In Lynyrd Skynyrd fashion, the Cranston, R.I., quintet named the band after their high school band instructor Arthur Montanaro. Unlike Skynyrd, the band’s original name — Monty’s Fan Club — reflected their affection for their former teacher. The band eventually shortened it to Monty, and then added Are I, a nudge/wink reference to their home state abbreviation.
When Monty Are I coalesced nearly a dozen years ago, the quintet (vocalist/guitarist Steve Aiello, keyboardist/trombonist Andrew Borstein, guitarist/ trumpeter Ryan Muir, bassist Mike Matarese, drummer Justin Muir) was a Skatecore/Ska band.
That aspect of the band still creeps up in their current Alternative/Punk/Pop sound (which they’ve dubbed “Action Rock”) when Borstein and Muir break out their horns. The band moved toward its current sound with 2005’s The Red Shift, the only album released under the name Monty (copyright concerns led them to lengthen the name).
MAI won the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands in 2003 and Takeover Records’ Sign My Band contest in 2005, but ultimately signed with Stolen Transmission for 2006’s Wall of People, leading to an upstream deal with Island Records. MAI has done five Warped Tours and hit the road with some fairly big names, including My Chemical Romance, Anberlin, Saving Abel, Taking Back Sunday, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and current tourmates, Dayton, Ohio’s Hawthorne Heights, among others. Monty Are I’s newest album, Break Through the Silence, is their first for Island Records proper (Stolen Transmission split from the Island group in 2007).
From squealing guitars to double clutched drumming to symphonic swells, Monty Are I lives up to their Action Rock reputation.
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