Whenever Rob Montejo needs a pick-me-up, all he has to do is play “Not About to Lose It,” the first single off Love American Style’s debut Oxygen Records album “undo” (out Oct. 14).
The song is a personal anthem for Montejo, former leader of Smashing Orange, a rock group that got eaten alive during its brief stint on a major record label several years ago.
“It reminds me not to give up,” Montejo said recently from his home in Delaware. “I know that sounds corny. I wanted to continue to play music and be in a band and write songs. I didn’t want to give it up, even though that was a pretty big letdown.”
A combination of things led to Smashing Orange’s downfall, Montejo said. The A&R person who brought them to MCA left within two weeks of signing them; they had a bad manager, and “all the wrong things that could happen happened,” Montejo said. It led to strained relations within the band.
After the breakup, Montejo moved on with his life, returned to his native Delaware and eventually hooked up with bassist Steven Haley and drummer Bob Furlong to create Love American Style. On “undo,” it’s an edgy, dreamy and bold style.
“It’s a rebirth,” Montejo said of the album. “I wanted to shed everything that’s familiar to you, shed your world and break it down … and start over again.”
What kept Montejo going, even after Smashing Orange got squashed?
“Just the desire to be a successful musician, I guess,” he said. “It’s my dream to write, play and make a living out of making music. I didn’t want to give that dream up. I’m still young; there’s plenty of time for me to keep on fighting.”
BWF (before we forget): Embrace Love American Style on the Web @ www.oxygenrec.com.