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Music Journeys: Matt Monta

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Matt Monta

The Columbus-based band Matt Monta and the Haymakers celebrate the release of new music Friday with performances at the Rumba Cafe and WCBE. 

Monta and his band will play Live From Studio A during the Global Village. In the latest installment of Music Journeys, Monta tells Mike Foley about the inspiration for the new material. 

MattMonta's passion for music began rising at an early age. His dad would bring out the guitar around Christmastime, and his sisters both sang and played piano. 

"My oldest sister was in show choir, my older sister composed pieces on piano, and dad played guitar at home," Monta reflected. "That's on top of everybody having a different preference for music. As I've gotten older and carved my own way, I can look back on all those various things and how they contributed to the way I write music, but also the way I appreciate music and perform in front of people."

Monta describes his second full length release with the Haymakers as an assessment of where he's come from, especially in the title track Restless Disposition. 

"That is a good descriptor of what music life is like," he said. "You never quite feel comfortable, and that's a good thing. It's stressful, and if you can't deal with it you better find another line of work. Everyone deals with it in their own way. So for me, it's the idea that I've got to move, keep creating, and keep doing the things that are important so that I can continue doing the things that I want to do." 

The 11-track release delves into a number of subjects, including fear. Monta began writing the song I Won't be Scared several years ago out of political frustration. He says it seemed natural to finish the song because of the current climate in Washington. 

"It's a reminder to not let fear dictate the type of life I want to lead and the type of world I want to create," Monta said. "It's an expulsion of the anxiety that's within me. I think there's a lot of anxiety in society in general today."


"I was in Baltimore and someone came up to me and they said I had a traumatic experience and shut off the world and cut off all ties with relationships. She said she texted a friend and said I won't be afraid anymore, and I came to this show and that songs means so much to me. We deal with a lot of things personally that it's easy to shut off the rest of the world and say I'm going to sit in this room because somebody's going to hurt me or get rejected or get hurt, so I think the song works on that level as well."

"At the beginning of 2017, I quit my life as an office worker to do music full time. With that, I picked up weird little habits. Without a job, you have to build your own structure. I have an alarm on my phone that goes off at 5 pm every single day. It just reminds me of where I am during the day. The song goes through some of the mundane things -  what life is like when you're doing something you don't want to do but you have to do." 

For Monta, music represents a way of telling stories that explain what's going on around us. He feels a personal responsibility to create something meaningful. 

"In terms of where I want to go, working with the Haymakers exploring new ways to arrange and create songs that are not only an exciting evolution from what we've done live, but also pushing our own boundaries in the studio," he said. "Using the tools and technology at our disposal to create a richer auditory experience for the sake of the listener and the story of the song." 

Monta says he also wants to tour more and develop new pathways and relationships outside of Columbus while also strengthening the ones he has in central Ohio. 

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. Foley has worked in various roles, from producing news and feature stories to engineering Live From Studio A sessions. A series of music features Foley started in 2018 called Music Journeys has grown into a podcast and radio show. He also assists in developing other programs in WCBE's Podcast Experience. Foley hosts The Morning Mix, a weekday music show featuring emerging and established musicians, our Columbus-area and Ohio-based talent, and additional artists that inspire him.
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