First Comics News: Thanks Daniel Monteith for doing this interview. I really appreciate it. If you don’t mind can you tell us a little about yourself? Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
Daniel Monteith: The pleasure is all mine. I was born and raised in Woodstock, New Brunswick, the town of champions. Later, the family moved to Fredericton during my teen years. Interestingly enough, Myles Goodwyn of April Wine was also born in Woodstock before relocating elsewhere.
1st: When did you first become interested in music?
Daniel: My brother, Shaun, and I both used to accompany our dad who was a long-haul truck driver. He would drive all over Canada and the US and always be listening to really great rock and metal albums. Most prevalently, I remember listening to a lot of Metallica, AC/DC and Kid Rock. Looking back, it was definitely telling of what was to come. How many times I would wake up in the middle of the night, sleeping in the back cabin of the truck, not knowing what city or state or province or country we were in, while dad would be blasting rock and roll. Now, when we are hitting the road, it’s pretty much the same thing, but now I am behind the wheel.
1st: Who are some of your influences in the music world?
Daniel: My influences as a guitar player and as a song-writer are often quite different. Some of my favourite guitar players are Alex Lifeson of RUSH, Randy Rhodes of Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Van Halen, Frank Zappa, Chris Poland, and Marty Friedman, both of whom played in Megadeth. As for the influences of our band’s sound, we are like a mix of Van Halen and Tool, or maybe RUSH meets Metallica, or more like Pantera meets the Who. Each of those comparisons sounds like the best band you’ll ever hear, so we make sure that we back it up
1st: Are you a writer, signer, play instrument?
Daniel: Shaun and I do the writing for our compositions. We all play guitar, bass, drums and sing quite well. I have been working hard at getting keyboard skills up to performance level. Shaun is the better singer, and I am the better guitar player, which works out nicely. Being multi-instrumental has always been an asset to this band, and it’s only a hindrance not to have that versatility.
1st: If you could hang out with any musician, who would it be?
Daniel: Dead? Frank Zappa. I feel like he was the last truly original musical mind. There was so much more the world could have learned from him. Living? I feel like Kid Rock would really resonate with what we are doing, and that hanging out would be a breeze. Sometimes people pick musicians that they want like, rather than who would like them.
1st: Daniel, what can you tell your fans about the band, Monteith? Who are the members, how long have you been together?
Daniel: Monteith is the past, present, and future of rock and roll. If there is a divine, rock and roll prophecy waiting to be fulfilled, Monteith is scratching our name into it as the band that’s gonna set the earth back on track. My brother Shaun Monteith and I founded the band in… roughly 2011 when I was 15. Our first incarnation was in high school as the Family Machete. That quickly devolved into a few other forms of the band until we started playing with Chaddus Provost as our drummer. Kinley LaFrance is also playing with us on bass right now and facilitating many sick gigs by doing so.
1st: The band does a lot of touring, is there any memorable places you would like to mention?
Daniel: Seeing so many different parts of Canada with Monteith has been a trip at almost every stop. I am sure many touring musicians would agree with me when I say that Oshawa, ON is very memorable. Among many other mind-boggling happenings the first time we played there, a surly patron ended up punching through the glass window of the venue. He waited around for the police to show up as if to reassure himself that what he did couldn’t have been that stupid. He ended up being thrown up against the side of our van after continuing to be cranky. On the lighter side of Oshawa, we drove into oncoming traffic on a one-way street to help boost a nice old lady’s car battery. We were later informed that she was the venue owner’s mother. That’s real rock and roll.
1st: Congratulations your album Monteith mania is really hot right now. I read a quote: “It’s official. SkullsNBones.com says Monteith Mania is (more or less) the greatest record, maybe ever.”This is in regards to the Steel Panther Underground band support. What can you tell the readers about that experience? SkullsNBones.com.
Daniel: I would say their assessment is surprising, but it is more smart and accurate. This record being so excellent was no accident. Monteith Mania is a fantastic record with something for everyone. Each song is radically different but with the same golden vein all the way through. I spent hours on end in order to get the record to a fantastic point. Especially with all the guitar overdubs which give the record so, so much replay value. You hear something new every time. Steel Panther is an excellent entity both musically, and as a member of the rock and roll community. It was helpful of them to be running that competition and we are glad it favored us the way it did.
1st: I have to agree with King Rhino, your song “Abyssonaut rocks. Is there a link you wanna share with your fans?
Daniel: Abyssonaut is going to be a live staple for the entirety of our career. It takes classic elements reminiscent of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath and sends them soaring with the only truly modern approach to rock and roll. Our approach isn’t a nostalgia cash-grab, it’s not pushing indie-pop songs trying to get played on a rock station. It’s the real deal. People know when they’re being sold, and the difference with Monteith is that people are coming to us. Check out the Abyssonaut. Spotify.com
1st: Where would a fan get one or many of these CDs
Daniel: It’s truly flattering to be able to tell people that you have run out of the mass amounts of CDs we have printed. More are on their way, and in the meantime, we encourage our admirers to listen on all of the usual online services.
1st: I have also been told your logo is appearing on t-shirts and posters in a comic book called These Damn Kids soon to be released worldwide by Antarctic Press.
Daniel: That’s absolutely right. When they first sent the prints to our HQ, it was surreal. It really was an ideal placement of the Monteith logo. It added context to the panel, whereas attempts can often look like a billboard. You really believe the wearer is a fan. The art is really fantastic, chilling and it immediately catches your attention. I can’t wait to get the book in my hands.
1st: What advice can you give to anyone interested in getting into the music business.
Daniel: If you want to succeed, you need to support other people. Things are different now, and true success is only through integrity and consistency. This means volunteering to help all your friends, even when it’s a bummer. It means going to every show you can, even when the bands suck, because no one remembers the guy who wasn’t there. You have to know why you are there and what you are looking to get from it. If you want to compete at the highest level, then you have to make sacrifices and work harder than you ever have. And once you’re sick of that, you suck it up and keep going.
1st: If you could work with anyone in the music industry, who would it be?
Daniel: Mutt Lange. The producer on some of the greatest rock albums of all time. He is responsible for the ethereal sheen of Def Leppard’s invincible vocal harmonies on their greatest records. AC/DC, Def Lep, Huey Lewis, Shania Twain, Foreigner, Brian Adams. It doesn’t matter if you like the music, the production is distinct and undeniable stellar. I would love for some Monteith songs to have that caliber of production. Those songs would be a completely different beast.
1st: Is there any shout outs you would like to make?
Daniel: Our parents, naturally for showing us how to rock in ways not always conventional. The honorary Monteith guru Seamus O’Kelly for telling us what we know in our hearts to be true. Everyone who ever let us sleep on their floor or who fed us while on the road and all of the musicians we have ever jammed with. And hey there, Monteith Maniacs, relisten to Monteith Mania and get floored. Thanks for having me for the words. You guys can get stoked about us heading back into the studio sooner than later. Spotify.com
1st: Thanks so much Daniel you are an amazing musician and it is a pleasure to interview you. Keep on creating!