Interview: Motopony

Let’s start with this fantastic new video for Motopony’s first single “King of Diamonds.”

The music of Motopony – thanks to the principal collaboration between frontman Daniel Blue and producer/ keyboardist Buddy Ross – expands the possibilities of the singer/songwriter genre in a unique way reminiscent of The Postal Service and Frightened Rabbit. Simple, lyrically driven songs like “King of Diamonds,” “June,” and “God Damn Girl” propel forward with rich, creative backbeats and overdubs, resulting in some striking juxtapositions.  Most of these layers are in warm tones, percussion fills, or even the sound of popping bubble-wrap, which create a classic-yet-modern soundscape more interesting than the currently overused reliance on big synth sounds. The pacing of the record keeps you guessing as well – breaking up beautiful sad songs with groove-based rockers like “Seer.” In the live setting, Daniel Blue is an intriguing figure, demanding full attention with the almost possessed way he sings and moves on stage.

It was a pleasure to sit down with frontman Daniel Blue to learn more about the history of Motopony in the context of my favorite themes – beginnings, transition, and community.  Enjoy these text excerpts and the full interview below, or download one big mp3/podcast of the entire Motopony interview by clicking here. (31.64 MB).

“I left a lot of my life and stepped into a position where there wasn’t anything else [but music].  I did that because I believed, but I didn’t have [my past projects], I didn’t have a community of people who were interested in my artwork any more . . . I didn’t have anything when I was here.  It was either it had to happen or literally I was lost.  I think those kinds of leaps… I think putting yourself in that position prevents you from sabotaging it in a lot of ways.” – Daniel Blue, Motopony

“This album is an interesting testament to something that is not very indie and not very a punk: a good partnership with businessmen. There’s a myth that you’re not supposed to do it that way, but I think my mind has changed in a lot of different ways – whether it’s artwork and dealing with people who have marketing degrees who work at the label who see your art in a totally different lens and forcing yourself to open your mind to the fact that there might be another reality outside of what you knew in Tacoma three years ago. It’s been a journey and it took a lot of time, and a lot of wresting with those kind of questions: ‘what is selling out? What is success? What’s the best thing for my artwork?’ We are the only people who can answer that.” – Daniel Blue, Motopony

MH: “What is the origin story of Motopony?”

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MH: “What did the arc between the beginnings of Motopony and getting signed look like?”

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MH: “How would you characterize the Tacoma and Seattle music scenes?”

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MH: “What are your experiences in building community around music?”

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MH: “What are some inhibitors to building good community around music?”

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MH: “When we met a few months ago, Motopony had just signed to tinyOGRE and all traces of your album were stripped from the internet to prepare for the re-release. This period of time strikes me as a very bizarre time to be in a band – suddenly without a CD to sell but preparing and biding your time.  What has that experience been like?”

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MH: “What advice would you give a fledgling band in a brand new city?”

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Motopony’s re-worked debut album releases today on CD and Vinyl. Purchase it at your local record store, on Amazon, or on iTunes. Currently on a west coast tour, they will be back in Seattle on June 9 at the Tractor Tavern.

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