If you have ever been to a local festival, chances are you have seen Mochester perform. From Parties in the Park to the East End fest, Mochester has been showing everyone how to do Motown right. I caught up with them last week at their practice spot, Echo Tone Music, and talked about their music career in Rochester.
How did the band get started?
Jonathan: It really started just messing around in high school. My buddies and I started playing in a band singing and playing acoustic sets. Brandon lived in the room next to me so he ended up joining. There have been so many different people over the years. We started calling the band Mochester in 2001 so it’s been eleven years. This current line up is where it is at though; this is what we wanted to work towards.
Brandon: Alex has been with the band for six years now. Ben has been with us for about two.
Alex: Before Mochester, Ben and I played in bands together since we were twelve. We started playing with their band over the years, then we merged the two bands into what is now this super group.
Ben: We have all played together and grown up together in the music scene.
Where did you develop the Motown influence?
Ben: Being raised right.
Jonathan: We grew up listening to the Beatles, which are the root of everything. One day someone said we should call your band Mochester, so we probably switched to Motown to fit our new name. (Laughs)
You guys are just beginning work on a new album. Is there going to be a big difference from your first album, Stop and Go, and the new one?
Brandon: The old album was recorded five or six years ago and we finally released it last year. Stop and Go was recorded with an old line up so we are really excited to get into the studio and have all fresh stuff with this line up.
Jonathan: All of the old songs were songs I wrote in high school. The new stuff is a lot fresher. It’s a different sound, but it is still Motown. It’s a more mature leap forward.
Alex: You will be able to tell that our band has evolved for the better.
What do you think of the Rochester Music scene?
Jonathan: I think it has changed over the years since I had been in it. It was a real heavy scene, a ton of metal and punk. Now I see bands with seven or eight dudes on the stage and bands with keyboards. Maybe that just has to do with the bands we play with. But the music scene is saturated with cover bands.
Brandon: Bands that are doing their original thing seem to struggle to get out there. Cover bands draw bigger crowds just because the people know the songs.
Jonathan: The music scene is defiantly prosperous in Rochester. There is not a lack of festivals or venues to play. There is also a lot of support and people willing to come out to see you play.
Do you have a favorite venue to play, or are you more of a festival band?
Brandon: Festivals have been really good to us this year, but we also enjoy bigger stages with good sound. A Pub live is great. Its cool working with venues that will work together with us, not charge a cover, and allow more people to come and see us play.