Juan Montoya is a compulsive creator. The former Torche guitarist and Miami ex-pat's new band, MonstrO, is as busy as a group could hope to be. They spent most of last year touring with notable artists like Danzig and Clutch, and currently are working on a follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album. While tending to the success of one band would be enough for most, Montoya simply isn't the sort to rest upon his laurels and patiently await the next tour, nor is he content with a single channel of musical expression.
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When Montoya isn't on the road with MonstrO, he can be found playing with Stallone, his musical mistress and a rarity amongst side-projects in its quality. Stallone eschews the generally undercooked vibe many a secondary group gives off, and its sludgy-come-shoegaze sound is immediately familiar to fans of Montoya's prior groups -- though Stallone's music almost entirely instrumental.
New Times: How's it going?
Juan Montoya: Doing pretty good, man! My eyes are a little bit beat because I've been doing artwork as a full-time job now. It's great; I get to work from home and it's not too much stress, the only thing is my eyes are taking a beating.
It's awesome that you're able to make that work!
Yeah! I did the Torche Meanderthal cover along with Aaron Turner, and since that sold pretty decently, a lot of people found out that I could actually draw. Now it's full on, and since I posted a picture of a cat, like, everybody wants me to draw their cats and animals.
It's great that you get to spend all of your time playing guitar or making art.
Yeah! It really is great, man! Hopefully it'll pay off in the long run. I want to do something that makes other people happy and it's great not to have to sit in an office waiting for the next order.
Tell us a bit about Stallone.
It's similar to stuff I was doing back in the day with my old Miami bands, and we're doing a lot of instrumental stuff. It's what I've always dug! Last time we spoke, I mentioned movie soundtracks and everything like that, I've always been into horror movies and sci-fi movies, so this actually relates to that. Eventually, I want to get it into movies. I've always been into bands like Trans-Am and Don Caballero and Naked City, a lot of instrumental and avant-garde stuff. So, I had a little bit of down time, and I wanted to start something like this. I met a couple of guys locally and they turned out to be super cool and talented and we practiced like crazy. The music is dynamic, some of it's beautiful, but some of it's incredibly spastic.