Fritz Montana: Rejuvenating Rock ‘n’ Roll

Those who say ‘Rock’n’Roll is dead’ simply search for it in all of the wrong places, for one simply must cross the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco to find all of the rock and roll one needs. Though they have no flowers in their hair, Fritz Montana embodies the raw nature of Rock’n’Roll that the summer of love birthed into the late 90s. Their spunk, readily apparent in their music, sets them apart and their songs have a grittiness that brings good old Rock’n’Roll back from proverbial death.

Their self-titled EP Fritz Montana came out earlier this year and combines a delightful mixture of Jam Band rhythms, sensual riffs, and lyrical sass. Their overall sound, similar to that of the White Stripes, elevates Fritz Montana to more than your everyday local rock band. As if their lyrics, guitar licks, and jazzy beats did not depict their style enough, the three members have the personalities to match. Their witty and fun-loving nature makes them enjoyable to watch, listen to, and read.  Fusing a Blues vibe with an Indie flair, the soulful trifecta breathes new life into the music industry.

Fritz Montana finds themselves in the running for the Not So Silent Night Live 105 contest in San Fran. The contes has an unbelievable grand prize from which the band would gain not only incomparable bragging rights, but also a promising opportunity.

The biggest takeaway from this opportunity would be getting comfortable playing in front of thousands of people…and hopefully a lucrative record deal” – Fritz Montana.

Find out more about the contest, the pros and cons of being a three person band, why Creed would make a good opening act and Fritz Montana’s love for John McLane in their interview below.


Substream Magazine: How do you feel about the White Stripes?

Keep Jack Weird.  The White Stripes served as a great platform for our band to initially model ourselves after, so we graciously accept any comparison people make between Fritz Montana and the White Stripes.


SM: What are the pros and cons of being a three piece group?

Pros: the mathematical joy of having a 2/3 majority voting system; only 3 people to share a pizza between.

Cons: inability to compete in a bobsled race; one person short of a full Mario Kart race.


SM: Are there any three piece bands who you look up to? 

Just off the top of our heads: Alkaline Trio, Band of Skulls, Primus, Muddy Waters, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hanson…but really, we look up to any group brave enough to tackle the power trio- we like the three piece aspect because we all like to be heard.


SM: As three white guys, from where do you draw your Soul vibe? What are some soul artists that have influenced your own music?

Between the three of us white guys, we have some heavy interest into old-time blues: Muddy Waters, the stones, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry.  Naturally, listening to these blues gods enabled frequent run-ins with soul singers like Otis Redding, James Brown, Ray Charles, etc (a band favorite would be Nancy Sinatra).  More recently, Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes has a beautiful mixture of blues and soul that probably has the strongest influence in our own music.


SM: What bands would you most like to tour with? Who would you want to open for? Who would open for you?

Bands we’d like to tour with? Any band, who at their core, is just passionate about the music they make.  We’d love to open for anyone that we’ve grown up listening to: The Black Keys, Blink 182, Sublime.  Some newer bands we’d be lucky to share the stage with would include The Neighborhood and Alabama Shakes. A solid opening band for us? Creed.  And anyone not afraid to be shown up by three guys with goofy smiles.


SM: What’s the next step for Fritz Montana?

We have a ton of music we’ve been dying to get recorded- so our first order of business is to put those bad boys down on track.  The plan is to record our EP during December and hopefully get it released early next year.  Until then: shows, shows, shows, shows.  Lather, rinse, repeat.


SM: Tell us about the contest you guys are currently a part of. What do you hope to gain if (hopefully when) you win? 

We’ve been lucky to be included in LIVE 105’s Not So Silent Night Local Band Contest.  We’re currently in competition with 19 other local bands to open for legendary bands Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, and more.   It doesn’t take a musical prodigy to understand how huge an opportunity it would be to open for bands like these, not to mention being able to take the main stage at Oakland’s Oracle Arena.  The biggest takeaway from this opportunity would be getting comfortable playing in front of thousands of people…and hopefully a lucrative record deal.


SM: How has reception of your self-titled EP been? As such a young band, what have you already learned to do differently for your next record?

The reception of our first EP has been phenomenal: we’ve had several tracks played on the radio and featured in The Chasing Maverick surfing videos.  Being young and oblivious has its advantages: we make our mistakes early and often.  Not much to do different for our next EP- just making sure it’s better, louder, and sexier.


SM: You’ve said in the past that listeners will get to know you while listening to your EP. What’s something about you guys that cannot be learned through your music?

How vastly different our playing styles are. We come from different styles of music, have different influences, and differing opinions on which Die Hard movie is the best.  Thankfully, we’re able to put all differences aside to ensure the optimum musical experience for our listeners.


SM: What is the one of your favorite shows you’ve played? What made it so memorable?

We were just involved with a “secret” acoustic show run by Songs From A Room (Sofar Sounds).  It was money free, cell-phone free, and solely focused on the music featured for the night. Honestly one of the coolest experiences our band will ever encounter: 100+ people packed into a San Francisco Mission living room who were genuinely excited to hear our music. Additionally it was really fun to be taken out of our element- our loud band was reduced to two acoustic guitars and a single snare drum.


SM: In such a cunning industry, what do you have to offer that sets you apart?

We generally let our music be the factor that sets us apart.  We are unforgiving, unfaltering, and un-intimidated.  Between the three of us, we have 40+ years in music, 10 previous bands, and an unnatural obsession with becoming a successful rock band.

Interview by Alice Carson