For a little over two decades, The Motet have cultivated a fervent fanbase through immaculate live performances and a seamless blend of funk, jazz, soul, and rock. This unique style and cohesive musical chemistry have led to sold-out shows across the nation – including six headlining slots at Red Rocks and sets at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Bottlerock, Electric Forest, Bumbershoot, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.
But even after their 20+ years of accolades and recognition, the legendary outfit – composed of Dave Watts (drums), Joey Porter (keys), Garrett Sayers (bass), Drew Sayers (keys and saxophone), and Ryan Jalbert (guitar) – are still exploring new sonic and thematic ideas.
Now, the band is revving up towards their 10th studio album, All Day, which will release on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. All Day marks The Motet’s first primarily instrumental project since 2009’s electronica-fueled Dig Deep.
Fans got their first taste of All Day with the album’s lead single, “‘79,” a lavish funk and soul epic. With a retro-futurist style, the track takes you into the funky past of the 70s and 80s while fortifying its pastiche with decidedly modern elements.
Today, The Motet release “Draccus,” a hazy, funk-fueled experience. Filled to the brim with lush sonic details and powerful lyricism, “Draccus” juxtaposes grim verses with cathartic, hopeful choruses.
“Draccus” embodies what The Motet have concocted with All Day, an album that will retain the infectious grooves and immaculate, layered arrangements that The Motet have become known for. But by recentering the listening experience around the playing and composition, All Day emphasizes the band’s instrumental mastery molded by two decades of shared musical chemistry. As a result, the new LP promises to showcase a world-class band at the peak of their powers while simultaneously adding potent social themes that address modern political strife.
“Draccus” kicks off with a growling, deep bass and guitar groove that underlie the dystopian vocoder-synth vocals. The verse then transitions into the song’s cacophonous chorus, which imbues the track with synth and organ chords on top of ascending guitar melodies.
Oscillating between politically-charged verses and optimistic instrumental hooks, “Draccus” speaks to the current social reality while offering a tone of hope and resilience in the face of existential doubt.
“First eat up all the trees, look out I spit fire/The keeper of the keys, flames are getting higher/Draccus does what he wants,” the band sings, a gloomy, poetic message on the state of the world.
But “Draccus” isn’t mere despair. It relates to the socio-political upheaval of the past several years, and uses its arrangements and instrumentation to bring focus to the importance of music and art. For The Motet, society can prosper through community, and music can be that bridging catalyst.
Fans can hear “Draccus” and other All Day cuts on The Motet’s upcoming nationwide tour, kicking off with a two-night New Years run at Crystal Bay Casino in Lake Tahoe and stopping through cities like Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Columbus, and Honolulu. In addition to performing at Tucson’s Gem & Jam Festival, the band will also play a special, hometown doubleheader at Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, to celebrate both the LP release and the iconic venue’s 20th anniversary.
“The verses in Draccus paint a dark picture of our socio-political landscape. In contrast, the ascending chords on the instrumental choruses hint at optimism for the future.”– Garrett Sayers, bassist for The Motet
1. Aside from making funkalicious music, what would you say is the 20- year “glue” that has kept The Motet name alive?
Our flexibility in allowing our sound to evolve as the band changes members and our musical interests shift in different directions. And at the same time, we’ve always made it a priority to create dance music which places improvisation as a centerpiece of our live shows.Drummer Dave Watts
What type of change and its challenges have been the most tumultuous for you, with unexpected positive payout since 2020?
During the pandemic we lost our singer and trumpet player. This forced us once again to reassess our sound. Fortunately, it allowed us to create a 12-song instrumental record which we are very excited about and are releasing this January.Drummer Dave Watts
Is there any particular place or stage on your upcoming tour that holds a monumental return for The Motet?
We are very happy to be returning to Dillon Amphitheater in Colorado this summer, I believe it’s one of the most gorgeous venues in the country.Drummer Dave Watts
4. What might be a first for The Motet on your upcoming tour in 2023?
The Motet will be going to Hawaii for the first time this spring, both to Oahu and Maui.Drummer Dave Watts
5. Can you share with us any other plans you have for 2023?
We’ll be touring and featuring music from our new album All Day, and making a new album at the same time. We will also be featuring powerhouse vocalist Sarah Clarke on many of our upcoming dates.Drummer Dave Watts
CONNECT WITH THE MOTET
Spotify – 77k monthly listeners
Facebook – 68k followers
Instagram – 31k followers
The Motet tour dates
12/30/22 Crystal Bay, NV | Crystal Bay Casino
12/31/22 Crystal Bay, NV | Crystal Bay Casino
1/13/23 Telluride, CO | Sheridan Opera House
1/14/23 Crested Butte, CO | Center for the Arts
1/20/23 Denver, CO | Cervantes
1/21/23 Denver, CO | Cervantes
2/3/23 Tucson, AZ | Gem + Jam
2/17/23 Bend, OR | Volcanic Theatre Pub
2/18/23 Bend, OR | Volcanic Theatre Pub
2/24/23 Bozeman, MT | ELM
2/25/23 Missoula, MT | Top Hat
2/26/23 Whitefish, MT | Great Northern Bar
3/1/23 Victor, ID | Knotty Pine
3/2/23 Boise, ID | Olympic Lounge
3/3/23 Salt Lake City, UT | Commonwealth
3/4/23 Salt Lake City, UT | Commonwealth
3/10/23 Buena Vista, CO | Ivy Ballroom
3/11/23 Buena Vista, CO | Ivy Ballroom
3/15/23 Indianapolis, IN | Vogue
3/16/23 St Louis, MO | Delmar Hall
3/17/23 Columbus, OH | St. Fatty’s Daze @ The Woodlands
3/18/23 Columbus, OH | St. Fatty’s Daze @ The Woodlands
3/19/23 Cleveland, OH | Beachland Ballroom
3/24/23 Honolulu, HI | Blue Note
3/25/23 Honolulu, HI | Blue Note