These heavy rockers aren’t confined to one genre

Carissa Bowlin

This is one band that does not feel Trapt into a sound. Trapt brings its new album’s sounds to the Agora tomorrow night.

Credit: Ben Breier



Where? The Agora Theatre & Ballroom

When? Friday, 7:30 p.m.

How much? $17


Jazz is probably not a genre of music that comes to mind with a band like Trapt, whose use of melodic, heavy rocking hooks won them the spotlight while they were still in high school.

But Aaron (Monty) Montgomery said, any genre of music isn’t really too far from any other.

“Jazz is related (to rock),” Monty said. “The more you get into music styles, the more you find all styles are interconnected on some creative level.”

Monty grew up listening to bands such as Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, and was often in three or four rock bands at a time.

“Pearl Jam’s first album has totally new sounds that redefined rock and cleaned the slate to what rock is,” Monty said. “It was real (music) rather than the ‘hair bands.'”

Monty still does have strong ties to jazz, so much that after finishing high school, he left his Seattle origins and ventured to New York where he majored in the only American originated music form: Jazz.

From there, Monty got a gig jazzing up cruise ships with the genre. Traveling to the warm, sunny climates of Mexico and Florida, Monty did not go unnoticed.

“I got a full ride to school in Miami for jazz,” said Monty. “So I stayed down there and used jazz gigs as my sole source of income.”

While Monty cranked out smooth tunes, the rest of Trapt wasn’t sitting still. Chris Brown, vocalist and guitarist, Simon Ormandy, guitarist and Peter Charell, bassist, were three high school buddies trying to live it up in the Bay Area of California where they felt sheltered and confined.

Trapt was trapped in small town suburbia, playing sports like other high school guys, but the difference was these guys were getting out. Originally, they used Trapt as an outlet for frustration.

As high school juniors, the guys were asked to open for the likes of Papa Roach and landed a demo deal with Incubus’s Immortal Records.

The guys moved onto separate colleges and managed to keep rocking. Brown and Ormandy enrolled in University of California, Santa Barbara, and Charell was away at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The turning point was after a 2000 appearance at Los Angeles’s prestigious Troubadour club. The guys took the first notions of major label interest and ran. Goodbye academia, onto to Los Angeles.

Timing was perfect. A year later, Monty relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. He planned to get back to the rockish roots he grew up with. Then, he met Trapt’s original drummer.

“I was friends with the drummer from before,” Monty said. “He was going to try to do another band and asked if I would meet the rest of the band back in 2002.”

Monty clicked.

“I was already involved in the music scene making a living and always looking for opportunities,” said Monty. “The fact that the rest of the guys grew up together really didn’t affect anything. They were all really cool to me.”

With Monty in stride, Trapt rocked nationally with upwards of 300 shows in a year. With two Billboard Awards for Best Modern Rock Track and Best Rock Track of 2003, Trapt unleashed their No.1 single “Headstrong.” The guys didn’t let down as their follow-up single, “Still Frame,” floated right up to the No. 1 spot on Modern Rock and Active Rock charts.

Now with the 2005 cut, Someone in Control, the momentum keeps building.

“The new album has a general level of growth,” said Monty. “We’ve improved. We’re better than we were.”

Monty can see where his jazz background comes into play when creating the new release. For jazz junkies, track nine, “Bleed Like Me,” might even hint at a funk feel in a few of the riffs, although Monty separates the style from the work he’s doing in Trapt.

“Jazz has a similar thought process,” said Monty, “but it’s not implemented into the style of Trapt. It influences how I change up how I play parts, but people come to see us rock out, not jam (on a musical idea) for two or three minutes.”

The album captures the energy at live shows, and that is really the goal of the band’s performances.

“Expect a ton of energy,” said Monty. “Expect four guys playing our asses off.”

Monty doesn’t expect a concert-goer to take away any certain thing, but he does want the audience to take part in something the entire band loves whole-heartedly.

“Sure, I’ll definitely go back to jazz,” Monty said.

But for now, he’s anything but complacent in an act that begs for comparison. No other band sounds like the “eclectic quartet” ready to shake up the world of rock.

Contact ALL correspondent Carissa Bowlin at [email protected].