Interview: Motel Carnation | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Photo by Sophie Robson

Indie outfit Motel Carnation drop their latest single Deja Vu (Caught Up) a sexy, funked up, fusion of electronica and guitar rock, complete with an epic and anthemic ending, that talks about that one person who brings out the devil in you. 

We catch up with the band to find out more about them and the new track…

How did Motel Carnation come about?
Well the band itself came from the collective disintegration of all of our separate projects. Conor and Alex had known each other a while previously, Conor even jumping on drums occasionally for Coquin Migale. Austin had known Conor and Alex causally through the scene and been to a few shows, a few messages were exchanged, a wink here, a nudge there and Motel was born.

Where did the name come from?
It’s not an incredible rock and roll story but the truth is that the name actually fell out of a band name generator. We’d spent a little while looking for a name that would encapsulate the image and vibe of what we wanted the band to be and nothing had really stuck. We messed around with a name generator and ‘Motel’ fell out which matched the sort of aesthetic we had tried to build at the start of the band. A few clicks later ‘Motel Carnation’’ came into existence and we thought, if it’s good enough for Childish Gambino then it’s good enough for us. 

What’s been some of the band’s highlights so far?
Our debut show in a packed basement of the Head Of Steam with Mt Misery and Reali-T was pretty special. We weren’t sure how everyone was going to respond as “Westside” had only just come out and no one had seen us play before. Hearing the crowd sing back that chorus in that moment, we felt like “oh sh*t this is really happening, we’re doing this”. We shared the stage with FEVA at Riverside and that was probably one of the biggest stages we’d all individually played and I remember coming off the side of the stage and we were all jumping up and down and hugging each other afterwards in absolute shock. We took our first trip down to London in a full van with our mates to play the Amersham Arms and that was just a wild blurry weekend of drink, music and sleeping on the floors. Stumbling around Newcastle filming the Baby You’re A Nightmare video with Kraken Cinematic was surreal… honestly there have been so many personal highlights for us, I could go on. 

What is Deja Vu (Caught Up) about?
Deja vu is about that one person a lot of us have had in our lives. They kind of bring out the worst in you and maybe they even encourage some self destructive behaviours too – but they’re also a lot of fun. Lyrically, it charts the duration of a night out from the pre drink swagger to the 5am heart to heart, and all the fluctuations in between. There are moments of clarity sprinkled throughout where you realise it’s not a good, healthy or sustainable pattern to continue with, but there’s some twisted comradery in that friendship that’s hard to shake

Sonically how would you describe it and how does it differ from past releases?
It’s a little deranged. 

You’ve got this misjudged sexy arrogance emanating from the synth bass driven verses; kind of Billie Eilish on a bender vibes. Then it opens up into this moment of clarity in the chorus with a royal blood-esq bassline rattling things along, the bridge is all twitchy paranoia punctuated with these jittery synth arpeggios whizzing around before the end section where it veers into what can only be described as “dark fruits” britpop. We never thought we’d go there, but it’s become one of our favourite things about the track. 

We’re always happy when we can hop around genres and it feels as though it illustrates some of the peaks and troughs within the lyrical world of the track. Almost like a whole night out playlist crammed into a 4 minute fever dream. 

What does the second half of the year have in store for Motel Carnation?
Shows. More shows than we’ve played in a short space of time before. We do love the mystery of being this sort of “internet band” where no one really knows what to expect or what’s coming, but we’ve been in the house for so long now we’re itching to get out and play. The only show that has been officially announced is the 7th of August at Basecamp for Heelapalooza, a load of our friends’ bands are playing that too so that’s going to be a blast. It’s one of those “keep an eye on our socials” jobs but I’d be keeping a weekend or two free in August, September and October if I were you. There will also be (at least) one more track in the coming months and some really cool visuals for Deja Vu that we’re proud of. We’ve filmed it ourselves and Austin pieced it all together in the edit, it’s a mix of glamour and the grotesque, a little nightclub experience in the front room of Alex & Conor’s flat.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout