Brooklyn band Motive bursts onto the scene
Motive / Deneka Peniston
Motive, a Brooklyn-based band that originated in Seattle, now has music videos on MTV2 and MTVU, but the band didn't start out playing alternative rock. All four members got their start in jazz.
The band's singer/guitarist Nick Wold, drummer Chris Bagamery and bassist Andrew McGovern grew up in Seattle playing in their high school's jazz band. While they didn't join up with David Leondi until they moved to New York, the guitarist had a similar foundation.
"I sort of had a parallel childhood as the three of them," Leondi said. He told CBSNews.com of playing in his high school's competitive jazz band in New Jersey. "Andrew and I both played trumpet together - just 3,000 miles apart."
In 2009, Wold says he and Bagamery started putting together rock songs in Bagamery's black-mold infested basement after working their summer job of painting houses.
Wold met Leondi at New York University where they were freshman-year roommates. Even though they collectively agree that "Seattle is the best place on the planet," New York provides them a great creative environment.
"This is the place to be, we find," explained Wold. "The music scene here is insane."
The band now calls Brooklyn's ever-changing Bushwick neighborhood its home.
"[Brooklyn] definitely has an influence on us as people, because it is such a kind of infectious atmosphere," said Bagamery. "Recently all these new bars and venues have cropped up there. So, there was kind of this culture we saw begin around us."
Their favorite venue to play in Brooklyn is Williamsburg's Glasslands Gallery, which they call "home base" and its staff, their "family."
The quartet, who describe their sound as a mix of Nirvana and The Strokes, say songwriting is a never-ending process that is normally generated by Wold.
"Nick comes in usually with the completed, almost completed husks and we just fill in the sugary goodness," described Bagamery. "It varies sometimes though, we all kind of write. It is mostly collaborative."
While each member of the band listens to various types of music, they all can agree on one band.
"Radiohead is a common denominator," said McGovern. "We all listen to lots of different music, but we try and draw from the same places."
Their songs "What's So Bad" and "It's Illicit" have already garnered the band some attention, premiering on MTV2's 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield. The band gathered together with friends and beer early in the morning to watch their TV debut.
"It was surreal," said Bagamery of seeing their video played in-between ones from The Black Keys and Skrillex. "It probably didn't help that the first time we saw it was at 5:30 in the morning or 6."
Motive is kicking off a multi-city East Coast tour in January and thoughts of being cramped up on the road together bring out their inner jokesters.
"We are like small children when we are on the road," said Bagamery. "If we are driving in a car together - it is shameful."
But, before shows, the band is trying to get serious, ditching a pre-show ritual of drinking the now-banned Four Loco and instead deciding to focus on playing the best show that they can.
"Now our ritual is just warming up and focusing. We see a lot of bands that are just having fun, which is cool, but you want to make sure that people get some value out of you being there," said Bagamery.
In addition to getting serious on stage, the band has decided to all sport suits during their shows. The decision to switch to the dapper look on stage came after they wore suits around the city for the "It's Illicit" music video.
"If you wear a suit and walk around with someone pointing a camera at you, people will just jump into your arms," said Bagamery. "So, since then we have kind of just donned the suit and it's worked out for us."
As for the future, Motive will be hitting the recording studio in April to work on a new EP. They will also be performing at this year's SXSW after their tour.
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