Had a blast on the Civil Unrest Tour 2015! With ILL NINO, MOTOGRATER, STRAIGHT LINE STITCH, THE BLOODLINE, UNLOCO, AND MORE!
Category Archives: Motograter Press
Had a blast playing Knotfest 2014 with Motograter! Here’s some footage from the festival! Live footage and behind the scenes…
In the entertainment industry, they always say there’s no such thing as bad press. In other words, if people are talking about you… bad or good… they are still talking about you. I learned this early on as a struggling musician. The more people hear you, see you, find out about you… the more they are going to form an opinion. I got my first taste of this when my band,The Browning, currently on Earache Records/Century Media Records, got its first big break. When we got our record deal and released our debut album, we would sift through thousands upon thousands of comments on our videos and music and we learned to take everything with a grain of salt. It’s a hard thing to do sometimes, to take opinions and criticism lightly. But for every person that hates your band, there’s more than likely a few more out there that like it or love it.
I’d just like to say that I’ve been a reader of Metalsucks.net for quite some time. Even though they can be brutal to certain artists sometimes, the fact remains that they post interesting and engaging content and are spreading awareness about the metal genre. This isn’t the first time they’ve taken a crack at Motograter. The latest time I can remember was around the time I joined the band and we were gearing up for a West Coast Reunion Tour. They posted an article entitled, “Motograter Have Reunited. Wait… Who are Motograter?”, which can be found here:http://www.metalsucks.net/2014/01/03/motograter-reunited-wait-motograter/ I found it humorous.
However, I’d like to tell MY side of the story. MY Motograter story… It was 2003. Nu-metal was on top and bands like Slipknot, Mudvayne, Mushroomhead were all the rage. Me, being at a young, impressionable age, I was quite taken with the sights and sounds that these bands had to offer. I attended Ozzfest that year and the first band I saw hit the stage was Motograter, fronted by Ivan Moody. My mind was blown. The music struck a chord with me in a way that I will never forget. The commanding presence of Moody… the dark, heavy groove coming from the stage… the tribal rythms of the drums… the band’s mysterious image… I fell in love with Motograter instantly and have been a fan ever since. I immediately went out and purchased their self-titled, debut album and wore that disc into the ground. I was a die-hard Moto fanatic. These bands influenced me to the point that I dreamed and obsessed about being in a band with a similar image and sound… I remember creating a FREE website on Tripod, mapping out my master plan for my made-up project, Skarekrow, which featured Evil Scarecrows and Jack-O-Lantern’s. It’s funny looking back on it now, but I was dead serious at the time. Years later, the very first tour I ever embarked on, was drumming for Pinhed. They called me 2 days before the tour left, because their drummer had just quit. The lead singer had seen me perform with my band, Srlsm, and decided to give me a call out of the blue. I ended up learning their songs by listening to their album on a portable CD player with headphones, in the van, on the way to California from Texas. The first show of the tour, internally, I’m freaking out. I had never been on tour before. Before that I had only dreamed of embarking on an musical adventure of this magnitude, had worked my whole life to get an opportunity such as this… Now I find myself playing the House of Blues on Sunset Strip in Hollywood to a packed house, barely knowing these songs, trying to read my sloppy drum charts through eye-holes, and they’re telling me I’m going to be playing Mushroomhead’s drumset every night on this tour… It turned out to be a tour featuring “Masked Bands”; Mushroomhead, Brujeria and Pinhed. (Pinhed was a metal band out of Houston, Texas that wore black leather armor with spikes, helmets, and masks.) I thought I had made it at the time! The little metal kid in me was freaking out! Fast forward a little… In 2006, I find out that Ivan Moody is no longer with Motograter and has a new project called Five Finger Death Punch. In 2007, I go check them out at a show. I fan-boy out, “That’s the singer from Motograter!” I meet Ivan and get him to sign my Motograter Poster that I had been keeping since forever. He freaks out about the poster, asks me where I got it, and tells me all about the band and what the members are up to… I take a picture with him. Fast forward a little… At some point I end up packing my clothes and my drums into a small, hatch-back car and driving out to Hollywood, California from Dallas, Texas to live in a jam space with my band, Srlsm… we break up… I find Jonny McBee on Craig’s List looking for band members for his project, The Browning… I move back to Dallas, Texas to help get The Browning going… we record an album ourselves and book a tour ourselves… get a call from Earache Records in the middle of that tour… we end up getting signed, make some music videos, and tour the world; Yadda, yadda, yadda… Later, I am no longer a member of The Browning… and then it happens. I see a post about Motograter possibly reuniting, on my Facebook feed one day. I get excited. I casually message the band saying, “Hire me to play drums.” Half serious, half kidding… It turns out that a few members of the band are actually fans of The Browning! They get back to me. This freaks me out. We talk some more and I let the band know how big of a fan I am, and how much I truly LOVE the band. I end up joining Motograter and flying to California to help reunite the band and we do a West Coast Tour together. Nuke, the guitarist, signs my poster at the end of the tour, right before I fly back home… he includes a caption that reads, “You are the reason this band is still breathing.” This was a proud moment for me. It was very rewarding, considering I’ve worked my whole life on this “crazy dream” of mine, and here I am contributing to the revival of a band I idolized growing up… Heavy moment.
If you missed out on the whole Motograter thing, then you probably don’t get it. However, I know I am not alone. There are still A LOT of die-hard Moto fans out there that love this band the same way I do. And that’s why it meant so much to me, joining the band. At that moment, I knew I would do whatever it took to help the band get going again… “Moto lives!” “Moto will never die!” It’s been an honor to be a sliver in the history of this amazing, and ever evolving project. When I saw the announcement for Knotfest 2014 recently… I had that same familiar fuzzy feeling deep down inside. That feeling I got when I saw Pantera for the first time and realized THAT’S what I wanted to do with my life… That same feeling I got when I saw Motograter perform Ozzfest to a sea of people and thought, I want to do THAT someday.
Sometimes, I get inspired and I start to dream. I thought to myself, “What if Motograter could perform Knotfest, with all these amazing bands!?” “What if we play the show and Ivan Moody, (who is fronting one of the most successful heavy bands out right now), catches wind of us performing the show and decides to bury the hatchet and come out and sing a couple tunes with us?!” I can dream can’t I!? I immediately sprang into action and began searching every outlet and avenue I could to make this happen… The reality of the situation is that Motograter, despite all it’s past glory and success, isn’t a hot commodity anymore. Not many people are even aware that the band is still going! It seemed our only hope of playing the show was to play a Knotfest Pre-party and Battle, put on by Pirate Entertainment, in Santa Ana, California. I talked to the promoter and got us on the show. People can laugh and say how sad it is, but to be honest it’s motivating and humbling to be in this position again, especially with a band that has been through so many ups and downs and has been fighting to prevent fading into obscurity. That’s exactly what we are doing. That’s exactly what I am doing. Fighting! Yes, Motograter is playing a battle for a slot on Knotfest. I am not ashamed of that. I’m still just that young, overzealous metal fanatic on the inside that is dreaming big! Every step of the way has been a battle! Nothing has been handed to me. And Motograter isn’t expecting to be handed a slot on Knotfest. We are fighting for it! We are set to perform at Malone’s Bar and Grill on Sept. 28th. The show will be judged by Headbang For The Highway and Sumerian Records, and ONE band will be chosen to perform Knotfest 2014. Yes, we are selling pre-sale tickets! Some attention has been drawn to the fact that I have launched a “fund raiser” in order to make this happen.
First of all, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but “crowd funding” has been used by more bands than I can keep track of, some of your favorite bands have probably used this method to tour, make albums, make dvd’s, and more. I figured if a dude can raise tens of thousands of dollars to make a potato salad, then surely I can help the band get some funds to help us play this show. I launched the Fund Anything campaign as a dual purpose site for people to purchase tickets and/or bundles of tickets… but also, so fans who may not necessarily be able to attend the show can help us with gas money, transportation, and many other things that we need to keep this band alive. We aren’t on a big, fancy record label anymore… We need help sometimes!
So, for all the press sites that love to slam Moto… bring it on! I can only speak for myself, but personally it makes me laugh! No hard feelings whatsoever! I’m actually looking forward to meeting this Axl Rosenberg character at some point, and having a beer with him… seems like a funny guy… To any doubters and haters… I’ve proven you wrong time and time again and I will continue to do so! Thank you! For all the fans and friends of Moto… we love you and can’t thank you enough! Thanks for helping to keep Motograter alive! To Nuke, Mylon, Angel and the rest of the Moto team. I love you guys! Thanks for the opportunity and the amazing experiences so far! Looking forward to more in the very near future!
To anyone reading this currently, if you’d like to contribute to this cause, please visit: http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/get-motograter-on-knotfest-2014
(Update: they posted my letter under the original article today, but misspelled my name on purpose!)