Motive – Brooklyn Via Seattle Transplants Making Sudden Impact

Originally from Seattle, Motive, a four-piece alt-indie hybrid have relocated to Brooklyn, NY and are quickly building some serious interest. These musicians have shared the stage with buzzing bands such as The Vaccines and Walk The Moon and they’ve been featured on MTV2’s show ‘120 Minutes’ with Matt Pinfield, New York Times, NYLON guys and CBS News.

All four members got their musical roots from playing in their high school Jazz band and competing internationally. Nick Wold (vocals/guitar), Chris Bagamery (drums) and Dave Leondi (guitar) all played with Wynton Marsalis and Leondi also performed with Dave Brubeck. Motive’s catchy, hook-laced songwriting comes from Wold, who is so compelled to create new material that he actually lives in the band’s rehearsal space, submerged in writing.

The band also has a flair for fashion and TWELV Magazine asked Motive to record a Talking Head’s cover for their Jean Paul Gaultier fashion video. The band sports suits for all of their performances featuring hand drawn illustrations by local artist Hannah Burgos of an organ (lungs, heart, liver and esophagus) for each member, which designer Sarah Baker sewed to the center of their suits.

Motive combines the grunge-rock appeal of Nirvana with catchy riffs a la The Strokes and plan to release their debut full-length album in 2014. Recently we quickly had a chance to chat with the band

You guys recently moved from Seattle to Brooklyn – what city do you truly call home now?

Brooklyn is where the band was formed, and where we live and write.

Although you guys haven’t put out a full length album yet what type of record do you envision recording? What debut records from music history do you most admire?

We want to put out the best, most sincere and forward album that we as humans can. It’s going to be rock and its going to be a dance party. Beyond that we can’t predict. Some bands’ first records are the most inspiring albums of all: The Strokes, Manu Chao, Neutral Milk Hotel.


Can you tell us more about the band? I found it interesting that you have jazz backgrounds, but have translated that into something more accessible and straightforward. Is it compromising to sacrifice your jazz chops for a different genre?

We grew up studying jazz. We think it’s a great thing to study because of the sheer depth of understanding jazz musicians have about music, and their dedication to working hard and improving. Changing genres gives us a chance to apply some of those principles to something else, it’s a fresh perspective.

I hear some of The Strokes in your sound, how much of an influence are they for you? Who are your primary influences?

The Strokes early albums are definitely an influence of ours. We all have different influences but the ones we all relate on the most are The Beatles, Hendrix, Nirvana and Radiohead. We started from an old school rock’n’roll-mixed-with-grunge sound, and are branching out from there.

What other bands and sounds have you been enjoying these days?

Never know what we’ll be listening to any given time. James Brown, Buju Banton. A couple new bands we love right now are The Can’t Tells and Seasick Mama.

Have you guys been playing live as Motive and any fond memories?

We’ve played close to a hundred live shows as Motive so far all around the US with no plan of stopping. So many memories, the best of times an worst of times. Some memorable shows were along the way on our first cross-country tour in an air-conditionless van this past summer and our first festival performance. We really hope to do a tour in the UK next.

What challenges are there in putting energy into a band right now soon to be releasing their debut album?

Being a new band in these times is quite a challenge, with so many bands saturating the Internet. We’ve been working our asses off, gone from living in the van on the road all summer, to living in our practice studio and writing all day.

It seems like 2014 will be a big year for Motive… what else should we look forward to? Expect some crazy sounds to come out of Motive when our album comes out in 2014. It will have the same soul as our previous EPs but will have some very different and new ideas, the product of 4 years of chaos and creativity. We can’t wait to share it with the world.

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