CHULA VISTA, CA – No matter your age, it’s always a great time to follow your passion. This is a mantra many of us forget as we grow older, but not Ruben Montoya. Since his early 20s, Ruben has been selflessly producing and engineering music for a variety of other bands, helping them gain notoriety in the local San Diego music scene. But now, in his late 40s, Ruben is finally embarking on a new type of project. His own. This is Chill The Giant.
Chill The Giant
In 2015, Ruben began writing and recording tracks for his debut album under the name, Chill The Giant. What’s in the name? It’s simple, according to producer Rene Ibarra…
Rene: “When Ruben and I thought of the name, we just had “Chill the” and nothing else. Then somehow thought “Giant” was really catchy and the rest was history.”
Makes sense. How did the project begin to form?
Ruben: “I started the band as just me and Rene… but eventually we pieced it together, and now it’s a full band.”
Brian: “So is that you playing all the instruments on the debut album?”
Ruben: “Yes, that was me.”
With an eclectic mixture of pop rock, dance, and electronic music, the album ‘Chill The Giant’ is a clear attempt to create a product that is both catchy and upbeat. But what is not so explicit are the Christian roots that inspired Ruben.
Ruben: “A lot of my lyrics have something inspired from [the Bible] you know?… People might be thinking I’m talking about a woman’s love in my songs, but oftentimes there is an element of God’s love in there too.”
His music is definitely not ‘Christian sounding.’ It isn’t some guy strumming three dull major chords on an acoustic guitar and saying “God is Great” a thousand times over. His songs are more open for interpretation, allowing audiences to extrapolate their own meanings from them.
Ruben: “They don’t always have to know what I’m talking about.”
I suppose the phrase ‘keep your audience guessing’ is something Ruben subscribes to. But it’s deeper than that. He wants to transform positive, Christian rooted music by making it accessible to a wider crowd. No more of the guy strumming three boring chords on an acoustic guitar. These songs have meat. Take one of his top singles, “Rewind”…
I played this song on repeat for a couple of days. Yes, it’s THAT good.
Ruben: “Well you ARE supposed to rewind [laughs].”
Brian: “Is the song inspired by a specific event in your life?”
Ruben: “Very little of it… it’s about anyone who’s messed up with drugs, their family, maybe made bad business decisions… just about going back and making a change.”
Just to clarify, Ruben is not this person. He is a loving family man, raising a daughter with his wife Aida. The song is more about the people he’s seen growing up around him in San Diego.
Now let’s skip to the other end of the musical spectrum…
Brian: “Here’s my theory, ‘Disco Juan’ is based off of John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever.”
Ruben: “You’re a little off on that one.”
Brian: “What was your aim with it?”
Ruben: “I wanted to make a disco song with a story, kind of like a country song.”
Brian: “It’s interesting you mention country, because a lot of your music seems to have a story attached.”
Ruben: “Yeah, but ‘Disco Juan’ is way different.”
It sure is. But still, it fits well into the tapestry of the album, especially as a spark plug opening track. On the other end, Chill The Giant wraps up with a song that potentially looks into the future… called “Viral.”
Ruben: “We made it with the thought that it could be used commercially, or could go along with a viral video someday.”
Judging by the sounds of his stellar debut album, Ruben Montoya might be using this song for his own viral video sooner rather than later. The 49 year old is truly “Rewind”-ing the clock and proving that talent is ageless. Quality music can be produced at any point in life, you just have to be open to your own ideas.
Chill The Giant’s entire album is available for purchase on iTunes.