Monte Pittman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Monte Pittman
Pittman in 2018
Pittman in 2018
Background information
Birth nameMonte Lee Pittman
Also known asMontster
Born (1975-11-19) November 19, 1975 (age 45)
OriginLongview, Texas, U.S.
GenresRock, pop, metal,[1] acoustic, alternative, blues
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, bass, vocals
Years active1996–present
LabelsMetal Blade Records
Associated actsMadonna, Prong, Adam Lambert, Karmin Ministry

Monte Lee Pittman (born November 19, 1975) is an American musician, songwriter and studio musician based in Los Angeles, known largely as Madonna's long-time guitarist and for playing for heavy metal band Prong.[2] He has also appeared in the documentary Who the F**K Is Arthur Fogel?[3] Pittman also professionally teaches guitar lessons[4] and exclusively uses the Jamplay Teaching App.[5]


Pittman started playing guitar as a teenager when he received his first guitar at age 13. His guitar teacher was Robert Browning. He also took music theory and piano lessons from Delores Rhoads at the Musonia School of Music in North Hollywood.[2]

Pittman's early musical influences came from bands and artists such as Kiss, Metallica, Slayer, Steve Vai, Jimmy Page, Pantera, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, and Radiohead, to name a few.[2][6]

Myra Mains[edit]

Pittman's first band was called Insanity. Eventually Pittman and the singer from Insanity, Chris Sheehan, started the 4-piece Myra Mains which was much more successful, releasing 2 demo tapes and 2 full album CDs. Headquartered in Longview, TX, Myra Mains Had fans from Dallas to Shreveport and all over East Texas.


Pittman and Madonna during the Confessions Tour (2006)

Pittman moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and worked at a guitar store as a salesman. He eventually quit to start teaching guitar lessons. Pittman's third student was British film director Guy Ritchie, who had just received a guitar as a gift from his girlfriend, Madonna. Ritchie later returned the favor, buying Madonna her own guitar—and she began to take lessons from Pittman as well.[2][7][8]

A month after Pittman started giving guitar lessons to Madonna, he was invited to join her on stage at the Late Show with David Letterman to promote her album Music. The pair played guitar together on an acoustic version of the hit song Don't Tell Me.[2][9] Subsequently, Pittman was invited to join the band for Madonna's Drowned World Tour (2001). He has played in every incarnation of Madonna's live band since then.

Pittman shares writing credits with Madonna on the tracks "Easy Ride" from American Life (2003) and "It's So Cool" from Celebration (2009).

Additionally, Pittman has contributed performances to Madonna's studio recordings, appearing on 2005's Confessions on a Dance Floor (Like It Or Not)[10] and 2008's Hard Candy (Spanish Lesson & Ring My Bell).

Apart from world tours Pittman has joined Madonna on stage in many special events, most notably at Live 8 where he played for thousands of people at Hyde Park in 2005 and at the 2007 Live Earth where he had the chance to jam "Big Bottom" with Spinal Tap, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett among a dozen of other bass players on stage.[2]

In 2012, he played at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show where he debuted his new signature Jarrell MPS Guitar[11]

Pittman started his 5th world tour with the Queen of Pop, the MDNA Tour, on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel and stops in Europe, North & South America till the end of 2012. Paul Oakenfold who opened for Madonna in several US shows, invited Pittman on stage to jam together in the last N.American shows of the tour.

Between September 2015 and March 2016, Pittman toured with Madonna on her Rebel Heart tour.


Pittman during Prong's 2007 tour

Pittman was introduced to Prong's Tommy Victor[12] by White Zombie drummer Ivan de Prume; the two hit it off, and Pittman joined Prong in 2000. He played guitar on their 2002 tour[13] that spawned the live album 100% Live. Pittman handled guitar and bass duties for the 2003 album Scorpio Rising.

On Prong's 2007 release Power of the Damager, Pittman wrote 5 of the 13 songs and provided backing vocals alongside bass duties. He is also credited as an associate producer for both Power of the Damager and the remixed version Power of the Damn Mixxxer which was released in May 2009.

Other Artists[edit]

Previous to Adam Lambert's audition on American Idol, Pittman, Lambert, Tommy Victor from Prong and Steve Sidelnyk formed a band titled The Citizen Vein.[14] For the tour of Adam Lambert's debut album, Lambert hired Pittman as his guitarist and musical director. Lambert and the band appeared on several TV shows as well as at the Gridlock New Year's Eve 2010 festival.[15] Canada's Rock Star Weekly reviewed that "Pittman has a rock-god presence of his own, arising from his well-honed, skilled riffs that come from a connection of love and devotion to his instrument over a long and distinguished musical career"[16] Pittman also appears on the 'Beg for Mercy' album, the material of which was recorded before Lambert went on American Idol and is co-written by Pittman and Lambert.

He has also worked in the studio with Melanie C, & Sophie Ellis-Bextor


Pittman between Stuart Price, Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield at Live Earth

Pittman has been known to perform solo acoustic shows[17] in between his responsibilities with Prong and Madonna. He has developed into a fiercely capable musician—equally able to hold his own in a giant pop stadium tour as in a dark and smoky club belting out brutal metal tunes. Pittman's solo work takes a giant detour from both of those avenues, venturing into melodic acoustic territory on his debut, and branching out into rock anthems.

The Deepest Dark[edit]

His debut solo album, The Deepest Dark, was released in November 2009 and features 11 songs all written by Pittman, except for The Circle which was co-written with Tommy Victor and Adam Lambert. All the songs are acoustic.[18]

Almost a year after its digital release, due to popular demand, "The Deepest Dark" was re-released in hard copy CD, with 5 additional bonus tracks.[19] 1 week later, it reached the No. 1 spot on the most selling albums (Acoustic genre) on[20] and was No. 9 in the Top 10 Most Selling Albums on CDBaby for October 2010[21]

Pain, Love & Destiny[edit]

Pittman managed to raise $65,500 for his second solo album, Pain, Love & Destiny, through Kickstarter.[22] He recorded the album in the summer of 2011 and Noah Shain produced it. The album features Kane Ritchotte on drums and Kelle Rhoads (Randy Rhoads's brother) on piano. It was released on October 3, 2011[23]

The album made it to No. 1 Rock Album, No. 1 Pop Album, and the Top 10 albums chart in its debut week.[24]

The album was also available at the Official Merchandise Booths of Madonna's 2012 MDNA Tour.

Pittman was nominated in 4 categories at Artists in Music Awards and by popular demand he was also invited to perform at the ceremony on February 10, 2012.[25] He won the Award for "Best Solo Artist". He is also the recipient of a "Career Achievement Award – Guitarist" for the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards![26]

On June 29, 2012, he was invited to ZDF's Morgenmagazin morning TV show where he performed a solo acoustic version of the song "Lost" from his album "Pain, Love & Destiny".[27]

The Power of Three[edit]

Pittman started working on new material on July 1, 2012 in Copenhagen, with Danish producer Flemming Rasmussen (the producer behind Metallica's old albums).[28] He first released an acoustic EP "M.P.3.: The Power of Three, Part 1" (released on November 19, 2012) and went back to Copenhagen in February 2013, with bandmates Kane Ritchotte and Max Whipple to record more songs with Rasmussen also producing it.

After playing the album to Metal Blade's CEO Brian Slagel, he got signed to the label to release "The Power of Three" in 2014.[29]

"A Dark Horse", the first single from The Power of Three was released on October 14, 2013 by Metal Blade Records and marks Pittman's return to his metal roots. The second single is track No. 7 on the album and is entitled "Before the Mourning Son". It was released on November 25, 2013.[30] The final track on the album, "All is Fair in Love and War" features guitars by Testament's Alex Skolnick and additional vocals from Chris Barnes (ex-Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under).[31]

The album was released on January 21, 2014[32] and has received many raving reviews. Music blog "The Global Onslaught" has described it as "2014's sleeping giant in the echelons of Hard Rock and Metal".[33]

Inverted Grasp of Balance[edit]

On 2016's Inverted Grasp of Balance, Pittman joined drummer Richard Christy and bassist Billy Sheehan.[34]

Between The Space[edit]

Pittman released Between the Space on Metal Blade in August 2018 and undertook a tour with Sebastian Bach of Skid Row in the USA.[35]

Better or Worse[edit]

At the same time Pittman released Between the Space, he released an acoustic album Better or Worse also on Metal Blade.[35]


In addition to having performed in several charity events, including Live 8, Live Earth, Hope for Haiti, Pittman is an Honorary Board member of Little Kids Rock.

Most recently, he donated the guitar that he played at the 2012 Super Bowl Halftime Performance to the 2012 Dream Foundation and helped raise $10,000.

In November 2012 he played with the Amadeus Youth Orchestra in Colombia,[36] supported by the Amadeus Foundation which helps creating music schools in Medellin.

In May 2013 Monte performed a benefit for the Little Kids Rock foundation to help bring music education to Los Angeles area schools.[37]

In December 2016 Monte joined Madonna on stage to perform 'Tears of a Clown' at a benefit for Raising Malawi.[38]

On May 11, 2019 Monte participated in the From Classical To Rock benefit for the Peninsula Education Foundation benefit with Yutong, Marten Andersson, Chas West and more.[39] In June 2019 Monte Pittman provided a free workshop to benefit Alice Cooper's Rock Teen Center.[40]



Pittman uses the Gibson Les Paul as his primary guitar. He has also been known to play Gibson SGs and he has a number of custom made Gibson electrics, acoustics, and basses—frequently specially-built for use in Madonna shows. In 2015 he signed with ESP guitars

Jarrell MPS Signature Guitar[edit]

Pittman playing the Jarrell MPS during the MDNA Tour

In December 2011, Jarrell Guitars announced[41] that they are launching a new line, the Monte Pittman Signature Guitar and it will be presented at the 2012 NAMM. The Jarrell MPS features a custom Seymour Duncan pickup set making it one of the most versatile guitars in the market. "All together it seems Monte Pittman and Jarrell Guitars are hell bent on rocking the world – the sound of which is none other than simply amazing."[42]

Pittman comments on the MPS, "There are 13 different sounds you can get out of it. It's the most versatile guitar I've ever played. Jarrell guitars have a very unique and distinctive sound. We have three models. The regular MPS and the MPS-f which has a Floyd Rose. They are loaded with custom Seymour Duncan pickups. There is also the MPS Classic which is the least expensive."[43]


Pittman is endorsed by Orange Amplifiers.[44]


Like most guitarists, Pittman's effects change from show to show, but he has consistently employed the Roger Linn Adrena Linn, the Emma DiscomBOBulator, and the Keeley Compressor. He has been known to use Eventide, Boss, MXR, Crybaby, Ernie Ball, Electro-Harmonix, Digitech, Line 6, Dunlop,[45] VoiceLive 2 by TC-Helicon[46] and Fishman effects pedals.[47]



  • Between the Space (2018)[48]
  • Better or Worse (2018)[48]
  • Inverted Grasp of Balance (2016)
  • The Power of Three (2014)
  • Before The Mourning Son – single (2013)
  • A Dark Horse – single (2013)
  • M.P.3: The Power of Three, Part 1 (2012)
  • Pain, Love, & Destiny (2011)
  • The Deepest Dark (with bonus tracks) (2010)
  • The Deepest Dark (2009)

With Madonna[edit]

With Prong[edit]

With Myra Mains[edit]

  • Condition (1996)
  • Buried (1999)
  • Two Blocks Down from the Seventh Sign (cassette EP) (1994)
  • MYRA MAINS (Eden's Way, Rape the Whirlwind, Truth, Death Is But a Bag of Chips) (self-titled cassette EP) (1992)

With other artists[edit]

Tours and special events[edit]


Artists in Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2012 Monte Pittman Best Rock Artist Nominated
Best Blues Artist Nominated
Best Solo Artist Won
Pain, Love & Destiny Album of the Year Nominated

Los Angeles Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2012 Monte Pittman Male Singer/Songwriter Nominated

Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards[edit]

Pittman was honored by the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards with the "Career Achievement Award – Guitarist" on November 15, 2012[54]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Monte Pittman Interview". Guitarhoo!. January 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  3. ^ L.A. Premiere of Who the F**K is Arthur Fogel?
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Monte Pittman Fave 5 Record Reviews". Guitarhoo!. January 9, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Spring Hill graduate performs at Live Earth. (July 7, 2007). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  8. ^ Monte Pittman: The Texas Trail to Prong and Madonna. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Madonna & Monte Pittman at the David Letterman Show. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  10. ^ Breedlove Artists Archived November 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Announcing the MPS, Monte Pittman Signature Guitar
  12. ^ Prong at Twisted Talent Concert Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  13. ^ Garry Sharpe-Young (2005) New Wave of American Heavy Metal (1st edition) ISBN 0-9582684-0-1
  14. ^ The Citizen Vein – Discover music, concerts, stats, & pictures at. (February 11, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  15. ^ Gridlock 2010 feat. Adam Lambert Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  16. ^ Adam Lambert's Orchestra Of Glitz Welcomes 2010. Rockstarweekly
  17. ^ Open Mic Night with Monte Pittman. (January 31, 2010). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  18. ^ Monte Pittman's solo album debut. (December 3, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  19. ^ The Deepest Dark to be re-released in hard copy CD[dead link]
  20. ^ The Deepest Dark reaches Top Acoustic Albums on CDBaby. October 8, 2010
  21. ^ Top 10 CD Baby Albums: October 2010. (November 1, 2010). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  22. ^ Top 5 Most Successful Kickstarter Music Campaigns. (August 10, 2011). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  23. ^ Monte's 2nd album release date. (August 7, 2011). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  24. ^ Monte Pittman at HauteThought
  25. ^ Monte Pittman to perform at Artists in Music Awards
  26. ^ Monte Pittman to receive Career Achievement Award
  27. ^ Monte Pittman on German TV
  28. ^ "Monte Pittman gets Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen for his 3rd album". Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  29. ^ Monte Pittman signs with Metal Blade Records
  30. ^ Monte Pittman releases second single "Before The Mourning Son"
  31. ^ Alex Skolnick & Chris Barnes are featured in Monte's new album
  32. ^ Metal Blade Records announces the new album from MONTE PITTMAN "The Power of Three"
  33. ^ "Global Onslaught review for The Power Of Three". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  34. ^ "Monte Pittman reveals details for new album, 'Inverted Grasp of Balance'". Monte Pittman. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  35. ^ a b
  36. ^ Monte Pittman to perform with the Amadeus Youth Orchestra
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ Announcing the MPS, Monte Pittman Signature Guitar
  42. ^ Jarrell Guitars Debuts "Monte Pittman Signature" Guitar At NAMM 2012
  43. ^ "Monte Pittman talks about his career and new guitar on". Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  44. ^ "Monte Pittman – Madonna". Orange Amplifiers. Archived from the original on September 1, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  45. ^ Monte Pittman's pedalboard. (August 2, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  46. ^ TC-Helicon Artists Archived April 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  47. ^ Fishman Artists. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  48. ^ a b Godla, Frank. "MONTE PITTMAN Announces Two New Solo Albums And Full U.S. Tour With SEBASTIAN BACH". Metal Injection. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  49. ^ Take One (album). Wikipedia (December 3, 2009). Retrieved on December 27, 2011.
  50. ^ Nicki Richards ''Nicki'' Album Credits. (February 25, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ "Monte Pittman to receive Career Achievement Awards".

External links[edit]