Monty Are I ( mon'tee är ):
1. An explosion of organized musical chaos, structured pandemonium, and/or disciplined unruliness; think of a tornado if it were productive rather than destructive. 2. A hurricane that will lift your spirits and won’t wreck your house. 3. Bedlam in a songbook. 4. Electrifying, intelligent, witty, eccentric, introspective and without a doubt over the top. 5. Solos. Nasty Slash-esque solos. 6. Epic. If you can’t describe it as epic it probably isn't
The road that led to their Island Records debut, Break Through the Silence, has been a long and anything-but-smooth one for the members of Monty Are I, whose name pays tribute to the band’s Rhode Island roots as well as the high school music teacher Arthur Montanaro, back when they first came together to play.
After the release of their Wall of People album in 2006, the group’s Island-affiliated indie label, Stolen Transmission—started by current Virgin Records President, veteran A&R exec Rob Stevenson, and former Spin editor Sarah Lewitinn—folded, leaving their future in doubt.
“There was a lot of discussion and soul-searching about what to do next,” says drummer Justin Muir, who goes back to the beginning with his brother, guitarist/vocalist/trumpeter Ryan, lead singer/guitarist Stephen Aiello and bassist Mike Matarese, joined five years ago by keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Borstein.
“We were stuck in some ruts and had to pull ourselves out of those situations and look for the positives,” agrees Aiello, who also pens the lyrics for the band’s songs.
With a loyal fan base culled from a tireless road regimen, including several stints on the Warped tour, as well as opening slots for My Chemical Romance, Secondhand Serenade, Story of The Year, Sum41, and the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Monty Are I entered the studio to tackle their dilemma the only way they knew how—with their music.
With a forceful, almost militaristic precision to their unique brand of alternative action-rock, in songs like the first single, “One in a Million,” “The Stand,” “Hope” and “Making Sounds,” Monty Are I draw a line in the sand, determined to push the boundaries of their sound, and grow their audience at the same time. Featuring the cinematic flair, dance-floor pulse and swirling swings of the Armageddon-like “Sand Riders Doomsday,” the soaring power ballads “Making Sounds” and the intimate confessional, “All of You Tonight,” and the Middle Eastern tableaux of “Desert” and “Mirage,” Monty Are I have made a powerful, provocative statement on their maiden major label effort
“We’ve always been road dogs,” laughs Justin. “We love being out there. We’re constantly looking to get better, bigger and play before more people. We don’t like to lose.”
“That’s the beauty of making music,” adds Stephen. “You might not hear it in the beginning, but by the end, it turns into something beautiful.”
Monty Are I’s Break Through the Silence is just that… something big, bold, brassy and, yeah, beautiful. That’s the only way to describe it.