first_imgToday, The Motet begin their annual themed Halloween run, a tradition that date’s back more than fifteen years. While The Motet’s Halloween shows originally tackled specific artists–including The Beatles, Tower Of Power, Talking Heads, The Grateful Dead and many more–the last few years have seen the Colorado funk powerhouse go in a slightly different direction: the “Mixtape” shows, each dedicated to a specific year in music.For Halloween this year, the band is taking Mixtape 1979 on a 6-night, 6-city ride through the South. The run kicks off tonight with a show in Dallas, and continues to traverse the Lone Star State with shows in Houston on Thursday and Austin on Friday. The band will continue to spin Mixtape 1979 on Saturday along with a monstrous supergroup featuring Bernard Purdie, Leo Nocentelli, Ivan Neville, Oteil Burbridge & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band Horns as part of Monsters Of Funk at New Orleans’ Joy Theater. On Sunday, the band will bring their Mixtape to Suwannee Hulaween (in addition to a collaborative set with Big Gigantic) before finishing things off with an All Hallows Eve blowout at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC on Monday.We caught up with The Motet’s charismatic new vocalist Lyle Divinsky after Halloween rehearsals to get the inside scoop on the Mixtape 1979 concept, how it came together, and what fans can expect from these sure-to-be memorable performances:Live For Live Music: So you guys are just getting out of rehearsal for your Mixtape 1979 Halloween shows, right?Lyle Divinsky: Yep, last rehearsal before gettin’ out there and doing it!L4LM: Hell yea. Can you give our readers a rundown of the Mixtape 1979 concept?Lyle Divinsky: So it’s not just playing all the hits from 1979. It was about more digging in the crates and finding the stuff that really inspired us. Some of the songs we’re doing are songs that everybody’s gonna know, and everybody’s gonna get down on and appreciate. But also we went digging for some artists that people might not know, or some b-sides from some of the crushing albums that came out in that year. So it’s been really fun. With it being my first “Mixtape,” its been an incredibly educational and inspiring undertaking. I’m definitely learning a lot more about the albums that I’ve been loving for a long time, and also getting down with a lot of other things that were going on at the same time. I’ve gained an appreciation for what was happening at that time, and how artists were inspiring each other and how the sound was growing together.L4LM: So how did you guys decide to run with 1979? Did you just pick a year to start and look for songs that fit? Or did you start the digging process first and let that inform the decision?LD: Oh, we were digging. We were looking at a lot of the top R&B and soul charts from different years, and looking into artists that we really dig and really want to play, seeing what albums they had out in different years. So we played around with a couple different years before we decided on 1979.We were actually pretty close to going with a different year, but for some reason we hadn’t really checked out 1979 yet. And then I think it was Joey [Porter, keyboards] compiled a list of a bunch of the tunes from that year and brought it to us and it was just a no-brainer. Almost immediately, we were all kind of blown away and were like “that’s the one.” Like Earth, Wind, & Fire’s I Am came out that year, and that’s one of my favorite Earth, Wind, & Fire records. Michael Jackson Off The Wall, Prince’s self-titled record. And Herbie Hancock had two records. George Duke had two records. It was one of those undeniable things where the moment we started digging in, it was obvious.L4LM: Sometimes it just clicks. I was actually talking to Joey the other day about The Motet’s latest album Totem, and he was telling me how they had been sitting on the album’s first song, “Truth”, and it just clicked when they got your vocals on it. That seems like a trend with The Motet at the moment, and why I feel like you guys are on a roll right now—things seem to really be clicking musically on all fronts.LD: I think that you can’t force things when it comes to making genuine music. I was pretty lucky, just in terms of coming into the band, with having the opportunity to click with them, and that was definitely the case when they sent me “The Truth,” The song kinda just wrote itself immediately. And it’s the same with this Mixtape—it just worked. You gotta let it come.L4LM: So do you have the nightly set ironed out, or are you varying it from show to show?LD: We have more songs on our list that we can do in any one show, so people are gonna be getting different setlists at each stop, a slightly different taste of what we’ve been working on. But it’s kinda cool, because we blew through every song today in rehearsal, and there’s not a weak song. Every time we’re like “OK, now we’ve got this song,” everyone is just like “Yes! We’re gonna play the shit out of that song, man!” And I don’t think you can really ask for anything more.L4LM: Six cities in six days with this thing—going to be a long run, but it sounds like its going to be a blast.LD: Hey, if I get to play music every day, I’m good. I’m a happy man.L4LM: So are you guys dressing up for Halloween?LD: [Laughs] Yea, that’s definitely part of the whole thing. So I’m in the process of working out my outfit now. Oh man, it’s gonna be hilarious. With this band, for being such a party, funk band, most of us dress pretty conservatively. It’s usually like a black t-shirt and jeans kinda vibe. So personally, with this being my first Mixtape, I’m just excited to see everybody get dressed to the nines and go for it—I just hope that what I got planned is gonna keep up. Speaking of digging in the crates, I was digging in the dresser and found my dad’s old golf pants which are some of the greatest pants that I’ve ever seen in my life, so we’ll definitely be featuring those.L4LM: Do you feel like digging through that time, those styles, those sounds, has affected your performances as you’ve gotten on the road for this tour?LD: Absolutely. Really digging into something like this–It’s like when you’re in college and you take a class and it opens your mind and you start viewing the world differently. Even little things that you may have taken for granted, you start viewing it differently. And digging through the crates in that kind of studious way, even stuff I already knew, it makes you look at the music differently. For me, it’s already affecting the way that I sing, the way that I approach even the original stuff, incorporating aspects of things I’ve learned from this process.L4LM: Is there any other part of the Mixtape 1979 shows you’re particularly excited about?LD: Man, I’m honestly excited for every single part of it. I know that’s such a cop-out answer. But like I said before, as we’re going through the song list, every song we get to, we’re like “fuck yes!” I’m the kind of person who likes to play original music whenever I get the opportunity. But if we’re going to do a cover set, we’re literally crushing it. It’s gonna be incredible. I’m genuinely excited about every single song. And that’s a pretty cool attitude to be able to bring into a tour like this.Don’t miss your chance to catch The Motet’s latest time-traveling theme this Halloween weekend. For more details and to buy tickets, visit the band’s website.last_img

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