Introducing: The Motion Poets
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Graduating from a popular music degree course at Edinburgh Napier University, The Motion Poets are looking ahead to life post-academia. The National Student caught up with half of the band - frontman Jonah Stead and bassist Morgan Smith - ahead of the release of the new single ‘Speak No Evil’ and prior to a launch event at Audio in Glasgow on 16th May.
Image Credit: Emanuelle CentiStead explains how the recording process for this single differed from the band’s previous releases. He describes that work in the studio was a “hell of a lot smoother” this time around. Jonah qualifies this – “we’re learning more to know what we want”. He adds that determining this is usually a democratic process, which can be difficult in a band of four where 50/50 splits are common. He and drummer Euan Lyons are often “at musical odds”, but this can help because good ideas come out of the “scrap” – and “there’s usually a scrap”. It’s clear that the quartet’s influences diverge significantly, as a simple icebreaker about what the pair have been listening to reveals. Whereas Jonah mentions the jazz of Ezra Collective and the Cuban sounds of Buena Vista Social Club, Morgan speaks of a recent passion for spoken word: “For our final projects we can do whatever we want, so I’m doing a kind of acoustic-y folky spoken word type thing. A lot of it’s on the more […] not really pop punk. There’s a band called La Dispute […] their early stuff is rooted in emo. I’m kind of more into the lyrics, for the dissertation”. The Motion Poets are bringing fellow Edinburgh self-described “spooky psych” band Choka through to Glasgow with them on the 16th for the single launch. Jonah also mentions Chrystal, a Glaswegian garage punk act, as ones to look out for on the Scottish scene. He also speaks about his work behind the sound desk for Jimi Get Your Funk On’s new single ‘My Soul’. We get to talking about differences between the music scenes of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Jonah dismisses the idea that it is any easier to secure venues in the Scottish capital. He says: “It took us a few gigs to get through to Glasgow […] but we knew a promoter in Glasgow, so that helped […] I can’t really comment. They’re different […] I think Glasgow’s got more of an interest in live music. There is very much like an indie kids’ rock scene in Glasgow. It’s like a breed of people.”
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