Providence, Rhode Island band Beta Motel formed only last year, but they’re making a name for themselves in the live music scene. Bandmember Mark Montalto talked with The Angle about what’s next for the band.
Beta Motel consists of Josh Kemp (vocals, etc.) Ryan Potter (Synths, etc.) and yourself (guitars, etc.) – what does the ‘etc.’ stand for?
We all help with sequencing MIDI, drums, synths, and anything else we can’t physically play live. With so much experimentation and creative overlap, it’s hard to put anyone in a single category.
What are your musical backgrounds?
We’ve all played in various bands previously and grew up listening to different kinds of music. Most notably, Josh played bass in The Chinese Stars and sang for Mahi Mahi, both of which toured nationally.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s a tough one…post-punk, electro, indie, dance-rock?
That’s an intriguing combination, and must be influenced by a pretty wide range of musical influences. Can you share a few of those influences with us?
Way too many to list here, but it definitely includes Devo, Depeche Mode, Fugazi, Gang of Four, The Cars, LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk, and tons more. We get inspiration from weird and unexpected places, too: Van Halen, Tom Petty, Iggy Pop, B-52s, you name it. It’s all over the map.
The band is relatively new to the music scene, what can you say about your experiences so far?
Our music is definitely geared for the live shows at this point. We haven’t spent much time recording or even thinking about that side of things, though we’re starting to now. But mostly we just enjoy playing shows and making people dance. Our upcoming show at Good Room in Brooklyn is exciting, and we’ve also played with New York bands Black Marble and Hard Nips which was awesome.
What is your dream venue to play?
Maybe Coachella or another big music festival – it would be cool to be around the energy and so many different kinds of music at once. I’ve always wanted to play Shea Stadium, and that new Late Night with Steven Colbert show would be amazing.
What’s next for Beta Motel?
Due to popular demand, we’re working on getting some recordings finished up and mixed. After our shows people keep asking where they can buy our music, so we’re trying to get that done. Also, we’re working on lots of new material, and lining up more live shows. The crowd gives us so much energy, and there’s lots of exciting stuff in our future.