There’s a saying: “music is therapy” and for Monte Mader, it rings particularly true. After experiencing a rough couple of years, during which she went through a break-up and suffered the loss of her father, she found solace, strength and inspiration through song-writing, the outcome of which can be heard on her new single “Selfish Girl” and her upcoming EP Skydive. With a busy few months ahead, she chatted to Thisisthelatest about favourite artists, tour plans and her ultimate ambitions.
TITL: Describe yourself in three words for me.
Monte Mader: Tenacious, smart, unique.
TITL: What would you say is your artist unique selling point?
MM: My biggest selling point is my story. The more often I tell my journey, whether through my music or just talking, the more I realize that it’s my biggest connection between myself and my fans. Sometimes musicians, actors and people like that can seem so surreal and for me, my story is so tangible it’s just proof that I’m just another person. I just happen to write and sing too.
TITL: Prior to becoming a musician, did you have any other career plans or has it always been about the music?
MM: Well, while in college, I felt I should follow through with grad school, get a good, RELIABLE job. I was in the middle of applying for several Physician Assistant graduate programs and I had this moment of “why do I want to spend this much money if I’m not sure this is what I want to do?” I immediately stopped graduate applications and began figuring out what to do in order to create a way to do music.
TITL: Which bands and artists are you most inspired/influenced by and why?
MM: Oh man!!! There are so many!! I would say some of my biggest inspirations are: John Legend, Ne-Yo, Boston, and Grace Potter. John Legend and Ne-Yo have always been big inspirations because of the power of their lyrics. Their songs always spoke to me so directly it made me want SO bad to be able to reach people in that way. Boston was a big inspiration because it was my dad’s favorite classic rock band so it was always a strong sound influence when I started writing and creating my own sound. Grace Potter was a great inspiration because she was the final piece of inspiration that helped me create a personal style and brand. Her lyrics, sound, and authenticity, as well as, her INCREDIBLE performance capability helped me identify the emotion and experience that I wanted my fans to have.
TITL: You’ve had a rough couple of years recently, so just how important has having a creative output through your music been in helping you get through those difficult times?
MM: I don’t know that I actually have the words to describe how much music has helped me through the past few years. I am definitely a person that internalizes and keeps most of my emotions and struggle in my head. Music was my therapist, my muse and my outlet. It created a way to make the suffering into something beautiful, into something connected when I felt lonely and isolated. It’s like when a song comes on the radio that feels like it was written just for you, music was the way for me to send out all the feelings and struggle I had, to tell the story I wasn’t always the best at telling with my words.
TITL: Tell me about your new single, “Selfish Girl.” What’s the story behind it?
MM: “Selfish Girl” was written after I found out my ex-fiance was seeing several other women behind my back. I was furious and there were so many mean things I wanted to do – I am happy to report I did not do those things – but it was my way of venting how I felt about the situation, and the reaction I really wanted to have. I’m from the west and we have a unique way of handling situation like that–it was my homage to that – even if I didn’t actually do it.
TITL: The track is taken from your upcoming EP, Skydive. Without giving too much away, what can you tell me about it?
MM: The EP is about my journey. It’s about failed love, playing the field, falling in love, and taking a chance. It’s about dying to have someone love you back. And (spoiler alert) the title track “Skydive” is my personal anthem of believing in yourself and daring to pursue your dreams, which is what I am in the middle of now.
TITL: Are there any upcoming tour or performance plans you can tell me about?
MM: There are some tour plans in the works to be announced later BUT the big show is my album release party! The show will be held in NYC at Rockwood Music Hall! The concert is going to be on May 24th at 7pm. All are welcome and it is going to be an incredible show. I can’t tell you how excited I am.
TITL: How do you feel about social media, and are you an advocate of musicians and other artists using it to boost their careers?
MM: I have a very serious love/hate relationship with social media. I love how it gives up-and-coming and independent artists a platform to showcase their music and talents. The digital era has given an unprecedented amount of power to the “nobody” artist that has never existed. That is an amazing gift. What I hate about it is the heavy focus on it. There is such an importance placed on the amount of your following, not necessarily the level of talent or material. That fact can be frustrating on a multitude of levels. The level of time, effort and skin – for women – required to generate those kinds of followings is exhausting, especially while I work full time still. So while it’s a great power, it’s a great challenge too.
TITL: Finally then, what else does this year have in store for you and what’s your ultimate ambition as an artist?
MM: This year I have 3 EP’s ready for release, I’m planning a short tour and making a career transition into full time entertainment. It’s a lot to do, but I believe completely possible. My ultimate goal as an artist is to be primarily a full time writer for myself and other artists, and secondarily as a performing artist. I have lots of aspirations and possibilities, but they all revolve around the entertainment industry.