Monday, July 03, 2017

Motopony E-Interview

I can't put into word how ecstatic I was when the band 'Motopony' agreed to do an interview with me, they have long been my favourite band, and this opportunity for me is amazing. Due to the guys residing in America, the interview was conducted over Email by the lead singer - Dan.

Lead Singer; Dan
You can follow the band on their Social Media;

Q; Your song ‘Wait For Me’ was featured on the movie ‘The First Time’ with Britt Robertson, Dylan O’Brien, Victoria Justice and Craig Roberts, what was that like?
{The First Time is available to watch on Netflix}
A; When the request came in to use 'Wait For Me' from the director of 'The First Time' all of the sync and licensing questions on the first record were being handled by our label.  We were blowing up and on the road a lot so a lot of things kind of went by me that weren't immediately about me learning how to be a touring musician all the sudden.  So, I actually didn't even realize it happened until someone said, "Hey you know that indy film we said yes to? Well it got picked up by Sony pictures and it might end up being kind of a big deal."   And I was like, "indy film"?  I remember our keyboardist at the time saying "Yeah two kids put on our record and pretty much loose their virginity to 'wait for me'."   I remember being kinda freaked out like, they did what?  Later having a chance to see it, I felt differently...they actually really honored us by making that moment with our music and loosing your virginity is a big deal!  Its nice to know that your music is meaningful to people and that the emotions you were expressing are giving people memory markers for their life's waypoints, or stories about life's any  rate.

There's really not much of a higher honor for a songwriter than to have people attach themselves emotionally to a song...but I have to admit that I didn't get that when I first heard about it.  We were so insecure, well...I was.  Everything felt so fast and so so so fragile.  I was really afraid that people were going to find out I wasn't really a rockstar and that I wasn't really very cool.   Finding out that the Label put our music in a movie about teenagers having sex didn't feel exactly fit into the (albeit false) identity I was trying to conjure on stage to help me get over how terrified I was.  Obviously in the end that movie has really helped get our music out into the world at a strange time when it was hard to get noticed in the sea of digital media.   I'm very grateful, and I'm glad I wasn't in charge because I clearly had no idea and my ego was pretty tangled up with my insecurity till I got my feet underneath me.   

Q; How did the band form?
A; How does a Tiger Lilly bloom? 

Q; If you could tour with any musician(s), who would it be?
A; There's so many factors.  But if the dead could sing....I'd love to have The Doors open for us someday.  The crowds would be diverse and how mystical of a mood would you be in if you had just seen a ghost ask you to light his fire?

Q; What is the biggest crowd you’ve played to?
A; We were told a festival crowd we played to in India was between 10-15k people.  Reports differ, but many of them (at least as far front as we could hear) were singing along to the songs from the 1st record.  

Q; Have you guys got any new albums or tracks in the works?
A; Single 'When We Were Young', drops Aug 25.17  From the upcoming record '50 Katrinas' due out you know...soon after? 

Q; Do you have any pre-show rituals?
A; I kneel.  It's very important for me to remember that I am not the source of my power.  Kneeling is a way of telling your body that you aren't the "highest" being in the room.  It reminds me to ask for and seek a relationship with the power that has shown up in the past, and keep myself a channel instead of seeing myself as a source.  As a band we try to meet eyes backstage and touch each-other, not in an sexual way, just...hold hands in a circle or arms a huddle in football.  What we are doing requires connection, and intimacy, and its better if we establish that before the play starts.  

Q; What’s the best gig/ venue you’ve ever played?
A; Ugh.  Unfair question.  I've a list of top ten or so...but this year?  We played a really transcendent night at "The Bartlet" in Spokane WA last month.  Full room, everyone was in it for every note with us.  My feet hardly touched the stage.   

Q; Ever had any strange run-ins with fans?
Every "run in" with a "fan" is strange.  The stage is set above the's literally a pedestal.  So when we have a chance to interact, sometimes its hard to get people to humanize us.  Sometimes we are still kind of unreal and inhuman.  I love people, and its interesting to think of the times I've met heroes or "famous" people and how difficult it is to know how to I don't blame anyone for it...but it does make the interactions kind of "strange".   Whats even more strange is when someone approaches you, then realizes that they are doing that thing so they overcompensate by acting really cool and aloof and uncaring...but then they are kinda stuck because they did sort of want to come over and feel the gravity or whatever.  Im like.  "AAAHG.  Im just a dork!  Can we talk about scifi? Look, wrinkles and pimples!"  I try to just pass gas right then if I can.  Nothing says "human" like a bodily function.   Just kidding.  I promise I've never farted on any of my fans.  gross, can we talk about something else?

Q; If y’all could only listen to one album each for the rest of your lives, what would it be?
A; Ok look, I know I said I wanted to talk about something else but that just sounds like a real bummer....  Imagine a total bummer situation where you had to get sick of something you love.   Id pick Simon and Garfunkle's greatest hits. 

Q; Vinyl, CD, Cassette, Digital – what’s hour go-to form of listening to music?
A; The van lost its ability to connect to the phone so on tour its all CDs, its fun because everyone has those old-school binder books full of like 400 cds from the 90s.  At home I have a record player but I have to admit that out of sheer laziness we usually just ask the computer to do the work for us.  

Q; Any plans to come over to the UK?
A; Nothing imminent, however we have done well over there and I love London Its a goal to get back, I promise.  

Q; Your first album is my go-to soundtrack to chill me out when I’m feeling stressed – what’s the inspiration behind the music?
A; The death of my mother.  The movement from boyhood to manhood in a patriarchal consumerist nightmare.  Peace in the midst.  

Q; What’s the story behind the band name?
A; "During the Bush years, right at the cusp of the US housing market collapse, I was beginning to straddle the uncanny valley between "poet" and "musician".  At the time I was reading a book called "The Spell of the Sensuous" by David Abrams, wherein I came across a shamanic tradition that suggested that animals, plants, tools, and even stones have a kind of perception and they echo what they are offered.  It was suggested that a life lived in poor relationship with the world around oneself was perhaps the cause of all the sickness, war and suffering in the world.  
Seeing the earth burning and taking this to heart, I decided to experiment with the theory and attempt to "have a relationship" with my (rather small) motorcycle.  I called it "pony", spoke to it as if it were alive and tried my best to respect it as a living thing or at least as a part of life as a whole.  It changed me forever riding my bike that way. It was undeniably more enjoyable to coax and caress the machine like a friend rather than take it for granted like a meaningless gathering of extruded metals, rubbers and gasses.  For the first time I began to see myself as part of the world and not just a user of it. The resulting joy and empowerment of the moment was infectious and thrilling, and I coined the term "motopony" in celebration of the revelation. 
At about the same time I watched a documentary concerning the early years of the band "Dead Can Dance" wherein Brendan Perry attempts to describe the life that he offers a guitar upon playing it.  He spoke of how one can, with intention, imbue inanimate objects with life beyond what was possible outside of the relationship between them...effectually causing a dead thing to dance.  A pen to write, a brush to paint and a string to sing.  This fit the theory of the "motopony" quite nicely and I began to use the word motopony to define any tool that I used respectfully with a relational intention of healing myself and the world."

Q;  What’s the best gig you’ve attended as a fan?
A; Radiohead at the White River Amphitheater circa 2000.  Honestly these days large crowds kinda drain my juice. 

Q; Anything for fans to look forward to in the future?
A; There is always hope dear.  We can all look forward to there being some moment of kindness or an opportunity to offer gentle care that gives even the most dire times meaning and reason to step on through.  Just hang on, there is another side.  Distract yourself by helping those who have it worse than you, you'll find there is much to look forward to. 


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