This is translated by my beautiful friend in Hawaii @miichan217.
“INROCK Extra: INROCK Pop! Vol. 3” (out Dec 3 in Japan) can be ordered from overseas on HMV Japan (Thanks @mmyy9)
An exclusive interview of Adam’ band member, Monte Pittman
Interview by Ai Anazawa
“Adam is a kind of guy who will be friend for life once you get to know him.
Whenever you need someone, he will be there for you.”
Monte Pittman is a music director and a guitar player for Adam Lambert.
He moved to LA when he felt a limitation to his music career in Texas where he grew up. He stumbled to become a guitar teacher to Guy Ritchie, a film director, a former husband of Madonna. This has lead for him to become a guitar teacher of Madonna and then onto a guitarist for her tour. He formed a band “Citizen Vein” with Adam in LA and they are highly compatible in their music taste. We can look forward to their collaboration on Adam’s 2nd album.
Q: You are not just a guitarist for Adam’s band but also a music director, right?
M: Yes, I also do a back up vocal.
Q: Compare to touring with Madonna, are you more relaxed including your off time?
M: Not really. Since I am a music director, I have more responsibilities. But we have wonderful band members and the crew and that really helps. Without my direction, they can come up with their own cool tunes.
Q: What is your responsibility as a music director?
M: I’m responsible for the all the aspect of the band and the music they play. And I’m like an instigator.
Q: Let us hear about your past. You’ve moved to LA in 1999?
M: Yeah, I moved from a small town in Texas in December of 1999. I had a band in Texas, making cool music and had the following, but it was hard to expand beyond that like getting a record deal. Plus country music dominates that part of US and it’s hard to play as a hard rock band. So I decided to move to LA where my cousin lived then. I felt fitting right in LA and living there since then. Living in a small town, you don’t have much choice in music career other than working at a music store. I was doing pretty well as a guitar teacher, but I wanted do more.
Q: Were you thinking of making a living as a tour musician then?
M: Of course. I’ve always wanted to go on a tour. That was my main goal, play great music on tour.
Q: Do you think of becoming a solo artist?
M: When I’m not working with Madonna, I was making my own music and had released a solo album. It’s available on iTunes and getting a good review. More than I expected. I’m confident that I can be on my own to continue my music career.
Q: The solo album is the acoustic album “the deepest dark”, right?
M: Yeah! You know it? This is my first Monte Pittman album and the reason for being all acoustic is that so I can play them all anytime, any where. If I book a gig, I can do them all on my own. If you have a band and trying to book a gig, you always have to ask “Are you available on this day?” I usually get an answer that “Oh, sorry I’ve got something else going on that day”. In LA, many are involved in several bands so it’s hard to coordinate everyone’s schedule. Everyone is trying to make a living so cannot be helped.
Q: The band “Citizen vein” with Adam was like that, too?
M: While working with Madonna, I was involved with another band Prong, but I wanted to make a rock band. So I asked one of my friends who is also a great singer to see if he knew a good male vocalist for a rock band and Adam’s name came up. Coincidentally I had another friend who knew Adam and he suggested that I should hook up with Adam, too. So I went to see Adam singing at Zodiac show and I was blown away. I had once auditioned for a band that was organized by Chris Cornell. It was cool to jam with Chris but I remember thinking “Adam is better than Chris”, lol. This is strictly my personal opinion and Chris is my hero but I couldn’t help it. All of Adam’s old friends knew that once he gets on the show (AI), rest with be a history.
Q: I totally agree with that, lol. Did you hit it right off with Adam?
M: That’s the interesting part. We have a lot of similarities but whenever I say something to him, he comes back with totally the opposite. Maybe that’s why the magic is there.
Q: Adam had mentioned that you are his inspiration. How’s his new album coming along?
M: Yes, I have a few songs written already and he’s picking the one he likes. We are working on a demo right now. Not sure which direction we are going yet. Actually we really wanted to make a song together for his first album. I’m really hoping that we can do it for the 2nd one.
Q: How do you want the 2nd album to be? Would it be different from the first one?
M: It’s hard to say. We can start off with one direction and end up with a different one. What’s important is to come up with great songs.
Q: But compared to the first album where many song writers have collaborated, Adam is counting on you to be closely involved with 2nd one, right?
M: Yeah, but we may use other song writers pieces, too. I’ve been writing rock, funky, sexy and acoustic tunes. I have Adam in mind when I write songs but end up with something Madonna would sing. Songs when she was more into rock, lol.
Q: I have a question from your fan. Is there a change in yourself since you’ve joined in with Adam?
M: People often comment now like “Oh, you’ve got earring on, painted your nails, and changed your hair…” It’s been a while since I experimented with myself, lol.
Q: Have you tried to Glam yourself up before?
M: No, never put a make-up before. But where everyone else in the band got make-up on, I have to fit in too, lol.
Q: You had twin babies born this year. Has it been hard to be away from them on the tour?
M: Yes, but I get to go home every 2 to 3 weeks on off time.
Q: Is there anything you hesitate to say to Adam?
M: No. I can say anything to Adam and he does that to me, too. He’s very open.
Q: You’ve said Adam is a loyal friend. What do you mean by that?
M: He’s a kind of guy who will be friend for life. He never tries to use you while pretending to be your friend. He has no ulterior motives. He’s a kind of a guy who will be there for you when you need a friend.