Josh von MOTION DEVICE im Gespräch
Josh von MOTION DEVICE im Gespräch
Wir sind happy, dem Gitarristen von MOTION DEVICE – Josh Marrocco einige Frage stellen zu können. Hier sind seine Antworten!
Hi there. My name is Amir (I’m a drummer myself). As one of the founders of metal-heads.de the music magazine for fans of the heavy side of music, I’m pleased to be able to ask you some questions today to get an insight regarding your band and latest material. Our attitude is: Distortion is our passion! So anything goes, using an electric guitar. Of course, MOTION DEVICE you fit in there for sure…Hahaha! I thank you in advance for the chance to do this interview. My review will be up on our homepage on 17.11.2020 (it´s in German though).
So I wanted to give the people out there chance, to learn more about your band and music. Although I am in contact with music so much, it took until November 2020 to get to know your band. And when I listened to the songs, I thought, it’s worth speaking about the music and everything around the band!
MOTION DEVICE – how it all began…
MH: I can imagine, that many others here in Europe (that is our main territory, as we work in the German language a lot) don’t know about MOTION DEVICE yet. So they all need to get some insight. My review informs readers about the music, but I wanna get a closer look. Can you please tell us, how you started the band and why you decided to „keep it in the family“? I have two brothers playing instruments too, but we never had a chance to play together.
Josh: We all started playing instruments at a really young age. We had a common inspiration, who happened to be my uncle and who was also the rest of the band’s father. He was one of the only musicians in the family and he always encouraged us and inspired us to play. The formation of MOTION DEVICE happened so organically, that I can’t actually remember a specific date or even year! All I can say is we’ve been playing together as a band for about a decade. My friend Alex was also in the band, when we started out.
But he eventually left to pursue other interests. So from that point forward, we became a four-piece and we kept things that way. You know what they say: ‘blood is thicker than water’. I think, keeping it in the family just makes the band that much tighter – but from a relationship perspective and musically.
MH: Is this your first effort as musicians, or have you played in other bands before? Would any musician „from outside“ get a chance at all to be part of your band?
Josh: Each member of MOTION DEVICE played in other bands in our earlier days as musicians. We all attended the same music school. We put together a large band (not all members would play at the same time) that performed at local shows in the area. This was the first-ever band/live experience the members of MOTION DEVICE had. And it played a huge factor in our eventual formation. Once we got a few more shows under our belts we decided to branch off and create our own band together. That band became MOTION DEVICE! We listen to a lot of artists and are inspired by many bands. So the idea of having another musician featured on a MOTION DEVICE track, may be a possibility in the future. We’re very open-minded so we’ll see what the future holds.
Is there a fitting category for your style of music?
MH: I don’t know if you like to categorize or to be categorized. But could you please – to give our readers an idea of what you sound like – find a description of your style of music. I like the mix of a more rock direction and prog elements when looking at your latest album!
Josh: We actually don’t like being categorized into one genre. The new MDIV album includes lots of music, that was influenced by a variety of genres including metal, hard rock, blues, prog-rock, psychedelic rock, and even new age. To us, listening or playing the same kind of thing for too long, gets a little boring. We love to change things up a lot and I think the new album is a perfect example of that. The contrast between soft, slow parts and loud, heavy parts is also so important to our band. Dynamics mean everything to us.
MH: How would you describe your main influences as a band? Do you know the former female band DRAIN? I thought, I found some passages, where I recognized them in your songs. Which is a compliment, absolutely!
DREAM THEATER, ALTER BRIDGE and TOOL as influences
Josh: We’ve never heard of DRAIN before so we’ll have to check them out! As a group, I feel the three main bands that influence us the most are DREAM THEATER, TOOL and ALTER BRIDGE. All three of these bands, from a group standpoint, inspire us to compose music on the same top-tier level as they do. In my opinion, there are few bands that write music at the same level these guys do. Individually, all members of these bands are complete monster players on their respective instruments. So that pushes us to grow as individual musicians as well.
MH: Metal music has gone through various changes in style. I think, the traditional bands and elements are still alive and on the other hand new influences are coming in. What is your opinion? And what are the basic trademarks, that it needs to make it good metal?
What is good metal?
Josh: The question of what is good metal (or any genre of music) or what elements make ‘good’ metal is too subjective to answer. What I will say is, that MOTION DEVICE, as a whole, is a very open-minded band. We have always made stylistic choices within our music from a standpoint of what we believe sounds the best, rather than what will make a track better fit a specific genre. This can be heard, when you listen to ‘Warped’ and ‘Here4You’ or ‘Mary-Anne’ and ‘Sweet Desire’ on the new album.
In some songs, we may follow more of a mainstream sound heard on modern rock or metal albums. While in others we follow little or no structure at all. This idea also carries through to the music, we listen to and enjoy. Personally, I can find equal enjoyment listening to old, classic metal like Ozzy or MAIDEN as I would listening to more modern metal like SLIPKNOTt or BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME.
MH: To me, your music – especially the vocals (voice) – has a quite melancholic touch. Am I right? And if so, can you explain that…
Is that melancholy?
Josh: Sara, our vocalist, has a very unique style and I think it fits so perfectly with the sound of MOTION DEVICE. We hear many fans say, that they love the fact, that they can understand every word she sings. And I think, that might have something to do with what you describe as a ‘melancholy’ sound. Our songs are predominantly written in minor keys, and are usually accompanied by lyrics, that run a little deeper than most rock or metal bands.
I or Andrea will compose the songs on guitar, bass or keys. And once we get David involved on drums, the instrumental portion of the tracks quickly come together. We then let Sara do her thing with the vocal melodies and lyrics. She’s become really good at communicating the feeling of the song with her vocals. If you compare ‘High Road’ to ‘Bleeding Inside’ on the new album I think you’ll hear what I’m talking about.
MH: I bet, the band doesn’t bring in enough money to fill the fridge. What do the four of you do as a day job to stay alive? In combination with that: what are the long-term goals, that you wanna achieve with your music/the band?
Working to fill the fridge and pay the bills…
Josh: I personally work as a full-time electrician and Andrea works full-time with children as a math and English tutor. Sara finished high school during the pandemic and is also working. David keeps himself busy with his new drum channel, that he launched on Youtube earlier this year. And is studying audio/video editing. Our fans are always asking us to go on tour and play more shows.
But what most of them don’t realize is that some of us have real jobs outside of music. We’re really passionate about the music we create and the ultimate goal is to make a career out of it! But we also have to be realistic and do whatever it takes to pay the bills and make a good living. Fortunately for us, our fans have kept our dreams alive through crowd-funding. So you never know what the future may hold. All I can say is that we absolutely love creating music together and I don’t think that will ever stop no matter what happens.
MH: To me, family is very important! How is your family connection (apart from the times, when you make music together in a band)? How does the rest of the family react to your music? Do the older people (grandma etc.) did the sound? How is the support in the family?
Josh: We actually spend a lot of time together outside of the band setting, whether it’s just hanging out or going out to eat at a sushi restaurant – we really enjoy each other’s company. We’ve been a very tightly knit unit since birth. Way before the creation of MOTION DEVICE. And I think that’s what makes us mesh so well as a band. Our parents have supported our music from day one. And I can honestly say without their support the band probably wouldn’t exist today. I think a lot of non-immediate family members still get very surprised, when they hear the band’s music or see us on Youtube for the first time. We’ve actually seen their reactions first hand, when they’ve come to one of our live shows and I think they’re kind of shocked to see, how crazy and passionate some of our die-hard fans truly are.
Together on tour with your idols…
MH: Regarding playing live…what musicians would you love to share the stage with and/or what band would you like to tour with and why?
Josh: I think the bands I mentioned before would be a perfect fit for MOTION DEVICE. If we ever had the chance to open for DREAM THEATER, ALTER BRIDGE or TOOL, I think our following would grow very quickly. In my opinion, I think the fans of those bands would really enjoy our music, and going on tour with any of them would really be a dream come true for us. Another band we all enjoy is MUSE, so opening for them would be really cool as well.
MH: Regarding playing live – festival, club gig or big venue? There are various kinds of gigs to play for a band to play. Small sweaty club gigs, big venues, or even stadiums and then these 3-day-festivals in front of 50.000 to 120.000 people. What kind of performances do you prefer and why?
To play in front of 20.000 people…
Josh: We’ve only played small clubs for the most part so that’s all we really know. We also played festivals in our early days but we were only doing covers at the time. Our recent gigs have been shows that we’ve scheduled ourselves, so most of the people who were at those shows were already MOTION DEVICE fans. Those fans actually funded our mini U.S.-tour in 2018 and so many of them drove or even flew many miles to come and see us play live for the first time – it was an incredible experience. Hopefully, one day, we will know what it feels like playing in front of 20,000 or 50,000 people and it’s probably safe to say I might have to leave my day job for a while when that time comes… haha!!
MH: are there any plans for some touring maybe even in Germany or the Netherlands after this worldwide corona-crisis is over someday? I mean, all being saved and the conditions regarding „the virus“ under control.
Dreams about European concerts
Josh: I know we were planning to play some other cities in North America that we haven’t played yet before the pandemic hit, but the idea of a show in Europe? That would be truly incredible. We know for a fact that after the U.S. and Canada, most of our fans come from Germany and the United Kingdom. Of course, we’ll have to knock Sara out for the plane ride because she absolutely hates flying!!
MH: What were your plans for MOTION DEVICE, when you recorded the new material regarding the future? Are these plans still alive in this worldwide pandemic?
Video shootings instead of live shows – that’s corona
Josh: Besides the live shows, which are on hold for the time being, we plan on shooting a lot of music videos in support of our new MDIV album. Two of them have already been released – ‘VOID’ in September and ‘Blindfold It Away’ in October. We’re looking to release a lot more over the next few months, along with a live streaming show sometime in the new year. Fortunately for us, the pandemic isn’t getting in the way of what we love doing most and that’s creating and releasing new music. Having our own recording studio will definitely help keep our fans happy for quite some time.
MH: The final words are always to our interview partners. Here YOU get the chance to tell the people out there something, that you think is important, regarding music in general, the latest album or whatever. So, here we go…
Focus on the creation of music
Josh: The most important thing I think people need to know about MOTION DEVICE is, our main goal will always be the creation of music. That’s why the recording studio was built. Our fans knew that the funding of the studio along with the release of the new MDIV album was a huge step for the band, because it enabled us to have complete control of our music. Not only did we write and perform all the material on the new album, but we recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered every track and that’s something we’re really proud of. While the dream of the right record label coming to us with the right offer is still on the table, we know that whatever happens, we now have the power to release our own music on our own terms, whenever we want, and that’s perfectly fine with us.
MH: thanx for sharing your time and all the info. I wish you all the best with the album and future efforts and hope to see you perform live on stage at some point. I really miss concerts in general and especially I wanna see some of the great bands, I recently discovered on CD!!
- MOTION DEVICE Albumcover Motion device IV: Asher Media
- MOTION DEVICE Albumcover Motion device IV – Beitragsbild: Asher Media