Editor’s Note: It was a solid night of rock in Iowa as Motograter was about to deliver their blistering set in front of the Lifer’s audience in Algona, Iowa. Motograter is known for their tribal warpaint, their live set that engages the audience, and the band that had Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch as a frontman first. It is no secret that there have been a few lineup changes over the years, however, Motograter is moving forward, contrary to what the naysayers might say in regards to that. In 2017, Motograter released their latest record entitled “Desolation” via EMP Label Group, which is headed by David Ellefson of Megadeth. This will be one of the first interviews where their newly recruited bass player known as Aeon Cruz was involved, and original member Nuke is in this interview as well. Fans can check out Motograter at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Hey Nuke, I just want to thank you so much for taking the time with Madness To Creation today. How has it been going with the tour and everything?
Nuke: It’s been going great, the crowd response has been great, we are reconnecting with old fans and making new fans with our live show, we just keep moving forward as a band.
Madness To Creation: A fun question to keep this interview positive, what would you say has been the best Motograter gig ever?
Nuke: Man, I tell you, that’s a great question. I would say back in 2003 when we were a part of Ozzfest. I tell you man, Ozzy Osbourne was so cool to us and really dug what we brought. It’s important to be as professional as possible, especially on a festival. It was just crazy starting out, busting out, and seeing thousands of people moshing and jumping and being a part of the Motograter live experience. In terms of recently, I would say at Knotfest where we heard thousands of people singing every word to “Suffocate”, and even recently at a show in California Ivan Moody, as you know was the original singer of our band, came out and surprised us at a show and it was good to connect with him.
Madness To Creation: Those all sound like memorable live experiences, you just brought up Ivan Moody, to be a fly on the wall in that conversation, what was it like connecting with him?
Nuke: I tell you, Ivan has been such a good friend to me over the years. I’ve been proud of his sobriety as of late and we all know that he is killing it with Five Finger Death Punch, and I am proud to call him a good friend of mine. He is still the same person when he started out, if you get on his good side, he would give you the shirt off of his back to help you. He may be famous now, but that doesn’t affect him, we had such a great conversation about memories in Motograter and what our bands have been doing nowadays. I tell you, there’s some exciting things happening in Motograter that I can’t share yet. *laughs*
Madness To Creation: A fun question here, what is your favorite Five Finger Death Punch song?
Nuke: Without a doubt, “Battle Born” . I love that song man! As a touring musician and someone that has had a lot of ups and downs in my career, I can completely relate to that song, to be honest, that song has helped me get through some tough times in my life, but that’s what music does is that it helps get people through.
Madness To Creation: Would you say that’s why you do this for a living?
Nuke: 100%. Our songs are about things that we’ve been through and things that people can relate to. It’s amazing when fans come up to us after a show and talk about how our music has affected them.
Madness To Creation: Tell us about the Motograter live experience to someone that has never seen Motograter.
Nuke: Well, we are known for our warpaint. *laughs* The warpaint is supposed to be tribal hence the motograter that we have as part of our live set, all it is is where cables and guitar pieces are hooked together to enhance the bass sound to make it sound even more tribal. We have a lot of energy, whether we’re at a small club like Lifers or at a festival, you can expect the same amount of energy.
Madness To Creation: Desolation is regarded as Motograter’s comeback album with the single Daggers. Take us into that song.
Nuke: Tell you what man, Daggers is one of my favorite songs to play live. The song is basically about a failed relationship and coming out of that relationship, and that is the beauty of having Legion as a vocalist. Legion is so poetic and deep in his songwriting, yet his songs can be interpreted in so many ways. Legion is such a great frontman and knows how to get the crowd involved.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add in regards to Motograter?
Nuke: To the fans, thank you. To the band members, thank you for keeping this going. And thank you for interviewing me. Come out and see us when we come to your town, I love meeting the fans, I’m also about supporting the openers as I’m usually right in front in support until it’s time to put the paint on. One more thing, Aeon Cruz has been an amazing bassist and it would be cool if you interviewed her as well!
Aeon Cruz, the bassist of Motograter, joins us as Nuke gets ready for the show.
Madness To Creation: Aeon, it’s good to talk to you and I was not prepared to interview you, so this might sound impromptu, so how would you describe Motograter in a historical or movie context?
Aeon: Pirate ships! Pirate ships of the Caribbean. That’s all I’m taking for this story. *laughs*
Madness To Creation: How did you get started in Motograter?
Aeon: I believe I joined in May when the tour started. Last tour we were on, we were on the West Coast, and Nuke actually messaged my Instagram and asked me to go on tour, then he called me and told me the details of the tours and dates, and then he called me back and asked me to join the band, so I said, “sure I’m in”. That’s kind of how it happened. The way I met them, I met Nuke in 2009 and my old band opened for them.
Madness To Creation: What was your old band?
Aeon: My old band was called Audio Flux out of Denver, Colorado, kind of an electronic metal band.
Madness To Creation: You like electronic music and stuff?
Aeon: Yeah, I used to DJ when I was out in Arizona, then I moved to Denver to start a band, and have been there ever since.
Madness To Creation: What would your DJ name be today?
Aeon: DJ Scrambled Eggs. Just kidding, nothing crazy.
Madness To Creation: The tour has been going good and stuff?
Aeon: It has been fantastic, I’ve had such an amazing time, it’s only been two days and this is the best week of my life so far.
Madness To Creation: What have been some memories made so far?
Aeon: Well, I got to bring my daughter with me, so it’s been like a summer camp for us, a Motograter summer camp, I have my dog with me, so everything I love is with me, and I get to play shows every night, and just the people we’ve met so far, we met this fantastic family last night, they’ve been so hospitable, so kind, and treat us like family, it’s just been so nice, everyone has been so pleasant. My daughter and I flew into Chicago from Denver and the band picked us up there, so we got a chance to do some sightseeing in Chicago and see some of the country and go swimming, it’s just been great, everything I love.
Madness To Creation: Does your daughter play music too?
Aeon: She plays violin, she never wants me to teach her any bass or guitar or anything, she has taught herself violin and she’s had some online classes, she goes to YouTube a lot to learn songs, she learned the Star Wars theme, and Darth Vader stuff. She’s been to a lot of my old band’s shows, she’ll always come and get up on stage and dance with us, she hasn’t with Motograter, but with our last band, it kind of made sense since we had so many things going on.
Madness To Creation: What else do you want to learn playing bass or musically?
Aeon: I always wanted to learn how to be a drummer, but when I was in middle school, I took band so I could be a drummer, and the band teacher told me, “play something that girls play” and now I would’ve been like, “whatever, I can play what I want and girls can play whatever they want”, but I had no idea then, I was very quiet, and I didn’t really have strong females to look up to as role models, and I didn’t know how to stand up for myself, and I didn’t know how to speak my mind, so I just kind of quit, I didn’t do very well with flute or clarinet, you know the instruments that “girls play”, then I picked up the bass, one of my friends had a band that didn’t have a bass player, and I begged them to teach me, I was like, “if I suck, then you can kick me out”. I ended up just picking it up really well without never really writing anything for that band. When I was 17, I was able to play what they gave me. Then, I moved to Arizona and I was DJing and another DJ said, “oh, you’ve played bass before, you could move to Denver and I know some people that you could start a band with”, so we decided to do that, and got in bands in Denver. Now, I’m trying to learn about music theory and writing some electronic music, and coming on tour with Motograter in the meantime and playing bass with them.
Madness To Creation: Who is the one bass player that you look up to the most?
Aeon: I love Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I love Victor Wooten. I’m not sure who Victor has played with, but I know he has those camps and I would love to go to one of his camps. I know his music is about harmony of the world, and he teaches bass and rhythm, kind of me inspiring new ideas from, energy feels and things and all the crazy science stuff. I’m a huge fan of Nick Schendzielos, who played in Cephalic Carnage and he’s in Havok now and Job For A Cowboy, he gave me a couple bass lessons when he was in Denver. He just blew my mind, he came over and brought his little tool kit over, he’s got a 7 or 9 string bass, he’s just mindblowing, he inspired me to play and learn new things, and to just not quit it, he was probably my biggest inspiration I would say.
Madness To Creation: Speaking of bass players, David Ellefson of Megadeth is a part of EMP Label Group, have you had a chance to meet him yet?
Aeon: I haven’t! Honestly, I just found out about this yesterday. I kind of joined the band blindly, I’ve played with them in 2009, I think my other band played a show with them years later, I was kind of blind coming in to the whole thing, I was kind of clueless of what was going on, I just found out a bunch of really cool things yesterday, I’m very excited about everything, but it’s all very new to me.
Madness To Creation: Have you ever listened to Megadeth or not really?
Aeon: I’ve never really listened to Megadeth, I have to, so when I meet him, I can be like, “that song that you played on that album that I love”.
Madness To Creation: Are you guys writing and recording while on tour?
Aeon: We are going to wait to write and record, I think between the last tour and this tour, the band was in North Carolina, and David and Nuke, and someone else was writing some things, and we’ve just been focusing on playing shows and we were on a pirate ship today. At the house we were staying at, there was a pirate ship in the backyard. And you know what, I loved playing in Iowa City, and Iowa is just amazing, I never knew anything about it, but Iowa is just a great place. I’ve been asking the guys, can we just move here, everyone is so friendly, everyone is so nice, it’s just beautiful.
Madness To Creation: What’s your favorite Motograter song to play?
Aeon: “Get Back”. I love playing “Get Back”, everybody just gets into it too.
Madness To Creation: What is your stage presence like?
Aeon: I like to move around a lot, I get very much into the music and I like to headbang a lot. The fans come to see a show, I know that I don’t like going to a show and the band just stands there. I could listen to the album at home if that’s the case. However, Between The Buried And Me is mindblowing live.
Madness To Creation: Who do you want to see live that you haven’t seen?
Aeon: Dimmu Borgir. Just watching their videos, I’m just blown away. Best show I’ve seen was Marilyn Manson, the second time I saw him when he came with Rob Zombie a couple of years ago, with everything going on on the stage, the stage props, I definitely liked the show.
Madness To Creation: Is there anything else you would like to add cause I know you have to get the warpaint on and get ready for the show.
Aeon: I would say go to www.motogratertour.com, we just got that website relaunched. I’m excited for us to move forward as a band, we are focused on the positive from here on out and just playing shows and making music. We are not about the negative anymore, I mean if it’s as bad as people say it is online, I would have not brought my daughter on tour, and to have everything that I love get hurt, I absolutely love being here, it’s just a nice place to be.
And there you have it! Motograter along with Brand of Julez and The Crowned will be providing support on Orgy’s “Bring Your Army Tour” this summer and fall. Check out tour dates below.
Saturday, August 18th- Moxi Theater in Greeley, Colorado
Monday, August 20th- Paper Tiger in San Antonio, Texas
Tuesday, August 21st- Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Wednesday, August 22nd- Trees in Dallas, Texas
Thursday, August 23rd- Scout Bar in Houston, Texas
Friday, August 24th- 3Ten Austin City Limits Live in Austin, Texas
Saturday, August 25th- Ethos Live in Laredo, Texas
Sunday, August 26th- Yerberia Cultura in McAllen, Texas
Tuesday, August 28th- Southport Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana
Thursday, August 30th- The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia
Friday, August 31st- West End Trading Company in Sanford, Florida (w/A Brilliant Lie and Orgy)
Saturday, September 1st- Brass Mug in Tampa, Florida (w/Orgy)
Monday, September 3rd- Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Concord, Virginia
Tuesday, September 4th- Gramercy Theatre in New York, New York
Thursday, September 6th- Stanhope House in Stanhope, New Jersey(w/Chmcl Str8jckt)
Friday, September 7th- Fete Music Hall in Providence, Rhode Island (w/Deprived)
Saturday, September 8th- Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville, New York
Sunday, September 9th- One Centre Square in Easton, Pennsylvania
Monday, September 10th- Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, September 11th- Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio
Wednesday, September 12th- The Forge in Joliet, Illinois
Thursday, September 13th- The Room in Highland, Indiana
Friday, September 14th- RocHaus in West Dundee, Illinois
Saturday, September 15th- Diesel Concerts Detroit in Chesterfield, Michigan
Monday, September 17th- Bourbon Saloon in Omaha, Nebraska
Tuesday, September 18th- The Oriental Theater in Denver, Colorado
Wednesday, September 19th- Black Sheep in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Friday, September 21st- House of Blues in Anaheim, California
Saturday, September 22nd- BLK Live in Scottsdale, Arizona
Sunday, September 23rd- 1720 in Los Angeles, California
Tuesday, September 25th- Club Sur Rocks in Seattle, Washington
Wednesday, September 26th- Paris Theatre in Portland, Oregon
Saturday, September 29th- Brick By Brick in San Diego, California
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.