Monte Pittman by Michele Ambra
|Birth name||Monte Lee Pittman|
|Also known as||Montster|
|Born||November 19, 1975|
|Origin||Longview, Texas, United States|
|Genres||Rock, pop, metal, acoustic, alternative, blues|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, songwriter|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, vocals|
|Labels||Metal Blade Records|
|Associated acts||Madonna, Prong, Adam Lambert, Karmin|
Monte Pittman (born Monte Lee Pittman on November 19, 1975) is an American musician, songwriter and studio musician, based out of Los Angeles, known largely as Madonna's long-time guitarist and for playing with Prong. He has also appeared in the documentary "Who The F**K Is Arthur Fogel?"
- 1 Career
- 2 Charity
- 3 Equipment
- 4 Discography
- 5 Tours and special events
- 6 Awards
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Pittman started playing guitar as a teenager when he "finally got my first guitar when I was 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.
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 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.
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. 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.
Additionally, Pittman has contributed performances to Madonna's studio recordings, appearing on 2005's Confessions on a Dance Floor (Like It Or Not) 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.
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.
Pittman is currently touring with Madonna's Rebel Heart tour.
Pittman was introduced to Prong's Tommy Victor 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 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 on May 2009.
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. 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. 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" 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.
Pittman has been known to perform solo acoustic shows 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
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.
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. 1 week later, it reached the No. 1 spot on the most selling albums (Acoustic genre) on CDBaby.com and was No. 9 in the Top 10 Most Selling Albums on CDBaby for October 2010
Pain, Love & Destiny
Pittman managed to raise $65,500 for his second solo album, Pain, Love & Destiny, through Kickstarter. 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
The album made it to No. 1 Rock Album, No. 1 Pop Album, and the Top 10 albums chart in its debut week.
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. 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!
The Power of Three
Pittman started working on new material on July 1, 2012 in Copenhagen, with Danish producer Flemming Rasmussen (the producer behind Metallica's old albums). 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 on February 2013, with bandmates Kane Ritchotte and Max Whipple to record more songs with Rasmussen also producing it.
"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. 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).
The album was released on January 21, 2014 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."
Inverted Grasp of Balance
Now, for his latest offering, Inverted Grasp Of Balance, Pittman teamed up with powerhouse drummer Richard Christy of Charred Walls Of The Damned/Iced Earth/Death fame and virtuoso bassist Billy Sheehan, famous for his work with a plethora of talented artists – including David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and, more recently, Winery Dogs – the skill of all concerned explodes from the speakers. With such passionate professionals and Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) handling production duties, the record came together quickly and smoothly. This really is the proverbial “whole package”: an album that has been lovingly crafted in all aspects, that Pittman hopes reaches as many ears as possible. “I had a true vision for this record from the start, and I couldn’t imagine a better team to help me realize it,” Pittman comments. “We’re going to make some real noise with ‘Inverted Grasp Of Balance‘ – so get ready!” 
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.
On November 2012 he played with the Amadeus Youth Orchestra in Colombia, supported by the Amadeus Foundation which helps creating music schools in Medellin.
Pittman has been seen using various guitars over the years, including Breedlove and PRS but seems to have settled into using 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 and his main electric guitars are the E-II FRX, E-II ST and the ESP Eclipse. He has been playing Bourgeois acoustic guitars since 2012.
Jarrell MPS Signature Guitar
In December 2011, Jarrell Guitars announced 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."
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."
Like most guitarists, Pittman's effects change from show to show, but he has consistently employed the Roger Linn AdrenaLinn, 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, VoiceLive 2 by TC-Helicon and Fishman effects pedals. He has also taken to using a Fractal AxeFx live and more recently the Kemper Profiling Amplifier.
- 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)
- Drowned World Tour (2001)
- American Life (2003)
- Re-Invention Tour (2004)
- Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005)
- I'm Going to Tell You a Secret (2006)
- Confessions Tour (2007)
- Hey You (single) (2007)
- Hard Candy (2008)
- It's So Cool (2009) (Celebration bonus track)
- Sticky & Sweet Tour (2010)
- MDNA Tour (2012)
- Rebel Heart Tour (2015-2016)
- 100% Live (2002)
- Scorpio Rising (2003)
- The Vault (2005)
- Power of the Damager (2007)
- Power of the Damn Mixxxer (2009)
With Myra Mains
- 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
- Melanie C – Reason (2003)
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Shoot from the Hip (2003)
- Adam Lambert – Take One (2005)
- Run Run Run – Endless Winter (2006)
- Run Run Run – Good Company EP (2007)
- Jes – Disconnect (2007)
- Nicki Richards – Nicki (2008)
- In Extremo – Sängerkrieg (2008)
- Adam Lambert – Adam Lambert Acoustic Live (2010)
- Adam Lambert – Glam Nation Live (2011)
- Adam Lambert – Beg for Mercy (2011)
Tours and special events
- Drowned World Tour (2001) with Madonna
- Prong Live (2002–2003) with Prong
- MTV Video Music Awards (2003) with Madonna
- Re-Invention World Tour (2004) with Madonna
- Tsunami Aid (2004) with Madonna
- Live 8 (2005) with Madonna
- MTV Europe Music Awards (2005) with Madonna
- Grammy Awards (2006) with Madonna
- Confessions Tour (2006) with Madonna
- Live Earth (2007) with Madonna
- Slicing Across America & Europe (2007) with Prong
- Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008–2009) with Madonna
- American Music Awards (2009) with Adam Lambert
- Hope for Haiti Now (2010) with Madonna
- GLAAD Media Award (2010) with Adam Lambert
- Glam Nation Tour (2010) with Adam Lambert
- Artists in Music Awards (2011) Solo
- MDNA Tour (2012) with Madonna
- From Beer to Eternity Tour with Ministry
- Rebel Heart Tour (2015-2016) with Madonna
Artists in Music Awards
|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
|2012||Monte Pittman||Male Singer/Songwriter||Nominated|
Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards
Pittman was honored by the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards with the "Career Achievement Award – Guitarist" on November 15, 2012
- "Monte Pittman Interview". Guitarhoo!. Guitarhoo.com. January 5, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- L.A. Premiere of Who the F**K is Arthur Fogel?
- "Monte Pittman Fave 5 Record Reviews". Guitarhoo!. Guitarhoo.com. January 9, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- Spring Hill graduate performs at Live Earth. Nl.newsbank.com (July 7, 2007). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Monte Pittman: The Texas Trail to Prong and Madonna. Bossus.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Madonna & Monte Pittman at the David Letterman Show. Youtube.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Breedlove Artists Archived November 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Announcing the MPS, Monte Pittman Signature Guitar
- Prong at Twisted Talent Concert. Twisted-talent.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Garry Sharpe-Young (2005) New Wave of American Heavy Metal (1st edition) ISBN 0-9582684-0-1
- The Citizen Vein – Discover music, concerts, stats, & pictures at. Last.fm (February 11, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Gridlock 2010 feat. Adam Lambert. Dose.clubzone.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Adam Lambert's Orchestra Of Glitz Welcomes 2010. Rockstarweekly
- Open Mic Night with Monte Pittman. Axestaticprocess.wordpress.com (January 31, 2010). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Monte Pittman's solo album debut. Thezodiacshow.blogspot.com (December 3, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- The Deepest Dark to be re-released in hard copy CD[dead link]
- The Deepest Dark reaches Top Acoustic Albums on CDBaby. montepittman.com. October 8, 2010
- Top 10 CD Baby Albums: October 2010. Blog.discmakers.com (November 1, 2010). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Top 5 Most Successful Kickstarter Music Campaigns. Montepittman.com (August 10, 2011). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Monte's 2nd album release date. Montepittman.com (August 7, 2011). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Monte Pittman at HauteThought
- Monte Pittman to perform at Artists in Music Awards
- Monte Pittman to receive Career Achievement Award
- Monte Pittman on German TV
- Monte Pittman gets Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen for his 3rd album
- Monte Pittman signs with Metal Blade Records
- Monte Pittman releases second single "Before The Mourning Son"
- Alex Skolnick & Chris Barnes are featured in Monte’s new album
- Metal Blade Records announces the new album from MONTE PITTMAN “The Power of Three”
- Global Onslaught review for The Power Of Three"
- "Monte Pittman reveals details for new album, 'Inverted Grasp of Balance'". Monte Pittman. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
- Monte Pittman to perform with the Amadeus Youth Orchestra
- Breedlove Acoustics. Folkofthewood.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Announcing the MPS, Monte Pittman Signature Guitar
- Jarrell Guitars Debuts "Monte Pittman Signature" Guitar At NAMM 2012
- Monte Pittman talks about his career and new guitar on MetroSeeker.com
- "Monte Pittman – Madonna". Orange Amplifiers. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- Monte Pittman's pedalboard. Axestaticprocess.wordpress.com (August 2, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- TC-Helicon Artists. Tc-helicon.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Fishman Artists. Fishman.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- Take One (album). Wikipedia (December 3, 2009). Retrieved on December 27, 2011.
- Nicki Richards ''Nicki'' Album Credits. Newsli.com (February 25, 2009). Retrieved on November 30, 2011.
- "Monte Pittman to receive Career Achievement Awards". Montepittman.com.