Interview: PJ of Motel Beds shares what helps make his mind glitter

motelbeds-mindglitterThe Motel Beds have been a steady and growing force in the Dayton, Ohio music scene since they released their first EP in 2004. Since then, PJ Paslosky, Ian Kaplan, Tod Weidner, Tommy Cooper, and Derl Robbins have made nothing but a name for themselves. They’ve done everything from getting recognition from WTF’s Marc Maron, guest vocals from Kelley Deal (The Breeders, R. Ring), helping on albums made by Guided By Voices, an album release through Misra Records, playing with members of Guided By Voices, and May festival appearences. MOJO has called them “A sun spotted psych pop cousin of post-Britpop Supergrass.” Paste has said “Basically, they’re the ideal indie-rock outfit of grit-kicking, road-tripping, chest-thumping guitar-riff glory that you’ve been jonesing for these past 10 years.” While I posted “Valentimes” a song from 2012’s Dumb Gold, we’re really here to talk about Motel Beds’ upcoming release Mind Glitter. I was lucky enough to joke and talk with frontman PJ Paslosky about the group’s dynamics, egos, fame, how a Beds’ record comes together, and why Mind Glitter seems to be their most “theme” based cohesive album to date. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had putting this together. Get excited because the Motel Beds’ Mind Glitter will be upon us 10/16/15 through Anyway Records and will be available on CD/LP. Take it away, us.

Christopher Tahy: PJ, When did you know that you’d finally hit the big time? Was it when I recognized you in Target or was it being introduced at the Fraze Pavilion by none other than bummed out x-fest enthusiast Dirk Roburn?

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PJ: Hahaha! Yes, that’s right! We met at Target! That’s actually a funny story because we had crossed paths in the store that day a few different times and you kept looking at me, probably thinking to yourself, “Hey, isn’t that the Motel Beds dude?” But I thought you were maybe trying to step to me (I had been going through a phase that week of watching all 90’s urban gangsta flicks like Juice and Boyz in the hood so I was a bit “hyped” as the kids say). Little did you know I grabbed a case of 9-volt batteries and a pack of tube socks and I was totally ready to go to war with you! Ha!

Yeah, all joking aside, you know when I was a little kid growing up, I loved music and just being on a record was always a dream of mine. So when I was was like 16 or 17, I remember being in my first band and holding our first 7-inch record and thinking, “This is the coolest feeling ever!!!” And now, fast forward many, many years to the present, we just got the first batch of Mind Glitter vinyl LP’s the other week and I was just holding it in my hands thinking, “This is the coolest feeling ever!!!” Some things will never change. That feeling never gets old. Huge hugs and love to Bela and Kyle and all at Anyway Records for releasing it!

CT: How did the idea for the GBV Propeller-like release of These Are The Days Gone By come about? Was it GBV? I love my album art and have to know. Shout out to We Care Arts.

PJ: To be honest, our label at the time, Misra, actually introduced the We Care Arts organization and the idea itself to us. For those who don’t know, We Care Arts is a wonderful, non-profit organization. They provide an outlet for art therapy to people/artists. The wonderfully talented artists there created a limited run of all hand-painted records for These are the Days Gone By. For sure a little GBV-esque (we’re from Dayton, of course we’re GBV fanboys) but to be honest I look at those records and it was all about those artists. When I saw all the different album covers hanging up next to each other, it was a pretty amazing experience. It was actually pretty overwhelming for us knowing that the artists put so much of themselves and their time into those album covers. The We Care Arts artists made that whole thing happen. We were just honored that they were willing to lend us their creativity and talents.

CT: So, I’ve heard the album and have to say that these are the most varied songs released by the Motel Beds. Who and/or what brought that on? Dumb Gold was a rocker but Mind Glitter seems to come from a more constructed and layered vein. Am I getting warm here?

PJ: Well we don’t usually go into writing/recording an album expecting to 100 percent know what it’s going to come out like or sound like. I guess it’s good to have a game plan of sorts but we’ve learned that when you go into something, like the process of writing and recording a new album, it’s best just to go wherever it takes you. With that being said, we wanted Mind Glitter to have peaks and valleys. Ups and downs, highs and lows. The songs are definitely more layered than the last record. At the very least we knew going into this one that we wanted the finished product to create some kind of an atmosphere for the listener and hopefully we were able to pull that off to a certain degree.

CT: So, PJ, I really like my vinyl and have many Motel Beds’ albums on it. Are the Beds ever going to release Dumb Gold on vinyl? Are there going to be any special vinyl pressings of Mind Glitter when it becomes available? Brain Candy Creative did such a good job on the Sunfried Dreams pressing.

PJ: Unfortunately no. No extra vinyl bells and whistles this time around for Mind Glitter. You’ll get the standard vinyl LP and you’ll like it young man! Lol. We are however actually doing something really awesome for Mind Glitter. Our friend’s label, Gas Daddy Go, is putting out the cassette version that will actually be a completely different version of the album. Even some different songs and a bunch of alternative versions. They will also, like the LP, come with a digital download. I gotta say, Derl did a rad job compiling the cassette version & doing all the work on it. The alternate version is actually pretty badass and really makes it a pretty cool incentive to grab the cassette format of Mind Glitter.

As far as Dumb Gold goes, I would love to see it properly being released on vinyl but no immediate plans as of yet. Someday I hope!

CT: Out of these four Motel Beds, who has the biggest ego: Darl, You, Ian, or Tod? I could imagine a PJ tour rider being pretty lengthy trying to keep the roll of the every dynamic frontman. Does Darl just walk around reminding everyone about how he helped out on those Guided By Voices records? Is Tod the wise mystic that’s been a staple of the Dayton music scene since the 90’s? Then there’s Ian who has to play the Kim and Kelley Deal card — sorry Tommy, I don’t know much about you, but who knows you could win. Who wins here PJ?

PJ: There’s way too much ball busting, typical self-loathing and self-depreciation going on in this band for egos. When we go to practice and we no longer laugh until our sides hurt, then I think it will be time to pack it in.

CT: Mind Glitter’s “Thirst Veterans” is beautiful in its simplicity. How did something like that come about? Better yet, what does the process of writing a Motel Beds song look like?

PJ: Thank you! To be honest, it’s always a little different. We all add our own thing to the song writing process. We’ve, in a way, definitely had to evolve in how we write songs. The older we get the less time our “regular” lives allows for us to get together to write and craft tunes. So a lot of the times one of us will bring a totally unfinished idea to the table and we’ll just play it together and see what how it plays out during practice. Songs are a funny thing. They can come of of nowhere sometimes or you can be working on a particular one for what seems like ages. Our favorites are ones that seem to write themselves but there is also something to be said for the ones that need to be labored over.

CT: Mind Glitter will be released on 10/16/15 through Anyway Records and is available on CD/LP. PJ, while I’ve got you here is there anything that you’d like to plug that special and or shows wise?

PJ: We do have a brand new song that we recorded after Mind Glitter that will be on a split 7-inch single with our really good friend, Nate Farley. His song, hands down, is one of my favorite new songs I’ve heard all year. His fellow GBV brother-in-arms, Doug Gillard, plays guitar on the track and so does Derl, Ian and Tod. I am pumped for that to come out. I can’t wait for people to hear it.

CT: What is a description of Motel Beds sound? Is it daydream, sea-foam green, moonbeam, lo-fi rockin’ beach swing? I feel like this album has almost embraced a concept more than past Beds albums. While Dumb Gold, Sunfried Dreams, and Tango Boys all rocked, Mind Glitter has a continuity. Why do you think that is?

PJ: The Motel Beds sound is one that consists of stupidity and uncontrollable laughter at all times.

CT: Mind Glitter’s “Paper Trees” drone and vocals equal Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell. Yes or No?

PJ: Busted…hahaha.

CT: You can get all the Beds for this one. Being as that Motel Beds have been around for about 10 years, what has been your greatest moment as a Bed? Example — getting recognition from WTF’s Mark Maron. You guys are on the cusp of great things and I cannot wait to hear/see what happens next. Thanks so much, PJ.

PJ:To be honest I know this is gonna sound corny but for over 10 years I’ve got to play music, travel, get totally stupid and share creativity with some of my best friends ever. I’m just really proud of the musical carnage that we’ve laid along the way. The Motel Beds has, first and foremost, always been a labor of love for each of us. Just knowing that some people out there are letting us be a song or two on the soundtrack of their lives is the greatest thing ever. That feeling is greater than any singular moment that we’ve had.

Actually scratch that. There was this one time we played a festival in Arkansas and in the green room they had a huge, and I mean HUGE, bowl of Starbursts and they were just the pink ones. If I’m being honest with myself that was probably our greatest moment. Ever.

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3 comments to “Interview: PJ of Motel Beds shares what helps make his mind glitter”
  1. Pingback: In A Nutshell Review: Motel Beds – Mind Glitter | Rocknuts

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