Photo: Stunt Company/Matt Wignall
Not everyone is consumed by caroling and spiced wine drinking and wrapping presents in tin foil. Some of us just want to go to a good rock show like always, holiday or no holiday. Gold Motel, a local indie rock band improving the moods of music lovers nationwide, comes home to Chicago this Friday for a show at Lincoln Hall, and if you're already sick of Christmas, this is where you need to be. We wanted to find out a little more about the band, so we chatted them up and found out that we like them–a lot. Read below and make sure to visit Lincoln Hall's website for tickets to Thursday's show.
1. How would you describe your style as a band?
GRETA: "Brigitte Bardot (my style) hangs out with John Lennon circa 1964 (Eric's style), plus 3 members of The Replacements (that would be Dan, Matt, and Adam)."
ERIC:" When we were discussing the aesthetic direction for Summer House, we wanted the visuals to align with the sonic qualities of the music. Summer House is a very much a west-coast pop influenced album with strong roots in traditional '60s pop and Motown. We cited bands from that time period for our fashion, specifically The Velvet Underground. Although The Velvet Underground’s music is not nearly as bubble-gummy and peppy as the tunes on Summer House, their presentation was very simplistic, stark, and consistent with their music: black, asymmetrical, and austere. Also, by having all the guys in dark formal wear, the audience’s eye is usually drawn to Greta, who incorporates a lot of bright yellow or vintage gold sequence dresses. It helps create a sense of focus. Look at the pretty girl! Ignore the goofy looking guys standing behind her!"
2. Is there any method to what you wear when you perform?
GRETA: "We all usually wear solid colors (black, gray, red, gold), and clothes that are conducive for lots of movement and sweat."
ERIC: "I usually wear black all the time, on and off stage. It’s classic, simple, and it allows me to fall into the background so Greta can visually be upfront and center. It also makes laundry day easier!"
3. What do you love most about playing shows in Chicago?
GRETA: "Obviously, the venues in Chicago are world class and I'm grateful to always play amazing clubs, but it really comes down to the people filling the club, which makes or breaks a show experience for us. Our Chicago listeners are loyal, fun loving, non-jaded music listeners, looking to come together and have a good time. They are also the best dancers we usually see at our shows."
ERIC: "It’s nice to see familiar faces out in the audience. It creates a better vibe on stage to know that your friends and families are all in the same room as you. Most of my close friends are all musicians, and I respect their musical tastes and opinions more than anyone else, so it’s always nice to get some honest feedback after the show besides the standard, “Hey! Great show! You were really good!” type of stuff."
4. Where do you love to shop in Chicago?
GRETA: "Eskell, Una Mae's, and various vintage shops."
ERIC: "I love military apparel, so Belmont Army is near the top of my list. I just wish it wasn’t so damn expensive! One of these days I hope to be able to afford and own a Schott Perfecto leather jacket. The other guys in the band are all big fans of Buffalo Exchange, and we’ve all purchased many collared shirts and blazers from H&M."
5. If you could wear anything on stage, what would it be?
GRETA: "I really want to have a night where Eric and I switch clothes. I'll wear his suit and Beatles boots, and he'll sparkle in one of my vintage gold dresses. It'd be fun!"
ERIC: "If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s to sparkle."
6. Who is the best/worst driver on tour?
GRETA: "Matt is the best driver. He's amazingly skilled at navigating the van and our large trailer into tight spots. I'm apparently the worst, judging by the fact that whenever I offer to drive, the boys leap up and say, Oh, no, you don't have to! I'm actually in the mood to drive. You just relax."
7. What is the coolest fashion find you've come across on tour?
GRETA: "A blue flowered summer dress that I bought in Osaka, Japan is my favorite vintage piece I own. I've worn it so often that the fabric (a thin silk) is now worn through. It just hangs in my closet and sometimes I wear it around the house. Vintage shopping across the world is one of the best parts of touring!"
ERIC: "I’ve had really good luck in Portland. I found a pair of black Levi polyester pants from the '70s the last time we were there, as well as a vintage pair of Serengeti sunglasses. I also picked up a really nice long winter jacket that I wear all the time. There’s a plethora of incredible vintage shops in Portland to peruse; lot’s of great diamond-in-the-rough clothes there!"