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Tags: Nick_Malone, Denim_And_Leather, The_Power_Of_Three, Monte_Pittman, Heavy_Metal, Metal_Blade

Denim and Leather - Monte Pittman Interview

From teaching Guy Ritchie to play guitar to performing at The Superbowl, Monte Pittman has had quite the rollercoaster ride. These days his focus lies on his own project and the brand new album they have out on now on none other than Metal Blade Records, The Power of Three. We talked to the man himself about what it means to live such a diverse and rewarding lifestyle as a musician and where things are going from here.

Congratulations on The Power of Three, it really is quite a triumph. Now that it’s finally out there, how happy are you with the album and the initial feedback you’ve received?

Thanks! I've very happy with everything! I don't think I've ever been this busy! It's almost been out for 2 weeks now here in the States. I'm glad it's finally out there! We released 2 singles ('A Dark Horse' & 'Before The Mourning Son') and made a video ('Before The Mourning Son') but now people are getting familiar with the entire album. There seem to be new people every day writing me on Twitter and Facebook saying they just discovered the album and are loving it! What more could you ask for!?

For the most part the album sees you take quite a firm step in the direction of all out heavy metal, was this a conscious decision after the last album to head more back to your roots?

That comes from me looking at what kind of songs I needed for my live show. It also is part of Flemming Rasmussen's guidance. When I gave him all of the demos I had been working on, he strongly encouraged me to focus on these. I need someone to tell me that sometimes. When we play some of the songs on my first album, The Deepest Dark, they come across as "heavy". It all just slowly built to what it is now.

You’ve come an awful long way since you started out teaching guitar and ended up on something of a whirlwind journey to where you are now. How have you managed to remain grounded and keep focus on doing what you love all this time?

You have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. There's never time to stop and smell the roses. You have to keep putting wood in the fire. I love doing this. I don't really know what else to do except just making myself better in all areas of the musical world. It somehow finds a way of balancing itself out.

After your Kickstarter campaign for the second album, were you confident standing on your own with the might of Metal Blade behind you for this third release?

At first I was going to just put this out on my own. I played it for Brian Slagel asking what he thought I should do. He offered to sign me to Metal Blade. That was an option I didn't even think would exist. It made all the sense in the world. I've enjoyed working with them on this. The best is yet to come.

‘Everything’s Undone’ is a perfect match of addictive vocals and crushingly heavy riffs. Is this a style you hope to carry forward in the future or will things become heavier still from here on out?

I hope to have a little something for everybody. I want my music to be accessible to a wide audience. As a guitar player, I get to create the music I want to hear. I have a variety of music in my iTunes library. Sometimes I'll just shuffle through it all. I like several kinds of music. It keeps it all fresh for me. If I only listened to  or played one style, I'd get bored.

After spending so much time touring as Madonna’s live guitarist, how does it compare playing shows with your own band to such a different audience?

Touring with Madonna is as good as it gets. She takes exceptional care of everyone. When I'm playing for her, I'm just one cog in the massive wheel. It takes all 200 employees to make those shows happen. When I'm doing a Monte Pittman show, it's all on me. Booking the show, promoting the show, scheduling rehearsal, bringing gear to play through, remembering the lyrics, remembering to breathe while singing (which is a different way of breathing when playing guitar), remembering the solos and parts, and watching the other guys to guide through the songs...

How has it been working with Flemming Rasmussen and what impact did that have on the creative process of recording the album?

Once we started recording, I handed the keys to Flemming. When we started recording, it became his baby. I did my part to bring it there. I had a demo of the entire album. There's a saying that 'the producer saves the artist from themselves'. You have to have someone there to tell you "no". Sometimes you can be too close to the forest to see the trees!

With multiple highly acclaimed awards, nominations and performances throughout your career, what would you cite as your proudest achievement so far?

I don't pay attention to any of that. My proudest achievement is making this album, "The Power Of Three", with Flemming and getting signed to Metal Blade.

Finally, will you be taking The Power Of Three out on the road, and if so where are you headed?

I want to play this to each and every set of ears out there. I'm ready to hit the road. The album just came out. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I'll have some new news for everyone.

The Power of Three is out now on Metal Blade Records and can be purchased here . For information about upcoming shows and future releases, keep up to date with Monte and Metal Blade on Facebook.


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