Discover This: Motor Gypsy

Inject some funky blues-infused pure rock’n’roll into your life with the delicious guitar-led sound of Detroit-born band Motor Gypsy.

The trio released their debut, self-titled album earlier this month, from which they sent us second track Bullet and the Ball. It opens up with a funky little guitar riff that feeds into a verse led by engaging vocals, which give way to a little guitar lick that continues as the vocals return.

The vocals soon intensify “Spinning round for days here, Thinking fuck it all,” which drop into the opening line. The funky guitar licks continue through a second verse and as the winding vocals continue. It all builds up to a big conclusion of shouted vocals over heavy drums and a screaming guitar lick. It’s big, brash and lively, yet funky and delicious, and you can check it out below:

the album is packed with lively guitar-driven rock alongside frontman Steven Simoncic’s engaging vocals. For example, Red intertwines awesome guitars with winding vocals before a huge guitar solo, check it out below:

We had a chat with Steven to find out more about the band. Read on below…

GR: Who are Motor Gypsy?

SS: “Motor Gypsy is Jay Deyonke, Mike Hecht, and Steven Simoncic. We are all originally from Detroit, that is where the band was originally formed. We all met in high school and started playing Van Halen and Kiss covers in our parents’ basements.

“We were more loud than good at first, but we kept at it with the simple goal of being loud and good. We recorded this project in Chicago, at Chicago Recording Company, with Grammy Award Winning engineer, Jon Zacks.”

GR: You just released Bullet and the Ball. What should people be expecting from the song?

SS: “Bullet and the Ball is a slinky, dirty-blues, Sunset Strip, kind of jam that comes right out of our love of bands like Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Guns and Roses. It’s got a deep grove – Jay and Mike really locked in on this song — which is so cool and fun to sing over.

“Lyrically, I was just trying to get at that which is essential. The blood and bones of life. Stripping away the excess and the madness, and clinging to that little bit that is left, the stuff that is actually real. This song is essentially about not giving a fuck. Just call the ball and do your thing.”

GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?

SS: “We definitely worship at the altar of classic guitar rock. Our gods are The Beatles, Zeppelin, Floyd, Van Halen, ACDC. And we like big – big tones, big sounds, big swings, big hooks. This is not small music. It’s also reasonably unapologetic – for us — more is more.

“We love big freight train grooves and choruses that you can shout while drunk with your best friend, or one you just met. It’s the kind of music that gets played in minor league hockey arenas just after there was a fight on the ice.”

GR: What influences you to write music?

SS: “I think all three of us have the music gene. I have come to believe that you either have it, or you don’t. It’s that thing that makes you keep a guitar by the side of your bed. Or a lyric journal on your nightstand. Or it makes you drum to Motley Crue on your headphones while everyone else is watching Game of Thrones or some other bullshit.

“It’s this weird obsession to make music. To express yourself through music – to make the most out of the few notes you know. And then being stubborn enough, and crazy enough, to see it through. I’ve known many super talented musicians who do not have this music gene. That’s why I’m not in a band with them.”

GR: Any key themes or topics that you write about?

SS: “Each song is different. But they all have to do with identity — sort of figuring things out by figuring yourself out. We hate cliché, and we respect music too much to write songs with no nutritional value. All art should make you feel something – hopefully make you feel less alone as a human being in this world. That’s what a good song can do. We try our best to make those kind of songs.”

GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?

SS: “We wanted Jay to handle this one.”

JD: “My inspiration for the music and riffs was all the concerts I went to in Detroit as a teenager. I remember specifically seeing Van Halen and AC/DC at Joe Louis Arena and loving the live Detroit crowd vibe.

I wanted an album of songs that sound like they could’ve been played live at the Joe in the 80s. The ‘good enough?’ test was whether I would pay to see this band… Would my friends and I sing along with these tunes and do air guitar and air drums at their show in Joe Louis Arena?

“The fadeout chorus on Bullet And the Ball is our version of the crowd getting into it at the Joe. That is the Motor Gypsy sound. From a guitar standpoint the list of influences is: Eddie, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray, David Gilmour, Angus, Clapton, Hendrix, Danny Gatton, Johnny Hiland, Eric Johnson. And in terms of studio production? It starts and ends with Jimmy Page. Greatest rock band producer ever.”

GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?

SS: “We are looking to support the new album with some showcase shows. We are also working with some folks to get the songs on this new album heard and surfaced. Then we are back to writing and recording new music for the next album.”

GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?

SS: “We are brothers. We have known each other most of our lives. We can communicate without speaking. We trust and respect each other, and it all comes through in the music.

“Mike is a monster on the drums – such a talent – and one of the best guys I have even been lucky enough to know. And Jay is this awesome mad scientist of an artist – super talented and completely undaunted. He’s a force of nature. I love these guys. It’s a privilege to know them, and make music with them. We never fake a note of it. I actually think you can hear that somewhere in our songs.”

We can’t find them on social media (hey, it’s not the be all and end all), but you can check out their music on Spotify.

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