Motet: n, [mōtĕt`]: an unaccompanied choral composition; to make you dance your ass off.
Lead by drummer Dave Watts and a long list of talent including: Joey Porter, Garrett Sayers, Gabe Mervine, Dominic Lalli, Matt Pitts, Dan Schwindt, Ryan Jalbert, Jans Ingber, Scott Messersmith and Paul McDaniel, The Motet has been funking up the Colorado music scene for over 10 years now. With influences in Afro-beat, Jazz, Funk and Samba, these guys know how to make people move. "Dance your ass off" is the rich sound and unique fusion of cadence that fuels the crowd from show to show, and these guys don't disappoint. Driven by the energy of the audience, they weave your soul through a musical journey that leaves you wanting more. The rhythm, the groove or the feeling, as some followers call it, is a roots driven force that was created in Colorado.
The Colorado music scene has had many faces including The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, DeVotchKa and The Fray, and yet The Motet finds a way to stay, perhaps, as one of Colorado's best kept secrets. Cult-esque with their followers, The Motet has made their home in Boulder. The diverseness and creativity of show selections sells out each club all over the front range and the mountains. I had some time to chat with Dave Watts a while back, here is what he had to say.
ROCKINROLLA: Can you tell me about some of your influences growing up in your music career?
WATTS: My first influences were from the rock side of music: John Bonham, Keith Moon, Ringo Starr and Peter Criss.... Then I got into jazz: Jack Dejohnette, art Blakely, Max Roach, Steve Gadd... Then I got into old school funk: Fred and Maurice White, Clyde Stubblefield, Harvey Mason, Jerome Brailey, David Garibaldi... Then world music: Tony Allen, Jimmy Branley, Samuel Formell, Raul Pineda... Then contemorary R&B: Chris Dave, Quest Love, Terrien Gulley, .... And now I listen to all of it!
ROCKINROLLA: Boulder, Denver and the mountains can be very diverse as far as music; hip hop, rock, punk, jam and blues, how do you stay in your own flavor? Where would you put yourself (genre)?
WATTS: I just do my own thing and let other people categorize me. 20 years ago what I do now with the motet (instrumental music)would have been called jazz, but people have become much more open minded about music without vocals so it has morphed into something else. This is what I appreciate the most about modern electronic music.
ROCKINROLLA: You have been in the Colorado music scene for some time now, if you could say anything to aspiring musicians, what would it be?
WATTS: Buy a good laptop! With the right tools, we now live in a completely DIY world.
ROCKINROLLA: With all that is going on in Colorado, do you think it has found it's own sound, ie., , motown etc.?
WATTS: Not really. I would say that Colorado musicians tend to migrate here from all over the country so the sound that is happening here is reflective of what is happening all over.
ROCKINROLLA: Listening to "today's" pop music, Justin Bieber, Bionce, etc., do you think the right message is being put out there?
WATTS: I don't listen to pop music so I really don't know what their message is, although I am inclined to think it's pretty self centered.
ROCKINROLLA:What would you say is your message?
WATTS: Our message is: "Listen to the music!"
ROCKINROLLA: I've seen you in a handful of music festivals, including Mile High, and you have played several others including, Jam Cruise, High Sierra Music Fest and recently Ned Fest, what would you say was your best and favorite experience and why?
WATTS: Jam Cruise!! After 4 days of playing continuously and working on about 7 hours of sleep total, I found myself standing behind my kit at 11am with a triple latte in one hand and a bloody mary in the other, getting ready to play outside on the upper deck while looking over the bow at the mountains of southern Cuba. 'Nuff said!
ROCKINROLLA: Looking back on your accomplishments, what stands out?
WATTS: Having a kid.
ROCKINROLLA: Would you change anything?
ROCKINROLLA: As you have many side projects, how much has that influenced the sound of The Motet over the years?
WATTS: All of it really. The Motet is ever evolving, ever transitioning, always in motion music of the moment. There are very few songs that we play that are more than a couple years old. We have written/ recorded/performed over 200 songs in the last 10 years, but we still have a repertoire of less than 20.
ROCKINROLLA: What's playing on your mp3 player right now?
WATTS: Big Gigantic
The Motet is currently on their spring tour. Don't hesitate, don't think about it. Just get out there and "dance your ass off!"
3/18 GHOST RANCH SALOON STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO
3/19 320 SOUTH BRECKENRIDGE, CO
3/20 ULLRS TAVERN WINTERPARK, CO
3/24 & 25 SUWANNEE MUSIC FEST LIVE OAK FL
4/1 HODI'S HALFNOTE FT. COLLINS, CO
4/2 BLUEBIRD THEATRE DENVER, CO
4/15 MT. TABOR THEATER PORTLAND, OR
4/16 MT. TABOR THEATER PORTLAND, OR (perf. the music of EWF)
4/22 FOX THEATRE BOULDER, CO
4/23 FOX THEATRE BOLDER, CO (perf. the best of halloween)