The Volt Per Octaves
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The Volt Per Octaves

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The best kept secret in music


"MOOGsters of the Week"

"Never trust anybody who doesn't have a tattoo of what they study," says UCSB professor Milton Love, who studies fish and has a tattoo of one on his arm. Nicholas Montoya, who plays an analog synthesizer called a Moog alongside his wife Anna in their band the Volt per Octaves, has a tattoo of the famous Moog logo on his arm.

The Moog, named after its inventor Bob Moog, is the 1960s predecessor to today's ubiquitous digital synthesizers. The Moog (pronounced with a long o, like "stoked") and its precursor, the Theremin, were the first instruments to use solely electronic circuitry to make music, now a pervasive process in music-making. The Montoyas play several Moogs, including the company's flagship 1971 Moog Prodigy, a clunky wood- and steel-encased synthesizer with keyboard.

The Prodigy is so rickety, and the band's spaceship sound is so strange, Montoya says musicians playing modern, digital instruments often don't know what to do when the Volt per Octaves take the stage. "Keyboardists say, 'What the hell's that guy doing? He's just bringing out his old shit to show off!'" But the fact is, digital synthesizers still cannot reproduce the extremely deep bass sounds possible on the analog Moog, which "can almost do anything humanly audibly possible," says Nick.

The Volt per Octaves, who play regularly at Elsie's, will experience a range of Moog possibilities at the second annual Moogfest at BB King's in Times Square on May 31. The band earned the right to open the festival by winning an international Moog music competition, part of the "huge analog revival." While the Volt per Octaves will open for the likes of Edgar Winter, Bernie Worrell, and Money Mark, Anna says the band is most excited to meet "the Man: Bob Moog."

- Paul Rivas , Santa Barbara Independent
May 26th 2005

Note : The flagship Moog was the Minimoog not the Prodigy. Paul got confused
- Paul Rivas / Santa Barbara Independent

"Moog Beat (in Fringe Beat Section)"

THE MOOG BEAT: Synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog (rhymes with "vogue") is one of those strange, enduring American icons. He has tentacles in the nerdy subterranean world of electronic music history. But he also remains accessible to new generations who have rescued Moog from the annals of instrumental obsolescence where the digital keyboard age might have conspired to leave him.

You can also find Moog in his booth at the annual NAMM show in Anaheim, kindly holding court and hawking his new line of products, including his Theremin and Moogerfooger ring modulator. Retro synth sounds never sounded so good.

Moog lovers will descend on B.B. King's Blues Club in Manhattan's Times Square on May 31 to hear the variety of Moog-based musical possibilities in the 2005 Moogfest. The local angle: On the bill will be Lompoc's own Moog-fueled band the Volt per Octaves. Nicholas and Anna Maria Montoya, partners in life and music, command the Moogs in the band, also with bassist J.T. Wild and guitarist Tom Brown. (got e?

- by Josef Woodard / Santa Barbara Independent

"Making all the right Moogs"

By Neil Nisperos - Staff Writer

5/4/05 You could say this Lompoc couple is out of this world.

Well, at least for the otherworldly sounds they make with their musical instruments.

Nicholas and Anna Maria Montoya play the Moog, one of the first widely used keyboard synthesizers.

For 30 years, the science fiction-sounding Moog has been used for everything from jazz and pop to funk music, Nicholas Montoya said.

Many may not be familiar with the name Moog, which rhymes with rogue, but you most likely have heard the synthesized instrument played in songs by Parliament, Funkadelic, Pink Floyd, Dr. Dre rap tunes, and even the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

The instrument was invented in the 1960s by Dr. Robert Moog and manufactured and sold from 1970s to the early 80s. A reissue Minimoog synthesizer was recently released.

The Montoyas, bassist J.T. Wild and guitarist Tom Brown, are part of the Moog band "The Volt Per Octaves," which occasionally perform at venues in Lompoc such as Sugar Magnolias and South Side Coffee Co. as well as Santa Barbara.

"I bought my first Moog four years ago and I've always been in love with the sound of the Moog even though I didn't' know what it was always," said Montoya, who has the "Moog" tattoed on his upper left arm. "I just grew up listening to the music my mother played in the house that had a lot of Moog Synth - like for instance Stevie Wonder. The Beatles also used a Moog, most notable in "Here Comes the Sun."

Montoya said Dr. Moog's invention has proved highly revolutionary.

"Stupid little ring tones on minuscule cell phones and all the synth stuff in the 80s is based on technology created by Robert Moog in the 60s," he said.

Montoya said the goal of the band is to spark peoples' interest in vintage synthesizers.

"People take for granted a lot of how audible electronic music started and now all the hip hop and pop music being made is mostly from digital new wave synthesizers and samplers, but the Moog is the roots."

He also said the Moog, an analog instrument, has advantages over it's digital progeny. Analog was used on the old vinyl long-playing albums and on cassette tapes.

"Analog is more pleasing to the ear for the audiophile, and no pun intended, it's also more pleasing for the audio file," Moog said. "The most sought after sound that the Moog makes is its extremely deep bass at almost subsonic frequencies. When it comes to the Moog's bass, even more sophisticated digital synthesizers of today can't reproduce it, because the Moog is analog."

The Volt Per Octaves plan to release an album in mid-June to be sold at Morninglory Music and may even open up the Moog Synthesizer Festival in NYC's Time Square this May, after applying to the festival.

The band's next gig is on May 10, 10 p.m., at Elsie's bar at 117 West De La Guerra, in Santa Barbara.

Staff writer Neil Nisperos can be reached at 736-2313, Ext. 108, or by e-mail at

To view the actual newspaper clipping visit : - The Lompoc Record


88MPH EP - 2005- Putrid Records


Feeling a bit camera shy


In a quiet region of California's central coast, the husband and wife duo "The Volt per Octaves" have certaintly made a dent in their dream.The dream of bringing Moog synth to the masses has fueled a long strange journey for the young couple. Anna and Nick Montoya have turned the clocks back on the digital revolution to join the great analog revival. In doing so they have created a hearty following of hip youth that gather frequently in Santa Barbara, California's (far removed from L.A, but still too close) bar and night club scene.

Nick and Anna met in 1997 at age 14. Three months into their freshman year of high school they found out they were to become parents. Knowing that such an event could bind them together forever they decided to follow through with young parenthood. Fast forward to eight years later, their six year old daughter Eva is the only known first grader that can play "Popcorn" on the Minimoog synthesizer while attenuating the filter cutoff with serious know how.

Anna's musical background stems from her parents love of music. She grew up on a farm in a tiny town call Standish, in north-eastern California. Her mother taught her piano, while her fathers superb drumming gave her the rhythym to keep it all together. As well as being influenced by the music her older brothers were listening to in high school. Bands like Bauhaus, Aphex Twin, Skinny Puppy and Portishead gave her a new perspective on music. Anna started performing with her father's band at the ripe old age of ten. In high school, between juggling parenthood and homework, she found time to front her brothers rock band "Fluid 9" and with amazing crowd control! With the audience mesmerized by her voice, smile and blue vinyl pants Anna decided persuing music could be benficial to her life force.

Nick however comes from somewhat a musician-less family and had to put the pieces of his musical life together in other ways. He grew up in Pasadena California, a suburb of Los Angeles. His father listened strictly to classical music, while his mother on the other hand loved music of the 60's and 70's. His earliest musical memories are of musicians ranging from Steve Winwood to Stevie Wonder to Bach. But with the influence of his older sisters, he started listening to bands like "Primus" and "The Red Hot Chilli Peppers" as early as age eight.He started his first band,"Putrid Existence" when he was eleven and produced their first two albums on a karaeoke machine by age twelve. He recalls that his love for the Moog synth started by hearing "so much of Los Angeles' pop radio stations in the 80's" and " listening to my mom's albums". In 2003 Nick professed his love for the Moog to the world by getting the company's logo tattooed on his arm.

Since starting The Volt Per Octaves, with the intention of at most playing a few local gigs,
the band has taken it a bit farther than that. In May 2005, they won the right to play their Moog music
at the 2005 Moogfest that is held annually at BB King's Blues Club in the heart of New York City's
Time Square. Upon returning home, the band was contacted by Keyboard Magazine and have recently been interviewed by contributing editor Steve Fortner for a feature due out by late 2005 or early 2006. Getting press of this caliber is a challenge for bands with high paying recording contracts, but this unsigned partnership of life and music has seemed to pull it off.