Father Maltbie is not Your Everyday Priest

October 10, 2019

Joey Van Horn ’20

 Most faculty and students around SSM know Father Maltbie as the priest who leads chapel services or the religion teacher who helps lead service activities. What they do not know, is that Father Maltbie was the leading vocalist for a thrash metal band for seven years. 

“The reality is that there are all different types of priests and pastors or religious people,” says Father Maltbie. “It’s fun for me to kind of mess with assumptions.” 

Growing up in Santa Cruz, California, Father Maltbie says he, “was first introduced to music through MTV,” a TV channel that is still on today. It was watching MTV that he first learned about Metallica, a heavy metal band formed in the ’80s. Metallica turned him to many more bands like Faith No More, White Zombie, and Poison.

When living in Santa Cruz, Father Maltbie was first introduced to performing through a soul band named The Inciters. He played the trombone. He then later performed at the profound Whisky a Go Go.  He stated, “From my perspective, there are few rushes better than being on stage and performing, and that was one of them.” 

Father Maltbie then moved to Minnesota in 2001, and it was that March when he met the members of his new band SBI. He was the lead vocalist in front of a drummer, guitarist, and bassist. Later in 2008, he left the band when he went to seminary. 

On August 17, 2019, at the Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Father Maltbie held a concert for his 40th Birthday, inviting friends and family, some he has not seen in 15 years. He booked out the entire Inn, as family and friends watched the original SBI lineup perform. “I was the vocalist and I screamed more than I sang,” he said about the concert. 

When then asked about thrash metal and how it’s perceived, Father Maltbie stated, “You would assume that they are evil or anti-christian but there are other points of view on it.” He then also stated, “I’m okay with aggression and songs calling out injustices. I just get kind of irritated by super anti-religious songs.”

Now as both of Father Maltbie’s children, Huw ’24, and Henrik (a third grader), are getting older he has slowly been integrating his love for music into them and they have responded in a positive manner. He then stated, “I recently came home to my youngest son playing Megadeth, a song called ‘Holy Wars’ rockin’ out on the bluetooth speaker and it was a proud moment for me.” He also noted that he is taking his youngest son Henrik to a 21 Pilots concert in October. He has already taken Huw to Guns and Roses, Tool, and Foo Fighters concerts. 

At the end of the interview, Father Maltbie wanted to make clear that, “It’s important that you try to get over the fear of stepping out and being vulnerable and making music even if it’s mediocre.” 

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    Father Maltbie Performs during a Senior Spring Rock Concert 2018