PHOTO BY JAKE GORST
John Montagna was born on April 18, 1972 in Astoria, New York. His family soon moved to Brooklyn, which became John's true hometown.
Inspired by the great melodic English Rock Bassists such as Paul McCartney, John Entwistle, John Paul Jones, Sting and Jack Bruce, John picked up the bass guitar at age 12. But back in 1984 the Top 40 airwaves were also filled with front-and-center basslines. "White Lines," "Every Time You Go Away," "Borderline," "Hold Me Now," and countless other bass-heavy tracks kept young John next to his boombox thumping his black Peavey Fury, and shaped the way that he heard music.
John attended New York's "Famed" LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, where he pounded both the tympani in the orchestra and bass guitar in the jazz bands. Later, at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, John maintained a busy and diverse musical schedule on- and off-campus. He also studied briefly with bass guitar virtuoso Anthony Jackson, who provided him with insights into the instrument that remain with him to this day.
John's captivating stage presence and natural gift for bold, melodic bass lines have made him one of New York City's most sought-after bassists and vocalists. He has performed and recorded with dozens of Big Apple-based artists such as Francis Dunnery, Amel Larrieux, and Chris Orbach. Additionally, his touring credits resemble a "Who's Who" of classic rock: Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, The Turtles, Micky Dolenz, Denny Laine (ex-Wings), Joey Molland (ex-Badfinger), and Mark Lindsay (ex-Paul Revere & The Raiders) are just a few of the legendary rockers who have enjoyed John's solid foundation on their bandstands.
John has recorded four solo CDs, showcasing his extraordinary talents as a composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, arranger and producer. His genre-defying pop music serves as an ideal context for his fiery bass guitar playing. John performs his own music live on solo bass guitar, extracting more music out of four strings and his voice than one would expect.
Recently, John produced original music for "WTF With Marc Maron," one of the highest-rated comedy podcasts on iTunes. He can also be heard singing the theme songs for two children's television shows, "Oobi" and "Kenny The Shark."
John lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Jill, and their daughter, Francesca. He plays Spector bass guitars strung with Rotosound Strings. He prefers heavy gague (1.0mm) plectrums, a sold-out small venue versus a half-empty large one, and Pellegrino sparkling water with a piece of lime and no ice.