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No Motiv | Daylight Breaking | interview | Jeremy Palaszewski | punk | Lollipop

No Motiv

Daylight Breaking (Vagrant)

An interview with vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Palaszewski

By Lauren Bussard

On Daylight Breaking, their third and most grown-up album to date, southern California-based quartet No Motiv have finally achieved perfection. An album of melodic, passion-charged rock songs that are at times darkly anthemic and at times spilling over with punk rock energy, but always bursting with intense emotion and enough melancholic romance to make you wipe away a tear and smear your black eyeliner (yes boys, I'm talking to you, too).

From the thick, dark first notes of "Independence Day," to the Guns N' Roses reminiscent guitar riff of "Life Goes On," Daylight Breaking grips you with its trademark melodic crunch and heart-felt sincerity. This album showcases a more mature, road-experienced songcraft, but it also holds onto the band's broken-hearted intensity, which made me fall in love with them in the first place. Listen to this album and you will, too.

You guys took a two-year break before recording Daylight Breaking. What did you do?
We did some touring before the record came out, but it was about a year and a half that we actually took off. It was just time to gather ourselves, ya know? And the most important thing was that we got a new member in our band, Jeffers (Jeff Hershey, bassist).

I read that he's a longtime friend of the band. What made you decide on him as your new bassist?
He was the best guy to do it, we're good friends with him. He's a good musician, and he's totally helped us out. And he's done everything he can to help out pretty much every fan from our local area. He's just a good guy, and that's really what you should look for when you want a band member. (laughs)

Did he get to be a part of making this album, or did he join after it was done?
We recorded almost the whole record with just the three of us - me, Roger and Max - and we weren't sure what we were gonna do about our bass player situation, because we couldn't think of anybody to fill the spot. Then we decided on Jeff right before we finished recording the record, and he got to play on two songs on the record, and we wrote one song with him. So it was about October, just after the record was recorded. The record actually took a long time to come out, too. It took almost a year until the record was completely written and everything was finally done. Then it was supposed to come out months before it did, but it kept getting pushed back. But that was due to, like, Vagrant's plan for the record, and we're totally cool with that.

This was the first record that No Motiv self-produced. How'd you like trying your hand at production?
It was awesome. I mean, working with producers is cool, I guess. I've never been too completely comfortable with it. But it's so much better when you do it yourself, because it's as honest as it gets: A band putting out their own music. It's funny, because we didn't really think anyone would be into the record. (laughs)

I don't know, just 'cause we had a really carefree attitude towards it. We didn't really care if it was gonna sell or not, we just wrote all these songs and thought they were cool and wanted to put them out as a record. So it's nice to be able to produce it, and we recorded it ourselves, too. We had help from one of our friends who's an engineer - he did the drum tracks - and then we pretty much did everything else ourselves.

What made you decide to do all that yourselves?
We talked to Vagrant about it, and the amount of money that it was gonna take to get a producer that we liked just made it unfeasible. So we were like, "Ok, well, just give us money." (laughs) So they gave us an advance for how much the recording would've cost, and we used most of that money towards recording equipment. I'm glad we got to do it. It was hard and it was easy and it was fun.

This album sounds darker than your other two. What made you go in that direction?
That was the atmosphere that we were writing in, and the mood that I was in when I was writing lyrics and stuff. The last record was kind of a rebound from the first record, and the first record was pretty much written on a broken heart, that's why it sounds, kinda... jacked up. (laughs) But we didn't really try to sound a certain way on this one, it just came out.\

So you just started this tour, how's it going so far?
It's very interesting... We're totally new to this whole thing. It's a radio tour, so in every city, a radio station is sponsoring the show. We're out with a band called Finger Eleven, and another band called Idle Sun, and a band called Edgewater. It's different... We're used to this independent, punk rock scene, and that whole kind of deal. This mainstream thing is weird. These kids'll come up, and you can tell that all a lot of them do is listen to the radio. (laughs) But we get people to hear and buy our record, which is, you know, the whole point of it. We're not opposed to doing different tours, it's definitely a new experience. It's good, because we're playing, it's a lot of fun, and it's going well. We're not making any money. (laughs)

How does that work? I know someone in a band that's huge in Germany, and he swears they're not making any money either.
Yeah, it's a fucked up thing man. (laughs) If you're in a band, you're poor, basically.

At what point do you start making money?
You know what, I'll give you a call. (laughs)
(2118 Wilshire Blvd. #361 Santa Monica, CA 90403)  

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