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Tim Montana, a fast-emerging country rock star, true American patriot and strong supporter of the LEO, first responder and military community sat down with LET for an exclusive interview .
Tim, who nearly enlisted into the military, found an opportunity to enter the music business and went on to write several country hits that has garnered millions of views and downloads- many of which depicted his strong support of the law enforcement, first responder and military community.
Amid his newfound success- which is still growing- he stayed true to himself and his commitment to support those on the frontlines.
Many high-profile stars claim to be supportive of the working class and frontline heroes, but quickly forget their roots and move on to other things.
But not Tim. ]Follow his IG here].
He came from the working class and still knows what it’s like to be a first responder.
He grew up with an appreciation for those who serve, has himself served, too, and now has written several music hits to honor and appreciate those who currently protect and serve our great country.
Check out this hit honoring those who serve.
Tim took the time to sit down with LET while performing at New Jersey’s iconic Starland Ballroom to talk about his path to music stardom, his support for LEO’s, and even what he was doing on the morning of 9-11.
LET: Why do you call yourself Tim ‘Montana’?
“Like the state, I was born and raised there and spent most of my life off the grid. I didn’t watch a lot of TV. I just spent a lot of time in the woods and when it was dark out, I’d light a lantern and play the guitar.”
LET: You had a tough childhood. How did that shape who you are today?
“I think it helped [prepare] me for the music business- that kind of ‘no quit attitude.’ It’s pretty tough when you put your heart and soul in [music] and Nashville’s like, oh, that sucks, try again. I was like, Oh, I’ve heard that my whole life. It’s not a business for sensitive people. I think that tough upbringing kind of designed me for this stuff.”
LET: You almost enlisted in the military. What happened?
“When I was at 17, I had the recruiters coming up constantly and I thought they were my buddies. Looking back like, they [just] wanted me to sign the paperwork. My mom was like, ‘absolutely not’. And I just kept bringing the recruiters up.”
“I was at that age- running in combat boots, lived off the grid, went out in the woods, my rifle, and just hunted 24/7. I felt like a prime candidate to do something like that.”
LET: What’s the process of getting into music school and what was it like there?
“I recorded a tape playing guitar and I get a letter that I’ve been accepted to Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood. I’m like, okay, that’s the path for me. So, I went to music school.
Now, looking back, I’m pretty sure if you pass the financial aid program and got a loan, anybody can get in.
I’m like, How the f*** did this guy get in here? I thought I was mediocre, this dude sucks.
[But] I didn’t want to do music theory and music reading. That’s the boring part, the non-sexy part of music. I just kind of pick and choose what I wanted to do. Living in Hollywood after spending my entire life off the grid and moving all alone to Hollywood, California- that was f****** crazy, I’ve never had a microwave!”
LET: Did you adapt well after music school?
“I never finished. I ended up going home. I took a Greyhound bus from Hollywood back to Butte, [Montana] for a summer. In the back of my mind, I was like, I don’t know if this Hollywood thing’s going to work, so maybe this military thing is a better option.
I had a Harley and just went riding downtown and got rear ended by someone doing 60 miles an hour. That’s shattered my left leg, tore my ACL, went through a windshield, and I was like, okay, that was f****** aggressive, almost killed my ass. We practiced all summer, made a music video that’s funny- it’s with me on crutches just completely hobbling around. Then I went back to Hollywood and I met a guitar player from Nashville. It was like peace, I just f****** bailed on Hollywood and went to Nashville.”
LET: One of your music videos shows support for the law enforcement community. What message do you want to send them?
“Man, I’ve just always been a supporter. I was a volunteer firefighter when I was a kid and just always had much respect for the cops.
I’ve just always had respect for anyone that’ll grab a gun or run into a burning building or do something courageous. And it’s just not even a second thought. I’m just like, I put my life on the line for you. So, with the things happening in the world, in the country right now, just seeing those guys get shit on all the time kind of breaks my heart.”
LET: The 20th anniversary of 9-11 passed last year. What were you doing on 9-11?
“I remember exactly what I was doing on 9-11. I was driving a 1991 Mercury Topaz from the ranch to Butte, Montana. I remember coming down the hill and here’s the crazy part with the DJ- it was Tom O’Neil. Tom O’Neil is Rob O’Neill’s brother, and he was the DJ in my local station.
I’m driving down Woodville Hill on I-15 in Montana and he goes, there’s a plane crash report that just happened in New York City. And I’m like, Huh? I turn the radio up and I’m just listening.
As I’m pulling up to school, I hear on the radio say, I see that another plane just hit the other twin tower. And I’m like, oh my God, this is terrorism, it got us.
I’m like, guys, guys, guys, God, what are you doing? Something big is happening in New York. It’s like a terrorist attack. There’s something going on.
And I remember he [the teacher] rolled out this old TV on wheels that we’d watch training and mechanic videos on, and we dialed into the news, and we just stopped in our tracks, holy shit, this is real.
Then, years later, Rob O’Neil [was the one] to kill bin Laden. And the first time I heard about it [9-11 attacks] was from his older brother, Tom. It’s just kind of bizarre, putting that all together later in life.”
LET: You eventually got to know Rob O’Neill personally.
“I didn’t know that Rob existed at that point. I didn’t even know who Rob was. I just knew Tom O’Neill was the DJ. And two years later, I was 18 or maybe a year later and I recorded a song. I went to Tom O’Neill’s studio, and I’m like, who’s the guy on camera on the wall? And he goes, Oh, he’s my brother. He’s a Navy SEAL.
I was very into Navy SEALs. I said, what team? And he’s says, I don’t know, but he lives on the East Coast and I’m like, Oh! He’s a six guy. And I said, can I send him a care package?
So, without knowing any of this, I sent Rob a CD of a song I wrote called Freedom’s Never Free. Then I started sending him stuff overseas.
Then he gets out [of the Navy] and he’s like, Hey, by the way, I’m about to break a crazy story. Then I thought of what Tom said [about the 9-11 attacks] on the radio and Rob’s the guy that smoked that dude [Bin Laden]. Like, what the hell, it’s kind of bizarre.”
Tim continues to support the law enforcement, first responder and military community and is always giving. Make sure you give him a follow to show your support, too.
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