I am old. In much I still live in the age of “tape trading and word of mouth” in my mind even though I do use the social media to keep checking out new bands, like Canadian MOTION DEVICE. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
-Motion Device came from the Greek myth of Orpheus. He played a small harp-like instrument called a lyre and he could move people, animals, even mountains and the gods themselves with his music. The band’s goal is to create the same effect with their music – moving people on the inside. The sounds create the vibration or ‘motion’ that moves people – the ‘device’ is the music itself. Whether it’s right or not to anyone else it doesn’t really matter to us… it’s the right name for Motion Device.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-The band has always strived to be as diverse as possible. Although we covered a lot of metal bands in the early days, we really never thought of ourselves as a metal band. We like to think we’re more like a Rush, Dream Theater, Tool or even Muse for that matter. Lots of ups and downs, various styles, with a good dose of heavy riffs to keep you on your toes. There’s no doubt we like to rock out but we don’t like to be classified or pigeon-holed into one genre – if you like the music that’s all that matters to us.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Sometimes it’s necessary to play slow or soft in order to set up the fast and heavy stuff. That’s just good music or songwriting in our minds. We’re always trying to mix things up on an album or even a single track for that matter. We love the peaks and valleys approach.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-Of course the goal is to play the music on as big a stage as possible but for now we have to take what we can get. In all honesty the young ages of the band members and the type of music we play sometimes gets in the way of landing gigs in clubs, bars, etc. We don’t really play the kind of music you can dance to and we’re not keen on playing a run-down tavern in a sketchy part of town. Frankly we would rather focus on writing new material and making videos for the world to see. That’s not to say we’re not ready to play live – we practice religiously every week and we know the live shows will happen soon enough. Build it and they will come as they say.
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-It would have been nice to have the luxury of more time, but that’s probably something most bands would say about a lot of albums. All in all we are very pleased with the results when listening to ‘Wide Awake’ but things always pop up after you’ve listened enough times and that’s inevitable. The point is to enjoy the process and make notes of what you might do differently in the future.
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Obviously for Motion Device the most important tool so far has been social media. We’re not sure where we would be if this was 30 years ago but then again music labels were a lot more willing to take a chance in those days so who knows. Now things are very different in the music industry and it’s constantly changing. Instead of complaining about the way things are, you have to take advantage of what’s in front of you. Crowd-funding has been huge for us. All three of our album releases so far have been completely funded by fans from all over the globe – that in itself would have been impossible years ago. Youtube has been a big part of the band’s journey so far but it sometimes works against us as well. We cringe sometimes at some of the old covers we did when we were so young but we understand that’s what brings in new fans and hopefully when they hear the original material they become even bigger fans. We like to think that’s usually the case or so we’ve been told.
To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-The album cover should give the listener an idea of what’s inside but it needs to be done right. In the case of ‘Wide Awake’ we’re dealing with a concept album with a lot of music – probably more than double what you would normally expect these days. So the journey on this album was something we kept in mind when it came to cover design and overall look. We love to put a little mystery in our music and artwork so when you look at ‘Wide Awake’ you get a dark city skyline, a tornado and a woman in a red dress swimming along with a top hat and joker’s card floating in the water. Oh yeah and don’t forget the rabbit tattoo on the woman’s ankle. If you listen to the album we think a lot of that imagery becomes pretty clear but in the end it’s left up to the interpretation of the listener and that’s how it should be. What means one thing to you and me might mean something completely different to someone else and the same goes for the artwork – that’s what art is all about.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-Although we’re from Canada, our biggest fan base, by a long shot, comes from the U.S.A. What’s interesting is we have a huge following in Europe as well. We’re shipping CD’s and merchandise to Germany, England, Sweden and other European countries on a weekly basis so it’s pretty obvious that our music resonates with Europeans. We also have a lot of fans from South America and of course Canada. Music is universal so it’s no surprise to us that the fans are listening from everywhere but again that’s where the internet has helped us out a lot. We might not be in a position to tour the world just yet but that doesn’t mean we can’t get the music heard by as many people as possible.
I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-We touched on this before but the most important thing to us is making music – period. We would love the opportunity to play more live shows but that scene has definitely changed over the years. Just like the biggest CD chain store in Canada recently closed down, the live music venues are starting to disappear as well, especially the smaller ones. However, we still believe that playing live and seeing a band live, especially a rock band, is what real rock and roll is all about. There’s nothing that can replace the connection a band creates with their fans when they play a live gig. Although we’re building a good size audience online, we know that the real goal is to get out there and see our fans in person. You could say for now, we have a plan to do this thing our way, but the days of touring and playing live shows in Canada, U.S.A., Europe and beyond, are hopefully just around the corner.
What does the future hold?
-We don’t dwell too much on the past or future. All we know is we’re here to make music that effects as many people on this planet as possible and the journey will continue whichever way it wants to.