Story: Jack Foley
NEW York City's White Light Motorcade describe themselves as
modern rock revivalists who are unabashedly loud and electric;
mindful of their roots, yet grounded in the present.
Their influences come thick and fast, from the old school likes
of MC5 and The Stooges, through to Oasis, Muse and Supergrass,
while also possessing an instinct for the Brit-edged guitar-based
machinations of the likes of The Stone Roses (witness their Waterfall
homage, Dream Day, on the debut album).
The band formed a few years ago, at New York's Don Hills,
which has played host to early gigs from the likes of Green Day,
Nirvana and The Strokes, and quickly earned a reputation for themselves
as plain and simple rock 'n' rollers, who got by on the belief
that they were proud to be in a great band.
By the end of 2002, they had supported Alice Cooper on his American
tour and won the battle to secure the attentions of his fans.
Lead singer, Harley Dinardo, describes the experience as an excellent
training ground for the battles which lie ahead, while declaring
that, despite having to contend with the usual scepticism reserved
for unknown support slots, the band usually won Cooper's crowd
over within three or four songs, before then blowing them away.
A debut album quickly followed, and was produced by Brad Jones
in Nashville, the luminary who had worked with Imperial Drag and
Cotton Mather among others, and who approached them from the outset,
after catching them at a New York showcase.
He quickly saw they had brilliant melodies, great guitar playing,
and 'just the right amount of chaos to keep it together'.
And the result is an album which refuses to 'bullshit', or, as
Dinardo puts it, 'is just music that stands up forever and still
is better than a lot of whats around now'.
The rest of the band is made up of guitarist, Mark Lewis, drummer,
Steven Slingeneyer, and bassist, Tommy Salmorin.
And while they are keen to cite their influences, and draw elements
of them into their records, they refuse to be pigeon-holed into
"Too many bands today are worried about carving such a small
niche, while sounding like everyone else," observes Dinardo.
"What happened to variety? Zeppelin had that, and we want
that, too. A great song is a great song, period."
And given the rock 'n' roll revival being spearheaded by the
likes of The Strokes, The Vines, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club,
The White Stripes and Muse, Dinardo believes the time is right
for White Light Motorcade to make their mark.
"Things can only get so crappy before they start to turn
around," he says, commenting on rock 'n' roll's return to
the radio. "People are starting to care what they listen
to again - and we're right there with them."
Having just signed to the independent label, Octone (an artist
development co-venture with J Records), White Light Motorcade
look poised to do exactly what they are predicting; so make sure
you catch them when they return to the UK later this month.
A mini-tour is planned for November, to help build on the good
work they did earlier this year, when the likes of Xfm began to
pick up their vibe.
If you want to catch them (and we think you should), here's where
Fri, 21 Nov 2003 Reading Fez
Sat, 22 Nov 2003 Sheffield Leadmill
Mon, 24 Nov 2003 Norwich Waterfront
Tue, 25 Nov 2003 London The Astoria
Wed, 26 Nov 2003 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Fri, 28 Nov 2003 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
Sat, 29 Nov 2003 Nottingham Rock City
Mon, 1 Dec 2003 Preston The Mill
Tue, 2 Dec 2003 Leeds The Cockpit
Wed, 3 Dec 2003 Newport TJ's