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Their recent two-night run at Denver’s Ogden Theater was certainly no exception. Prior to Friday’s initial performance I spoke with drummer and bandleader Dave Watts about the band’s new album, Totem, his reaction to Donald Trump winning the Presidential Election and much more.
How would you describe The Motet’s sound to someone that’s never heard your music before?
Dave Watts: Sometimes we refer to ourselves as “RDM” or “Real Dance Music”. I mean, I love the fact the electronic dance music is so huge and all these DJ’s are blowing up. It’s only gotten people more interested in dancing at a live show. I feel like I’ve been playing dance music my whole life, so to see a new generation gravitate toward funk is exciting. Whenever kids go to a show to dance it only helps us by making them more receptive to what we’re doing. They realize that bands can make people dance too and before long they’re front row at one of our shows.
You have a new lead singer in the band, Lyle Divinski, how has that transition been?
Dave Watts : Well, he’s been with us a little under a year now. We’ve got quite a few new tunes under our belt that he’s (Lyle Divinsky) written. Throw in a few new covers and it’s a completely different set than you would’ve seen from us just a year ago. Our approach is still very much the same however. We still want to play dance music, to improvise and to create a positive space for our audience to enjoy some funk.
What’s been the most personal song for you throughout this?
Dave Watts: Oh, that’s a good question. Truthfully it changes almost every month. Right now though, I’d have to say “The Truth” is up there. The lyrics are killer, the tune is awesome and it has a lot of different areas to be creative with solos in it.
Any pre-show rituals that people might not know about?
Dave Watts: Definitely. I don’t drink alcohol anymore, but we used to go through 5 bottles of Jameson a night. Obviously a few of the guys still partake in the debauchery, but having a chance to step back like I have is great because I’m the one that remembers all the shenanigans now.
What’s been the most surreal experience for you?
Dave Watts: I’d say Jam Cruise is always very surreal. I always do the “positive legacy” as well where we basically go out to these tiny villages and give them a bunch of musical instruments as an offering of sorts. One time we went to Jamaica and did that and just ended up eating this goat head soup and playing drums with these little kids in the hills. It was just incredible.
What’re your thoughts on Donald Trump winning the presidential election?
Dave Watts: I think everyone is still in shock really. It feels like we as a country have become so obsessed with reality television that it has in fact become our reality. It’s honestly as if we’re living in the movie “Idiocracy” at this point.
While the future of the country may be in doubt, The Motet’s seems as bright as ever. While the voice of The Motet has changed, their incredible live instrumentation has only improved. Their undeniable talent has helped them to build a loyal fan base that grows daily. If you happen to live in one these lucky cities then I definitely suggest you going to get funky with The Motet if you get the chance. You can start by breaking out some dancing shoes and brushing up on their latest album, “Totem”, below. Enjoy.