Motorama… Don’t Let the Name Fool You

Despite being named after a presumably lame American road movie; whose only real cred comes from boasting cameos from the likes of Flea, Michael Pollard, and Garrett Morris; Russia’s...

Despite being named after a presumably lame American road movie; whose only real cred comes from boasting cameos from the likes of Flea, Michael Pollard, and Garrett Morris; Russia’s Motorama is quite the cool Rock’N’Roll band.  Next Tuesday, March 10th, the band are set to release their third LP, Poverty, on Talitres.  The band is frequently noted for a fondness for the sounds of Manchester’s greatest acts.  While that is apparently quite true, Poverty rings more along the lines of when Manchester post-punk had gone on to influence the most progressive kinds of pop music in the early ‘80s, eventually leading to things such as jangle pop.  The album’s quite good, embracing the most playful and invertedly uplifting aspects of post-punk. Upon first listen you’d be more likely to assume it came out on I.R.S. in ’82 than Factory Records in ’78.  It’s the kind of record that makes you sad that you’re just catching up with the band on album three.  Well, I recently got the chance to chat with band leader Vladislav Parshin, in hopes of “catching up” with Motorama…

Izzy Cihak: You’ve been a band for a while now but, I must admit, there’s relatively little info available about you in the states.  Is there anything you think is especially important for your US fans and potential US fans to know about your artistic aim and process?

Vladislav Parshin: I think that listeners in the US can easily scan the band by checking several songs via the internet and they don’t need long descriptions. I don’t think that we have a specific aim or artistic statement. I really do love the process of writing songs and playing live concerts, maybe for us as a band and for me personally it’s some kind of therapy or the special way to reflect some unconscious feelings and things that are coming and going through our minds in a particular period of life.

Izzy: I realize this is also another quite large question, but what have been the highlights of Motorama so far?

Vladislav: Songwriting, playing songs live, and being nice to your family and friends. Don’t be a pretentious asshole.

Izzy: You’re about to release your third LP, Poverty.  What do you consider to be the most significant differences between you as a band now and the band that recorded your debut?

Vladislav: The records are totally different, because they were made in different periods of our lives. Maybe we play instruments a bit better now and maybe we know how to avoid previous mistakes. I can tell for sure that we have glued our friendship inside of the band with a new deep spiritual experience.

Izzy: What would you consider to currently be your most significant influences, whether musical or not?  I’m a massive fan of cinema and love that you took your moniker from a movie.  Are there any other films you find to be especially inspiring… or just especially entertaining?  You also draw a lot of comparisons to Manchester bands, which is actually my favorite musical city: Any favorite Manchester acts?

Vladislav: I don’t like the name of our band; it was given by the guy who’s not playing in the band anymore. And I’m not a big fan of the movie with the same name. About cinema: I really do like cinema and films by Sophia Coppola, Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Michael Winterbottom, and many, many other not-so-overproduced directors. About Manchester: we are huge fans of The Fall, The Smiths and Morrissey, James, Buzzcocks, New Order, and The Other Two.

Izzy: Do you have a favorite track off of Poverty, whether one that you’re most proud of or one that’s just most fun to play live?  I’m obsessed with middle tracks “Impractical Advice” and “Lottery,” which remind me of that brief moment when the sadly-short-lived sounds of Joy Division were actually influencing future pop like U2 at possibly the briefly-and-only credible stages of their career (I realize I’m taking a risk telling you this, but hopefully that’s not insulting… I was a U2 fan growing up and, every so often, enjoy revisiting Boy and maybe War… not so much October.)

Vladislav: It’s hard to speak about favorite songs from Poverty. My ears are a bit deaf because of them. I have to come to them little bit later. I’m more into our new songs that are in the process of being written; they are just rough demos at the moment. And about U2, I’ve never listened to them. Maybe I will come to their early albums later. Who knows?

Izzy: This is a weird question but I “follow” you on Twitter and realize you “follow” very few people, but you do keep tabs on Philadelphia’s own mewithoutyou.  Do you have a personal connection to the band?  I’m not terribly familiar with them, but if they help get you playing here in the near future, I’m totally into that.

Vladislav: We don’t know them personally and I think they’ve never played in Russia, but I’m in love with their music. I love their two first albums. And their latest stuff is also worth listening to. I believe them in what they are doing. They are not a typical flatulent band, they are honest.

Izzy: I heard that you’re hoping to play the US this year.  What can be expected of the live experience?

Vladislav: Maybe it’s better to avoid expectations. It’s hard for a band member to describe what’s going to be on their next live concert or to promise something or talk about the live set. We see it from the other perspective. It’s better to ask people who’ve already seen us before. But even if they tell you what it’s gonna look like, in fact everything could be different.

Izzy: In general, what are you most excited for in 2015?

Vladislav: As a band: Writing new songs, sharing them with nice people, seeing new places. Personally: playing with kids, spending time with the family, reading books, watching movies. Hopefully the same will be for 2016.

Izzy: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat.  Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Vladislav: Eat fruits and vegetables, drink fresh water, don’t harm the animals, and help your nearest and dearest.


Band InterviewsMusic

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.