Getting closer

The Motel Beds The Motel Beds

The Motel Beds celebrate the release of Tango Boys

By Kyle Melton

The Motel Beds

The Motel Beds

Timing is everything. To be able to arrive at a moment and capitalize on years of experience and preparation is an elusive proposition. For Dayton’s Motel Beds, the past year saw these longtime scene favorites bring to the table an excellent new album, Sunfried Dreams, early in the year, as well as teaming up with North Carolina-based label No More Fake Labels, working with Dayton native Kelley Deal of The Breeders and traveling with her to New York this fall for a handful of high-profile appearances at the illustrious CMJ Seminar.

As if 2011 could not get any better for the Beds, they’ll close out the year with the release of their latest album, Tango Boys. The album will see a vinyl release, financed by the band’s recent success with their web-based Kickstarter campaign. Retaining much of the vintage rock n’ roll vibe on “Hopeless” and “These are the Days Gone By” that made Sunfried Dreams a fan favorite, Tango Boys adds droning surf and shoegaze elements into the mix on the title track and “Tropics of the Sand.”  Throw in the bombastic “Tarzan Sings the Blues,” and Tango Boys stands as another excellent testament to the range and release of rock n’ roll. We spoke with drummer Ian Kaplan and guitarist Darryl Robbins about the Motel Beds’ 2011 season…

You used the new website Kickstarter to fund the vinyl release of Tango Boys. What was your experience using that technology? How important do you feel it was in making this type of release possible for an independent act such as the Beds?
I think we had a really great experience with Kickstarter and, frankly, it is one of two major reasons why we were able to put “Tango Boys” out on vinyl. I highly recommend giving it a shot to anyone who is looking for funding for any creative project. For us, it was another “well, we have nothing to lose by asking for help” kind of situations. [Ian Kaplan]

In teaming up with No More Fake Labels earlier this year, how have things changed in terms of exposure to a wider audience? How has your approach to releasing/promoting music changed as a result?
Things have changed in that Misty [Dawn Briggs, NMFL founder] does things we wouldn’t have probably done without her, exposing us to people we’d otherwise never be in front of, getting airplay on XM radio for instance. It’s been extremely good for us, and Misty is a saint. [Darryl Robbins]

How did you come to work with Kelley Deal on the new album? How was the experience of recording with her? How about her going with you to CMJ?
Hooking up with Kelley was all thanks to my old friend Nick Eddy. When we were asked to do the Dayton does Dayton tribute show last year, I thought, “what could it hurt to just ask her if she’d play with us?” and sure enough, she said yes and we’ve built a great relationship with her. She’s turned into a dear friend to us and tells us things like “you guys gave me goose bumps when you started playing.” Hearing that from one of your musical heroes is amazing and weird. Mostly amazing though. [IK]

Tell us about your recent trip to CMJ. How was the reception? How did it meet your expectations, or not?
Our reception, I think, was really, really great and better than we ever could have hoped for. We approached it like everything else new… consider it a blank slate and make of it what you can. Fortunately, the crowd loved it, we had a great deal of fans show up for our set, including [ex-Guided By Voices guitarist] Doug Gillard, who told Derl how much he liked it. It really told me that we are doing something right and, more importantly, that all the hard work is paying off. [IK]

How do you feel about the results of Tango Boys? What were your hopes/expectations of this album after the buzz surrounding Sunfried Dreams? What can people expect as a listening experience?
My hopes are that people will listen to it and enjoy it and that we’ll sell out of the vinyl so we can move on the next record that’s already starting to form. It’s not Sunfried part II, but it’s close.  It moves around a bit more. There are snuggly, fuzzy songs, and there are pound beers and punch your dad in the face songs. It’s more of a Frito Lay variety pack where Sunfried was all Cool Ranch. [DR]

With such an incredible 2011 season, what does 2012 hold in store for the Motel Beds? What should people look forward to in the New Year?
We’re going to continue to play the cards we have and hopefully, with all the hard work and the music being appreciated as much it has, gain even more momentum and maybe a tour. There are some things that we can control about this whole process, but more things that we can’t, and that’s what the exciting part is. We have no idea what sort of cool shit may happen for us on a daily basis. Any way we can have our music heard is fine by us. [IK]

The Motel Beds will celebrate the release of Tango Boys with a show on Friday, December 9 at Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St. Also on the bill are Buffalo Killers and The Chocolate Horse [Cincy]. Admission is $5 for 18 & up. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, visit



Reach DCP Music Editor Kyle Melton at and read his blog at

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