Signing Story: Motordrone



Raw, immediate and to the point; that is the collective approach Los Angeles-based rockers Motordrone take with their music. Prime mover and songwriter Dominic Massaro was a veteran of many a regional band but broke away for a time to try his hand at solo performance. In early 2013 he hooked up with longtime friend and drummer Sam Gallagher for a series of L.A. area club dates as a duo.

Their burgeoning minimalist sound caught the ear of another friend and bassist, Ian Webber, who added a meaty bottom end. Webber recommended his friend Deja Mae Howell to sweeten vocal and percussion parts. The final piece was the addition of yet another compadre, guitarist/sound designer/producer Dan Dempsey. “It just fell together really easy and was about as organic as can be,” says Massaro. “Everyone’s been at this for a while so everyone knew when to take it serious and when to keep it chill.”

“You can only do so much on your own.”

In similar serendipitous fashion the band’s signing with New Zealand label Do It Records mirrored their formation. “Our bass player Ian started soliciting different labels,” says Massaro. “We hadn’t pursued this too much because we were just putting the band together. He just threw out some emails and Paul Marshall responded right away. Even though we were still a new band he really liked our sound and songs. It was very surprising how it all happened.” Communications with the label began in early August 2013 and they promptly were signed in late September the same year.

“We do what we love to do,” exclaims Massaro. “And if it’s not gonna be doing what we really love to do, then there’s no point in working with someone. It’s not that we’re not open to suggestions; we’ve just got it pretty dialed in to what we wanna do. Fortunately the label agreed and wanted to focus on that. You can only do so much on your own. You need someone out there filtering and getting you where you need to be.” Motordrone’s eponymous full-length album will be released globally in early 2014.

– Eric A. Harabadian