Music Spotlight: Motel Radio
Indie-rock band Motel Radio released their debut album Siesta Del Sol last month, and the 10-track record is full of transcendent Americana melodies, creating the summer soundscape of our dreams. The band, composed of vocalist + guitarist Ian Wellman, vocalist + guitarist Winston Triolo, vocalist + drummer Eric Lloyd, and vocalist + bassist Andrew Pancamo, is wrapping up tour with Summer Salt and will be bringing their airy sound to the stage at The Fonda on Thursday, August, 15. We chatted with front men Ian + Winston all about the album, tour + what’s next.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your debut album Siesta Del Sol! Can you tell us all about the record?
Ian Wellman: Thanks so much! It had been about three years since we’d last put out music. We were just constantly touring and didn’t give ourselves the chance to hole up in the studio and record. This album is a culmination of music we wrote during that time spent mostly on the road, so there are themes of longing, temptation, and self discovery, which are all things that were very present in our minds during that time. It feels really good to release it because some of those songs have been around for awhile, and it feels good to be able to start focusing on the newer stuff that we hope to record soon.
AM: Is there a track off the album that resonates with you guys most?
IW: I really love M.I.A. Winston and I live together and I’d hear him working on it. I knew it was going to be one of my favorites on the record if we could capture the vibe that it had in those beginning stages, and with the help from our friend and producer Eric Heigle, I think we were able to do that.
AM: We love the album art and colors you've used throughout your single releases, too! Is the desert a big source of inspiration for the band?
Winston Triolo: Thank you! Recently, I’ve been drawn to that color pallet, and it seems to fit our vibe, so that why I chose it. I wanted to capture something that fit the theme of Siesta Del Sol in a simple way. So, the four abstract faces laying down in the sun was what we got. We find beauty and inspiration in all of the places we visit.
AM: We heard the title was inspired by a jukebox song the band heard at a bar in Marfa, TX. Can you tell us more about that and what sparked the inspo?
WT: Yeah, it was our first ever tour out west and we decided to camp in Marfa, TX for the night. We all went to this bar and the only other person there was this mysterious old man who was sort of DJing or something. He turned on the song Siesta Del Sol by In Credo, and we all just looked around at each other smiling—sort of hypnotized. We could just tell that we were all feeling this sense of cosmic content together, and it was really affirming. It’s hard to explain. Marfa is a weird place.
AM: You just kicked off tour with Summer Salt, and we can't wait to catch your LA show! Do you have any favorite stories from tour so far?
IW: Can’t wait to play it! Hmmm let’s see. We played this show in Florida toward the beginning of tour where the sound guy just refused to do anything but drink hard cider in the back of the venue. They just had to fire him on the spot and have someone come in last minute. After the show, they rushed everyone out of the venue because they were about to set up for Pornaoke, which is like karaoke night with porn projections. So, that was an interesting night.
WT: Parking lot football after every show is becoming a tradition. Dice games in the green room. Talking about songwriting with Matt Terry of Summer Salt, one of my favorite songwriters. And the shows themselves have all been wild in their own way. These crowds are nuts!
AM: Do you have a favorite track to play live?
IW: I like playing Midnight a lot. It’s a really intimate song to play at first, and then it ramps up toward the end. I love the harmonies, too. They’re just fun to sing live.
WT: Blue Love has been fun for me. I get to go crazy at the end. It’s emotional and therapeutic at the same time.
AM: What other musicians are you currently listening to?
IW: I make Spotify playlists on the road that you can find on the Motel Radio’s artist page. Check that out!
WT: Cass McCombs, Big Thief, Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, Summer Salt, Sam Evian, Andy Shauf
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next after tour?
IW: We’re hoping to jump right back into the studio after tour to start on a B Sides sort of thing. Then we’re working on some headlining dates on the east coast for October. Keep an eye out!
// listen to Siesta Del Sol:
// Listen to more Motel Radio on Spotify.