Interview: Monty Are I

A shot at the 'big time'
By CHRIS CONTI  |  February 25, 2009

HIGH HOPES From Cranston West to Island Records.
Summer 2009 could be the defining moment of Monty Are I's decade-long musical endeavor. The sonic pride of Cranston West High are on the same label as the Killers and Fall Out Boy, and their big-league debut is due out this summer. Resident MAI trombonist/keyboard dude Andrew Borstein gave us the lowdown on all things Monty while prepping their big hometown show at Club Hell, taking the up-close-and-personal approach to a new level when the uber-energetic quintet hit what is sure to be a sold-out thriller. MAI will debut new tracks from the forthcoming disc. Here's an update straight from Borstein, plus our email Q&A:

"It's been quite a journey for us over the last year, but we're all the better for it. And the new album [title TBA] totally smokes our last one [2006 's Wall of People]. We started writing and demoing songs in October of 2007 while on tour with Sum 41 and had planned on releasing it by March of 2008 on Stolen Transmission Records. By Christmas of '07 Stolen Transmission folded into their parent company [Island/Def Jam] and our pending release and future was in legal limbo for the next six months. Not only did Island eventually drop all the other Stolen Transmission bands, but they also dropped dozens of their own acts while downsizing and rearranging staff. But all that uncertainty and extra time helped motivate and allow us to make the record even better. We are now officially an Island Records band, and we're done recording our new album. We worked with Matt Squire (Panic At the Disco, Thrice, the Used) at his Hollywood studio from October through December of '08. We have really high hopes for this next record and taking a legitimate shot at the 'big time.' "

Did you guys plan a particular direction musically on the upcoming album?
We spent more time making cohesive song structures and finding ways to squeeze the most potential out of every musical idea. Nothing was too grand, as long as it served the greater good of the song. As far as our musical direction goes, we're still trying to perfect the art of the "three-minute epic" pop song. We wanted each song to be exciting in its own way, with no filler. We had the time and budget to record an 11-piece string section and found ways to incorporate our grandiose tendencies into humble — if not just face-melting — pop-rock songs.

Will a full tour follow the release of the disc?
Specific tour dates aren't officially confirmed yet, but I do know we'll be playing some of this year's Warped Tour.

Did you guys assemble the opening bands for the Club Hell show?
We always put a good deal of effort into choosing bands to play our home shows. We give opportunities to local bands that are trying to make a name for themselves the same way we have for so many years. Getting an opening slot on a big Providence show was such a big deal to us when we first started, so it's something we're proud to share with other local bands.

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