the main driving force. You may write something to cheer you up when you’re depressed but usually it’s an expression of feeling great.
Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-It’s very important that bands stick together and keep a scene going. It keeps people aware and interested in everything that’s happening. A band can exist by itself, but there is strength in numbers.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-I think it’s more an example of doing things in a new way. When I made my second album, I used Kickstarter which at the time was a new thing a lot of people didn’t seem to know about. This time I made to completely different albums at once and did everything myself. The only thing I didn’t do was the art work and mastering. My son, Atticus, played drums on “Torchbearer”. That was a cool experience As far as musical styles go, there’s nothing new under the sun and everything musical revolves in cycles.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-I like for the album cover to represent the music. For me, I want my album covers to be a piece of incredible artwork that explains the theme of the entire album as a whole. Maybe one day I’ll have a photo as a cover but I like the artwork to be something you could stare at while listening to the album.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-I think it’s making music available to more people. There are a lot of bands and artists that people just like one or two songs from. They can always listen to that and not have to sift through what they don’t. I know I’ve discovered so much incredible music from having it so accessible.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-It’s always changing. Right now in LA, there’s a jam night jut about each night if the week. That gets a lot more people exposure and does make that scene bigger. People will always like guitar driven music. That’s what I do. Some of it is heavy and some of it is with an acoustic guitar. Whatever it is, I promise to entertain you when you come see me play live. As I keep progressing as an artist, the body of work starts to become its own entity.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-It’s always a party and it’s always something different that it was before. Over the last year I’ve been playing as a one man show. This wasn’t because I wanted to. It was because that was a way for me to fly to a city every other weekend and perform. I played at a friends party where I started off acoustic and then went in to my heavy songs using the drums and bass off my albums as backing tracks. People liked it and suggested I book shows like that. That turned into its own things and wound up being something new and creative. Now I’m getting ready to go on tour opening for Sebastian Bach so I’ll have a band again. I’m excited to combine everything I’ve learned and experienced with how I’ve been doing things with where all of this is going. This tour we are all going to seriously kick your ass. Don’t miss this tour if you’ll be in the same city.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-I hope now that I’m about to finally start touring that my audience massively increases. There’s only a small percentage of people who have heard me and I’m putting out my 5th and 6th albums. I hope to see all the pieces start to fall into place. I’m excited about playing with a band again. I’m excited about performing this new material in front of everyone. Hopefully I’ll get another tour after ripping it up with Sebastian. I have my ideas for album #7 but I want to let it breathe for a little bit and drill “Between The Space” & “Better Or Worse” into everyone’s mind.