Christa Cram speaks with Ryan McDonald of Moncton’s ECMA-nominated punk band The Motorleague.
“If you haven’t heard of The Motorleague, all I can say is we’re a band that you’re not going to fall asleep to,” says drummer Ryan McDonald. “That pretty much sums it up. It’s catchy, it’s rock and roll, and you’re in for a good time.”
The Moncton punk band’s fast live sound, with the help of producer Ian Blurton, was captured on their latest release, Black Noise. They’re coming to town to support the album after stirring up buzz and attention at the ECMAs in Corner Brook earlier this year.
Ian Blurton has produced albums for bands such as Tricky Woo as well as The Weakerthans, and The Motorleague are very pleased with Black Noise’s outcome.
“It was awesome working with Ian. The guy lives and breathes music,” says McDonald.
Blurton wanted the record to sound a little faster then the songs had been prepared but The Motorleague found it easy to work with the idea.
“I didn’t argue with him at all. I just kinda did what he said,” says McDonald. “It’s not like he changed the whole record, just certain little parts.”
The addition of a trumpet on “Hymn For The Newly Departed” was one change that they were very pleased with.
“You almost don’t really notice the trumpet. It’s in there, and if you really listen for it, you’re hearing the trumpet and it sounds great,” he says. “At the end of the song, it hits you really hard and it gives the song a really cool vibe.”
Blurton was trying to achieve a certain sound and knew exactly what he was going for. “He really extracted it from us. He would be firing off – ‘don’t do that, do this instead’ and at the same time I was thinking, ‘woah, where’s wrong with the way I’m doing it?’ When you see the outcome of the record, it sounds that much extra cool and catchy, but still serious rock and roll”
It’s not just the band that is pleased with the record either, their fans are giving lots of positive feedback as well.
“Black Noise is already one of my favorite records of 2009,” wrote Eric Lewis, a music journalist of a well known music blog East Coast Noise. “Hardly a day goes by where I don’t have one of the guitar riffs or choruses on repeat in my head… The Motorleague should be essential listening for anyone who wonders what happened to rock.”
The Motorleague have a pretty hectic schedule line up for Newfoundland. Two shows in Corner Brook on Friday, immediately followed by two shows in St. John’s the day after. Despite this intense schedule, they’re really excited about getting back on the rock.
“It’s going to be pretty insane, but we’re definitely looking forward to that,” says McDonald. “Newfoundland is always a ridiculous time.”
But McDonald is issuing a warning for anyone attending these shows.
“Bring an extra pair of underwear, or some Depends, because it’s like ‘oh man, these guys are so good! …Woah.”
You can catch The Motorleague at Distortion on May 23 at their all ages show from 3pm, or at their bar show at 10pm.