By Nick Stern, Senior Reporter |Photos courtesy of Facebook.com and Ben Bunner Photography
Before realizing her current dream of getting an education and one day becoming a veterinarian, Veterinary Medicine major, Melynda “Mimo” Montano, spent much of her time performing in an all-female Metal band called Suspended, she said.
It was not until just recently that Montano decided to go back to school and attempt to become a vet.
Before that she was concentrated solely on her band called Suspended, she said.
The band was something that was of upmost importance to her and that pushed education out of the picture, she said.
“I did not go back to school because the band was just so important to me, that I decided ‘I do not need to go to school right now,’” she said.
At first, the band was just beginning to write original music and had no singer, but that soon changed once she joined the group, Montano said. Montano joined the band during her junior year of high school after playing violin in her school’s orchestra and picking up the guitar not long after, she said.
She sang for the band for about a year until the band’s bassist left and Suspended had to look for a new female bassist to maintain their formula, she said.
That left the bands search fruitless, and soon Montano picked up the bass and became the bassist and singer for Suspended, she said.
“When I came along they had one original song with no vocals, and that is where I came in,” she said.
The band’s first gig was at their high school’s talent show before she had joined up, but after she was added to the mix they started playing more and more gigs all around Albuquerque, she said.
“I really love old school death and thrash metal, (such as) Possessed, Overkill, Creator, and Anthrax are what I like and what influenced me,” she said.
They started playing drama shows at their high school and eventually began playing at places like The Harwood Art Center, The Zone Smoke Shop, The Compound, and of course The Launchpad, she said.
“The Launchpad was a really great place, and playing there for the first time was a big accomplishment for us because it was like, ‘any of the good local bands play at The Launchpad, so we need to play at The Launchpad,’” she said.
Montano said that in 2008 they managed to put out a full-length album which they had titled ‘Prelude to Indignance’ and the next fall in 2009 they spent a month touring the country from coast to coast, she said.
They loved to get out of Albuquerque to visit and play in different places and started making traveling a habit by touring the west coast twice, once in 2010 and again 2011, she said.
Montano said that she loved playing in the band and traveling because she got to meet new people, see new cities and discover the different atmospheres the country had to offer, but said she eventually realized she needed to make a change.
Despite the love she has for her music and the life that came with it, Montano came to the conclusion that she needed to begin focusing on her future and decided to quit the band in favor of going back to school, and that she needed a career that would definitely support her, she said.
“I quit the band so that I could go back to school. That was the main reason anyway. It’s a hard decision to make,” she said.
Montano said she is not interested in going back to it for a while, because she does not want to risk losing focus on school.
Montano started going to CNM in May of 2013 and has been getting good grades ever since, she said.
Montano said she has a strong passion for animals and her original goal was to go to school to become a veterinary technician, but after a little while she realized she wanted to go all the way and become a full-fledged veterinarian.
Montano knows there is a lot more schooling involved but she plans on sticking with it and is confident that it will be worth it in the end, she said.
She already has a plan for her future that she believes she has to fulfill, which is to eventually retire from being a veterinarian and purchase land where she will open her own animal shelter with a “no-kill” policy, so that if any animal does not get adopted it will be able to live out the rest of its life at her shelter, she said.
Even though her plans for the future have taken a different direction away from music, Montano said she would still do it all again.
The experience of being in an all-girl band in such a tight knit local music scene was some of the best experiences she has ever had, and she believes that if someone wants to make music for a living then they should do it, she said.
Montano said that she has learned a lot from being in a band.
“It is a lot of hard work, a lot of responsibility. A lot of people think that people in bands do it just for fun, but when you really love it, you are doing it because that is what you want to do for a living, so you put in the extra effort to be able to do what you want to do,” she said.
She still has her bass and her amplifier, and she still practices every now and then, but as of now she does not perform and has no plans to start another project, she said.