The Motet: Speed of Light Tour

DSP Shows

The Motet: Speed of Light Tour


Wed · November 20, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Haunt

Ithaca, NY

$20.00 - $25.00

The Motet
The Motet
The Motet
Dave Watts (drums)
Joey Porter (keys)
Garrett Sayers (bass)
Ryan Jalbert (guitar)
Lyle Divinsky (vocals)
Drew Sayers (sax)
Parris Fleming (trumpet)

Throughout history, unity starts on the dancefloor. From ancient tribal cultures to neon night clubs, beats bring bodies together. Once grinding and grooving in unison, the movement generates friction, sparks, and light. That might just be the purest form of energy on the planet. The Motet harness such energy on their ninth full-length, Death or Devotion. In fact, the Denver septet—Dave Watts [drums], Joey Porter [keys], Garrett Sayers [bass], Ryan Jalbert [guitar], Lyle Divinsky [vocals], Drew Sayers [sax], and Parris Fleming [trumpet]—encode a message in their energetic mélange of boisterous badass funk, swaggering soul, and thought-provoking pop.

In the process, they challenge convention and arrive with a dynamic, diverse, and definitive statement.

“The essence is always going to be the groove, but we wanted to expand the idea of what a funk album could be,” says Lyle. “Of course, you want a driving backbeat. However, with the division that’s going on in this country and the world, I think it’s every artist’s responsibility to create a conversation. That conversation doesn’t have to be political either. It can be about love or an introspective journey. I think the commentary should be on what it’s like to be alive today. By drawing on funk, we create a fun, palatable musical vehicle for the message to go down. Our goal is for you to recognize we’re all dancing on the same dance floor—even though our steps may look a little different.”

Death or Devotion earmarks an important point in the band’s own journey. Since emerging in 1998, the boys have cooked up eight full-length albums and entranced countless crowds. 2016’s Totem saw them welcome Lyle behind the mic and Drew on sax. Shortly after, they kicked off what has become an annual tradition by selling out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater for the first time. “It was my six-month anniversary and first show for a hometown crowd,” recalls Lyle. “I’ve got 10,000 people looking at me like, ‘Who the hell is that?’,” he laughs.

That night would be chronicled on the fan favorite Live at Red Rocks. In the meantime, the group maintained a prolific pace of 100 shows per year in support of Totem. Along the way, The Motet started recording Death or Devotion during intermittent sessions at Scanhope Sound in 2017.

For the first time, Lyle, Drew, and Parris (who joined in 2018) worked on a Motet record together from start-to-finish.

“On Totem, the train was already moving, and I was just a train hopper,” says Lyle.
“Drew, Parris, and I came onboard within the same year. Now, we’re all bringing our pieces to the puzzle. For me, I brought that R&B style. Funk is the common ground, but the music is a result of different inspirations: namely Drew’s hip-hop and reggae knowledge, Ryan’s psychedelic jamming, Dave with the worldbeat, Joey with his encyclopedic understanding of punk, and Garrett being the best bass player to exist. We found a really cool balance between the funkiness and songs that challenge your emotional headspace more than typical pop.”

The first single “That Dream” showcases the myriad of musical flavors from all seven members. Clean palm-muted guitars bristle against a swaggering beat as the horns enliven each verse, while a vocal call-and-response relays a head-spinning tale.
“I took a nap, and I had the craziest dream I’ve ever had,” he recalls. “In the dream, I’m heartbroken from a nonexistent relationship, so I go out to a bar. I get seduced by this beautiful woman who serves me a glass of wine with poison. I wake up handcuffed and she’s stealing from me and torturing me. It was so dark, but I woke up and thought, ‘That would be a crazy subject to write a party song about!’”

Elsewhere, “Highly Compatible” hinges on an unshakable riff and raucous refrain upheld by sizzling sax. “It’s like that beautiful moment of falling in love where you recognize something as supremely real-life magic,” Lyle goes. “Harry Potter couldn’t conjure a better spell. It’s the magnetic nature of the chemistry. We captured that chemical recognition.”

From the infectious hooks of “Contagious” to the instrumental fireworks on “Speed of Light,” The Motet ultimately propose an important question at the heart of Death Or Devotion.

“What are you going to bring to yourself and the world?”, Lyle leaves off. “Are you going to bring death, or are you going to bring devotion? The choice is yours. When you listen to this record, I’d love for you to walk away feeling a little bit more connected, whether it be to yourself, to your friends, or to your community. Being able to drop all of the vision for a minute, be present, smile, and dance reminds us we’re all going through this together.”
Known for their huge sound and tight musicianship, the band SOPHISTAFUNK is an unstoppable funk hip-hop dance party. Their presence is powerful, their lyrics are cutting edge, and their live shows are packed with passion and energy. Comprised of funkmaster Adam Gold, who sings, beatboxes, and plays up to four keyboards at the same time; soulful drummer / vocalist Emanuel Washington; and captivating front-man Jack Brown; the band recently welcomed their newest member: saxophonist Tommy Weeks of the Funky Dawgz Brass Band.

In 2017, SOPHISTAFUNK was featured as the house band on five episodes of the Food Network show Guy’s Grocery Games. During the show, host Guy Fieri called them his “favorite band," which has been covered by new outlets such as The Village Voice (NYC) and BuzzFeed. They've also played four of his birthday parties and frequently entertain a wide array of celebrities. The band has released four studio albums, including their most recent double-LP "Real Vibration" (2017). This past October, a song from that record entitled "No More War" gained notoriety when its music video was premiered by Live for Live Music. This nationally renowned website also referred to them as "the hip hop band for the jam fan."

From their home base in Syracuse NY, SOPHISTAFUNK has become a mainstay with national audiences spanning from electronic to jazz, reggae, and jam bands. Their coast-to-coast schedule includes frequent stops in New York City, Boston, New Orleans, Denver, San Francisco, & Seattle, among others Their festival resume includes Camp Bisco 2017, GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance (five years running), as well as Horning’s Hideout in Oregon and Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Florida. The band has also toured the UK multiple times, performing to 50,000+ at the giant international festivals BoomTown and Shambala. As a result, they were featured in a 2015 Relix Magazine article entitled "Five Bands You Should Know."

Every show features vintage tones, live improvisation, and surprise guests. The band loves collaborating with different musicians, from the late great Bernie Worrell to drummers Tommy Lee of Motley Crue and Nikki Glaspie of Nth Power/Beyonce. In 2016, SOPHISTAFUNK recorded a live show featuring five members of Snarky Puppy (2x Grammy winner). Their versatility allows them to support a wide variety of national bands, such as Snarky Puppy, Rebelution, SOJA, Bass Nectar, Disco Biscuits, Lettuce, & Soulive (to name a few), as well as classic acts such as Aretha Franklin, Parliament Funkadelic, Foreigner, Rakim, & KRS One. They have also toured extensively with The Motet, Orgone, Fishbone, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, & Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. In 2016, SOPHISTAFUNK rocked a full house at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas, playing after Zac Brown Band. The guys still maintain a close personal connection with Guy Fieri, frequently playing private parties for him and his friends across the country. They first met in 2013 while performing on his show Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives at the restaurant/music venue Funk ‘n Waffles, which is owned by keyboardist Adam Gold.
Venue Information:
The Haunt
702 Willow Ave
Ithaca, NY, 14850