Local Indie Rockers Motel Radio Release Their Debut Record – Siesta Del Sol

A little over a year ago local indie rock ensemble Motel Radio set about recording their debut record – Siesta Del Sol – which releases today. After their start in Baton Rouge, the band moved to New Orleans and has established quite a following here. I caught up with members Ian Wellman, Winston Triolo, Eric Lloyd and Andrew Pancamo to talk about the recording process and life as musicians in New Orleans. We started by talking about their transition to the city. Wellman started from the perspective of a musician, “I think it’s pretty obvious that when you’re in New Orleans, especially the musicians, you’re sort of outnumbered a thousand to one by incredible musicians. So it’s definitely inspired me in that sense, just being around people who know what they’re doing so well…I guess we’re sort of spoiled here…It makes you want to be a better musician, I think.”

Lloyd followed, “New Orleans gives in terms of just promoting creativity in whichever artistic outlet you choose. I think the environment here…encourages creativity and I think a lot of that comes out in what we’ve been making.” This immersion in the local scene is evident in the album.

This record is one that emerged over time as the band explored the role the studio would play in their evolution. They were working in the studio of Eric Heigle – Jesuit grad and winner of a grammy in 2018 for his production work on the Lost Bayou Ramblers last record.

Guidry filled in some of the detail, “His [Heigle] studio happened to be right down the street from our house and we’d been introduced through a mutual friend and just kind of met a couple of times and I showed him our stuff and the demos and he helped me with some demoing stuff that I was trying to do at my house and we just sort of worked out a friend deal. He was like, ‘I like what you guys are doing and I kind of want to be a part of it.’ And like, ‘Okay, let’s just agree to take our time on this.’”

Wellman sees this evolution as evident within the songs, “It’s kind of cool because even though the track listings won’t show this, [in] the songs…you can still kind of see an evolution of musicality and mindset throughout the record from recording it starting a year and a half ago.” It is clear from our conversation that there is a camaraderie among these players that contributes to the overall feeling of the record. Wellman explains, “It’s been the same group of dudes since day one. The four of us are the core and we’ve just gotten really used to writing together and we like to just push each other’s limits a bit. So I think it ends up having a really consistent sound because it’s just the same minds…we like to push the limits, and we’re starting to get more comfortable doing that and you can hear that on this record.”

Siesta Del Sol is out today. It is a breezy fun indie rock record that is definitely worth your time. Check out the video for “Ego Death” below.

Going On This Week

(EDIT NOTE 7/12/19 11:50 a.m.: Many shows have been cancelled or rescheduled due to the impending weather event happening this weekend. We will update show days at a later time.)

Tonight, the Free Friday show at Tipitina’s is John “Papa” Gros. You can also catch DJ Soul Sister at The Howlin’ Wolf and Kermit Ruffins and The BBQ Swingers are at Blue Nile. Saturday, Phish will be jamming all night at the Joy while Party Nails are at Gasa Gasa. On Saturday you can also catch Lilli Lewis at the SideBar. On Sunday, Drugdealer are at Gasa Gasa and The Rolling Stones deliver their makeup performance for Jazz Fest at the Superdome. Monday, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy are at the Saenger while Rarity are at Gasa Gasa. Tuesday, the Dinosaurchestra is the early show at d.b.a. followed by the Treme Brass Band while the Hi-Ho Lounge has Vexed Perspective. Wednesday, legendary alt-rockers Built to Spill are at the Joy while Black Joe Lewis plays Tipitina’s. Thursday, Forming The Void are at Gasa Gasa while the Trio with Johnny V, Sasha Masakowski and Joe Ashlar drop in at the Maple Leaf.


To Listen This Week