Marching Band Emo

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Monty Are I’s Andrew Borstein says that the Rhode Island emo rockers decided to include the decidedly un-emo-like horns simply because the instruments were handy. The five friends, all in their early twenties, played in high school marching band together. When they formed a rock group eight years ago, they hitched a ride on the ska-revival bandwagon. Then they got bored with the genre’s limitations and decided to go take a louder, more direct approach to their music. But they kept the horns. “We grew up,” says Borstein, the group’s keyboardist and trombone player. “We started listening to other stuff, but we liked the way [the horns] sounded.” @cal body 1:On its debut album, Wall of People, Monty Are I laments lost loves and broken hearts over churning pop-punk guitars. Borstein says growing up in Providence -- not exactly a rock bastion -- helped shape the CD’s brawny sound. “There just aren’t a lot of bands and clubs there,” he says. “It’s difficult for local bands to get started. But that helped our work ethic in the long run. We had to work harder.” Like many emo bands, Monty Are I had a loyal, internet-driven fan base long before Island Records picked up Wall of People. “All of our fans end up becoming our friends,” says Borstein. Even two name changes over the past couple years hasn’t deterred listeners from finding them. First, they were called Monty’s Fan Club -- named after a favorite high school teacher. Then they became Monty. Another band owned that name, so now the quintet is stuck with Monty Are I. “We’re keeping this one for the rest of our lives -- hopefully,” laughs Borstein. Still, there has been some backlash -- a common quandary when dealing with fickle MySpace-bred supporters. “Kids were hoping we were still a ska-punk band,” he says. “But we made more fans in the six months we’ve been touring than we did in five years as a ska-punk band.”
Fri., Dec. 22, 6 p.m.
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