Last week HRH had the chance to talk to Saliva guitarist Jonathan Montoya before the band hit the stage at Sammy T’s in Huntsville, AL. I’d never talked to Jonathan before so I was a little hesitant about how everything would turn out. But it went great Jonathan was extremely easy to talk too with a funny sense of humor. Be sure and check out Cinco Diablo when it hits stores Dec 16th.
HRH: You guys are releasing Cinco Diablo on Dec 16th unfortunately the only song I have heard so far is “Family Reunion”. Can you tell me about some of the other songs on the album?
Jonathan Montoya: Yeah, they are a little darker, a little heavier. You know it is the classic Saliva sound, like “Family Reunion” is a classic Saliva staple sound. The rest of it we took a step towards the dark side, though not lyrically. Lyrically the songs are a lot more positive but the music is a little more darker, a little more Alice in Chains you know but it still Saliva. We’ve found our sound and we took the best of all our records and put them together.
HRH: What songs besides “Family Reunion” would you like to see released as singles?
HRH: Everyone is under the impression the title ”Cinco Diablo” is because this is Saliva’s fifth album. But it is actually Saliva’s sixth album is there another story behind the title?
Jonathan Montoya: Well fifth major label release and and there are five members in the band so it could be both.
HRH: Bob Marlette has produced three Saliva albums did the band work with him this time around?
Jonathan Montoya: Yeah we did.
HRH: Is the recording process easier when you have worked with a producer in the past?
Jonathan Montoya: Oh yeah absolutely. I had worked with Bob before in a band called Full Devil Jacket
HRH: You joined the band before “Blood Stained Love Story” was recorded. Was it easier for you going into the studio with the band this time since you recorded and toured for the last album?
Jonathan Montoya: Yeah but I was in the band before, I filled in for Chris Dabaldo and they brought me in no questions asked. I had helped them get a record deal so when my band broke up they called me and we didn’t even have a tryout. Our first show was in front of 33,000 people. It was pretty crazy.
HRH: Were you able to have more in-put in the songwriting and the recording process?
Jonathan Montoya: Yeah absolutely, most of the last album was done when I got in the band. So this time I had a big part.
HRH: In the past Nikki Sixx has written a song for Saliva, does Cinco Diablo have any guest song writers?
Jonathan Montoya: Well John 5 from Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson wrote 3 songs with us but only one made the record. I just wrote 2 songs with DJ and Nikki for Sixx:AM.
HRH: I saw an interview with you on Dean Guitars website and you mentioned a song called “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” whatever happened with it?
Jonathan Montoya: It didn’t make it, man we had so many songs that some didn’t even get to be heard. But that was one that Josey and me really wanted to push but it’ll end up somewhere, sometime. We’re definitely going to record it cause me and Josey were talking about it yesterday and how we want to make sure that happens.
HRH: You’re previous band Full Devil Jacket was from Jackson, TN and the guys in Saliva are from the Memphis area. Did you know the guys in the band before you joined?
Jonathan Montoya: Yeah we did a bunch of showcases with them and actually Full Devil got signed first and I literally dug their c.d. out of the garbage at Capitol Records and gave it to our A&R guy at Island and said “Hey you might wanna check these guys out.” Next thing I know we were doing a show in L.A. and Josey was in the crowd and he told me they got a deal with Island.
HRH: I’ve heard where bands put new members through different initiations after they join. Did the guys do that to you?
Jonathan Montoya: (Laughing) No I think they got initiated not me.
HRH: The Memphis area has a pretty storied past in music history, what is the music scene there like now?
Jonathan Montoya: (Laughing) To be honest Shitty pretty much for all intents and purposes it is pretty terrible.
HRH: I read where you have another band called Supernova Syndicate and an album was recorded but never released what is the status of that project?
Jonathan Montoya: Well maybe someday, hopefully. I wrote or cowrote all the songs and sing, it’s not that much different from what I am doing now. It maybe a little more like Guns N’ Roses mixed with Saliva a little more raw. Still the same big arena rock chrous like Motley Crue. I sound like Marilyn Manson meets Axl Rose when I sing. It’s on myspace if anyone wants to check it out ( http://www.myspace.com/supnernovasin).
HRH: The first leg of Saliva’s tour just wrapped up and it featured Drowning Pool, Tantric, and Jet Black Stare. What was that leg like?
Jonathan Montoya: It went alright you know the first of it was a little tough but you could see as the songs got played more on the radio there were more and more people every night. Finally the last week of the tour we sold out so it’s like finally we’re getting some results.
HRH: The band announced dates for the second leg is the band line-up going to be the same or are there some changes?
Jonathan Montoya: Well right now we aren’t out with anyone, we are just headlining and playing with local openers and stuff.
HRH: Now days a lot of tours are going out with 3 or 4 bands on the bill. Do you think that trend is here to stay?
Jonathan Montoya: Yeah you have to with the economy, you have to pack the bill with known names.
HRH: In the interview on Dean Guitars website I was talking about earlier you said Pantera was a huge influence on you have you had a chance to read Dimebag’s biography that was recently released?
Jonathan Montoya: I’ve got it in the drawer right below me right now.
HRH: What are some of the bands out today that you listen too or would like to take out on the road with Saliva?
Jonathan Montoya: Jet Black Stare, I really like them. I can’t think of anymore that stick out in my head, that is why I don’t listen to radio anymore they don’t give new bands a chance, that is why I like Sirius so much you do get to hear something different.
HRH: What are some of the bands you would like to take out with Saliva?
Jonathan Montoya: Uh I don’t know…I know I would love to go out with AC/DC!
HRH: Saliva’s music has been used in everything from video games to wrestling soundtracks and theme songs and Sony promoted the heck out of the Playstation 3 with ”Ladies and Gentleman”. Do you have some unique promotions planned for Cinco Diablo?
Jonathan Montoya: Oh I’m sure we do but we don’t have anything to do with that. Our management takes care of all of that.
HRH: Is there anything you would like to say to the fans before we let you go?
Jonathan Montoya: Yeah buy the record don’t download it!! Buy the record and help a starving musician out!!
Saliva is back with their 5th release, Blood Stained Love Story. Saliva has upgraded their sound for this record. This disc has more of a main stream sound than the nu-metal songs of their past. I decided to give this disc a look due to Saliva’s excellent debut at 19th on the Billboard charts. I have liked some of their songs in the past, and “Ladies and Gentleman” is a song that you can not ignore.
I am betting that you will hear quite a few cuts off of this “Blood Stained Love Story” on mainstream rock radio. This reminds me a lot of Stone Temple Pilot at times, but then at times ventures into something completely different.
I tend to lean towards the harder edged tracks like “Ladies and Gentleman”, “King of the Stereo”,”Twister” and “Black Sheep”. The Nickelback like “Starting Over” is also pretty good.
I found the slower tracks some boring, and I didn’t think there was enough to help Saliva stand out from the countless other sound-a-like acts on the radio.
This disc probably will not set fans of big hair hard rock on fire, but if you enjoy some of the groups enjoying main stream rock radio success today like Hinder, Nickelback and Daughtry, you will want to check this disc out. Is this Saliva’s best CD? No, not by a long shot, but those with an open mind will find some tunes to enjoy.
You can listen to some of the bands new tracks here!
- Ladies and Gentleman
- Broken Sunday
- Never Gonna Change
- King of the Stereo
- One More Chance
- Going Under
- Black Sheep
- Starting Over
- Here With You
- Is It You (Bonus Track)
- Write Your Name (Bonus Track)
Josey Scott – Vocals
Wayne Swinny – Guitars
Jon Montoya – Guitars
Dave Novotny – Bass
Paul Crosby – Drums