Interview with Motel Breakfast
ROGUEPR (VIMH): Hi guys, congrats on your new album “Left on Deming”. What is the significance of naming an album after Left on Deming?
Motel Breakfast (MB): The name is a little bit of a double entendre. The studio we recorded "Left on Deming" at is called Treehouse Records, on the west side of Chicago. Most of the band is from the Southside of Chicago originally, so when driving to the studio the turn we have to take from that direction is a left turn onto Deming Place. So in one sense, it's literal directions. In another sense, a handful of these songs were written before we released our self-titled album in February of 2020, but for various reasons they didn't end up making the final cut. And since we recorded most of that album at Treehouse Records, it's some of what was left behind at the studio.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): What do the lyrics talk about? Which are your major lyrics’ influences?
MB: All five band members write, so I won't speak for the other songwriters, but for myself I typically write with the goal of exploring and understanding the way I process interactions with people in my day to day life. Writing is a way of exploring the ambiguity.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): Which are those elements that separate your new album from your previous albums?
MB: I think the big differences were the goals and the songwriting approaches. For our self-titled, we were aiming to have a body of songs that all fit together for a project that expressed some of the anxieties feelings of our young adulthood. For Left on Deming, the original goal was to make it a singles project; we thought each song could stand alone well, with engaging melodies and choruses, so they were compiled just because they were single-worthy to us. Left on Deming is the first project to feature at least one song written by every band member.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): How would you characterize “Left on Deming” and what are your expectations from the new album?
MB: "Left on Deming" can be characterized as a singles project - the uniting factor is that we thought each song was strong enough to stand on its own.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): How’s the fans’ reactions been to the new songs on your live shows so far?
MB: Well we haven't gotten to play much of the music we released in 2020 live due to the pandemic, which is unfortunate. When we played album release shows back in February of 2020 though, they were easily our best shows yet (we had our first sold-out show in February). The response at those shows was phenomenal. We did get to do a single socially-distanced show in the fall too, where we got to perform Left on Deming material or the first time, and that went quite well. We are very much looking forward to getting on stage again as soon as the pandemic is behind us.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): Do you prefer to be on the road or on the studio writing and recording?
MB: I don't have a preference personally. They're two different facets of the music that I enjoy in different ways.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): How did you come up with the name Motel Breakfast initially?
MB: The band name was workshopped for awhile. There isn't too much meaning behind it, we just thought it sounded cool and was a good name to brand ourselves behind.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): How would you describe your music style to someone that hasn’t heard of you before?
MB: We were once called "speakeasy americana" and I think that's about the best description I've heard.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in metal history?
MB: Ed Kowalczyk from Live for the best male. Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! for the best female.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
MB: Emotionalism by the Avett Brothers. It does really well capturing the broad strokes of human emotion as a body of work.
ROGUEPR (VIMH): Were you obliged to give just one album to extra-terrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
MB: Well since there already is a record in space that the world chose to sum up human emotion, I will just go with that - Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by Blind Willie Johnson
ROGUEPR (VIMH): If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
MB: The past. No idea where we could go as a world in the future, so I'd choose the devil that we know.
Motel Breakfast is a true Midwestern band, with members split between Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison.
After three years of live shows in the Midwest, the band hit the studio in the summer of 2019 to record to tape at Treehouse Records in Chicago. Produced by Andy Goitia (Sleepy Gaucho), the self-titled debut album (released 2/7/2020) combines some of their most polished songwriting yet with the high energy and chemistry of their live show, making for the first studio effort to give a proper snapshot of the group.
Left on Deming, the self-produced follow up project, is a 6-track EP that was released one song at a time throughout the summer and fall of 2020. With studio goals of tracking live and keeping arrangements simple, the project was pieced together quickly over one summer weekend of recording. The full EP was released everywhere digitally on October 16, 2020.