Words and Photos by ~Skullgurl Metalchick~
Motograter embarked on a fresh tour last week and have fans seeing red, literally. May 5th, 2016 the painted Metal badasses embarked on a 7-week tour with Minneapolis’s own Heavy Metal guru’s, American Head Charge (Napalm Records). Fans were in tizzy as the fog lifted and in front of them on the stage stood their painted idols, sporting their signature black and white, and to the shock of the crowd, RED. Yes, Motograter has broken out the red paint, frontman Legion sporting an all-white torso with just red markings. Legion’s band mates, still incorporate black into their markings, which makes the svelte lead singer stand out even more on stage. There were times during their set in Eau Claire WI at Hipps pub that I swear Legion was glowing, and I have pictures to prove it.
I caught up with Shark, Skunk, and Legion after the show in Eau Claire, begging to be informed on the red paint. “We have always been known as the band with the body paint, adding the red is just our way of telling the world we are back and we mean business,” explained drummer extraordinaire, Shark. He went on to tell me that they have been working their asses off this past year and are now ready for the fans and the haters to see what Motograter has been up to. “Basically, we are here to stay and the red paint is just another way to show we will rise above and not just be part of the black and white anymore.” Lead singer Legion stated with quite authority. Motograter has been around since 1995, so staying relevant for 20 years is quite an accomplishment. I contribute part of their longevity to the notoriety of their unique instrument, their namesake, the Motograter. I asked Skunk, who commands the Motograter what exactly this thing was, “It’s pieces of guitar, cable and other things.” The technical explanation given to me was “a mysterious contraption designed with industrial cable, guitar pieces, and other components, to create a low, distorted bass sound.” Whatever the “Motograter” is, it is a thing of raw powerful musical beauty. There is nothing in the Heavy Metal music world currently that sounds like this instrument, nothing. The man in charge of making the “Motograter” sing, Skunk Motograter, does it with such fervor and intensity at times it seems the rest of the band fades away, it is almost hypnotic watching him.
We moved on to talk of the new album, and Shark assured me that a new album was close to being completed, but would not promise me a release date. The new album will be the first full-length release since 2003, so lifer fans are salivating, waiting for this release. Veteran producer, Ahrue Luster, Ill Nino 6-string slinger, was handpicked by the Motograter guys to create the new album. The band has not yet settled on a label, but negotiations are ongoing. A tour is currently being booked to support the album release, and begins August 30, 2016. The current tour runs until June 30, 2016, and the current set includes a teaser song, “Portrait of Decay,” off of the new album. It highlights the brutal clarity of lead singer Legion’s voice, and the metamorphosis the band has made since the early 2000’s.
I said this last year, and I will say it again, forget everything you think you know about Motograter, and get your ass to a show. The Motograter of the past was unique and talented to say the least, the Motograter of the present is much, much more. Their sound has taken on a subtle complexity, partially due to the fresh vocals of the new frontman. The raw brutality of the original lineup is still intact, musically they are as tight as ever, but as a whole, they have evolved into a different beast, and unstoppable beast, a force of nature. Please follow the links to get your fanny perpendicular to a show near you immediately!