3 Jul 2024

Motorpsycho-A missive from The Mothership

A missive from The Mothership

… ”Evenin’ all! This is yr captain speaking” … 

Alright, it’s been a while since I did one of these. Out of practice, but with a feeling this needs doing. So much has happened over the last two years, but so little has been communicated, and confusion levels are a bit too high in the Psychoverse for comfort. Hope this helps.

First off, let me explain.
By the end of his tenure, dear ol’ Bob LeBad overshared to the point where we all started despising him. So we had to kill him. This was a couple of years ago, and ever since we haven’t really communicated like he used to. How could we? He was a one off.
At the end there, though, we were all bored with Bob’s earnest ramblings – they felt like relics from a different era where people actually read things and thought about things and didn’t just jump to the quickest controversial conclusion to maximise it for effect – and his massive missives just seemed to breed universal misunderstanding out there in the Psychoverse. Not good. So he had to go.

We have since hired Dr. Kneipp for that kind of stuff, he is a little more concise in his verbosity and a great addition to the team, but this one we thought it best to write ourselves (the royal we, geddit?).Seems like a lot of people are really confused about a few things: we are picking up hearsay and rumours and now we figured it was about time to put the record straight.

So here’s a little memo from the bunker, by Bent, in the spirit of Bob LeBad.

(Tip: If you can’t read it all, don’t start. This is written to clarify, so if you cannot understand something, please re-read it till you do. If you do, but still don’t, you will never get it. Psychonauts aren’t s’posed to be dumb. Go listen to Coldplay or something).

Rant over. Where was I …?

OK –

That Bob’s demise happened somewhat concurrently-ish with Tomas ‘imploding’ and leaving, and HM and I deciding it was time to grow up and personally take charge of our legacy, is probably less of a coincidence than I used to think it was, but there you are. Things seem to happen in waves, and this was certainly a big one: by the end of 2022, surf was certainly up!

Earlier that year, Rune Grammofon informed us that he was scaling down and that we were not part of his future plans. This triggered a bit of a chain reaction where we had to decide how to handle our career, what to do with our catalog and how to organise the business end of both our old and our future music. It was a big mental process, by the end of which we’d come to the conclusion that we needed to stop and take stock, a process ultimately resulting in us deciding to take charge of all of this ourselves.
So we opted to end all our existing licence deals, to start our own record company, and – first things first – concluding that getting all our chickens in the same basket (or whatever the saying is!), was our prime concern.

This meant – when Tomas signaled his unwillingness to be a part of it – HM & I having to take charge of everything ourselves, something that was, and continues to be, a big, time consuming challenge. There is quite a bit of admin involved in all of this, and while we at first thought we could take it on alone, we soon realized how way out our depths we were and asked our friend P.J. to help us out.
He did, and he does, and he is now the CEO of Det Nordenfjeldske Grammofonselskab (NFGS), our own record label (he looks a little like Morrissey, but is nothing like him. Not to worry!). Things are slowly getting under control.

We do Bandcamp and domestic mail order ourselves, and are working with WSV in Holland who are fulfilling our international web orders. The Orchard is our international digital distributor. We work with Forté in the UK, and are working on setting up distribution deals for physical formats in all other territories. Baby steps.

The first project we did 100% ourselves, was to start the Sgt Psycho’s Psolitary Psingles Club campaign to release all our singles and EPs online. This was a successful project, and we will continue the process of curating our catalogue going forward, hopefully doing re-releases along with new releases several times per year. Old and new, physical as well as digital.

From here on in, all Motorpsycho music will be released on the NFGS label if we have a say in the matter.

This whole reshuffle created a bit of friction. Of course it did. But in an attempt to minimise possible discord, we figured cutting all ties and starting afresh everywhere was the best thing to do. Asking Stickman Records to do the same job they did as partners for under half the cut would be spiteful, so we ended up terminating our very long and fruitful business relationship with them as well and starting afresh elsewhere. Weird for both Stickman and us, but we have kept things professional and as cordial as possible in the circumstances, and we sincerely hope Stickman will live, grow and thrive for a long time even without us!

Our new reality started with NFGS doing Yay! in Rune Grammofon’s old territories (primarily Norway, the UK, a few more), while Stickman did their usual ones (G/A/S, Italy, Be/Ne/Lux, etc). This had the effect that a lot of our continental fans didn’t notice the change, and it is in part to explain things to these Psychonauts that we’ve decided to publish this little explainer memo. Because It is all alright! It’s all good! Everyone are still friends, and noone is fighting anyone. It will all be a little different, but hopefully in an even better way: we are setting up new distribution deals and getting all our business dealings lined up, and hopefully, by the time the next album is out, you will all be able to find our records in the usual places, plus in some additional ones!

The Neigh!! project is a result of all of these changes. After all of this admin and cataloguing and office work, we really felt the need to finish a few of the ideas started while Tomas was with us in style, and to close that chapter properly before moving on to brand new things. Neigh!! therefore, is a transitional album: Tomas plays on a couple of the songs, while HM and I do almost everything else. In the spirit of DIY, we even mixed it ourselves, so if it is a bit of a return to 90’s lo-fi values, we must take the full blame! I dunno…it just felt like the right thing to do 🤷🏻‍♂️
As things are still in flux, we decided to do Neigh!! as an online-only release, but we expect to have all of this business sorted out by the next album, which will go into normal distribution as well as online shops.

Since our UK distro wanted to do a comp for RSD, and Small Boats sold well, we are making an exception for the UK, where Neigh!! will be available in shops as well as online.

Phew! All clear? Are we all good? If you want Neigh!! on vinyl, order it through one of the sites listed in that section of the homepage, and we will ship it to you!

OK then!

‘’In other news’’:

We’ve realise that the whole ‘who’s the drummer?’ debacle is almost as frustrating to you guys as it is to us. It’s frankly becoming a bit of a joke. What are we doing to these poor people? What kind of assholes are we that manage to chase this endless stream of great drummers away? We honestly don’t know the answer to that (duh!), but we have had a few insights since the last one left, and they feel like they at least explain some parts of the puzzle. Let me share.

Motorpsycho is an ongoing concern. We are a working band that makes new music all the time, but we also have a 35-year recorded legacy we want and need to embody and include in our daily doings. We have been many bands over these years, with different styles and different feels, and regardless of who’s in the band, we will always need to know a lot of the old tunes. And we’ll need to play them. This means that whoever’s in the band at any given point needs to learn, to like, to enjoy and ultimately love – and in muso speak ‘own’ – music that sometimes was written before they even were born.

That is a big ask, but also an essential one.

Tomas ultimately felt he couldn’t, so it became an untenable situation for him to stay in the band. We get it. And that is also the reason why we’ve asked neither Ingvald nor Olaf to be full time members of Motorpsycho. Like Reine, they both live 7 hours away from Trondheim and have other bands they need to do, and while they both probably could fill the position permanently, for the time being it is easier for everyone if the situation stays a little loose. As it is right now, the drummer tag-team seems to work and we all really enjoy playing together and eachother’s company, so getting a new permanent full time band member guy/gal is probably not the way this issue is going to be resolved. We think. Not in the short term at least. But we’ll see. Watch this space, etc.

Motorpsycho is, and probably always mostly was Snah & Bent, but right now it also officially is. Don’t get me wrong – every musician that ever was a part of this has flavoured the music and will continue to so in the future, and their contributions are essential – but ‘the band’, is Snah and Bent. (And Reine. And Olaf & Ingvald! and Tos! And Ketil & Blinko, and Cecilie, and all of you gals & guys that care too! Y’all get it, I’m sure!)

In conclusion: All is well aboard the mothership. The hull is not leaking, the engines are working, the captains are worried, but no more than they usually are and kinda need to be. The new course is chartered and the mission continues!

As this is being written, Andrew Scheps is busy mixing our newest recordings. There will be more music. We will update all SoMe accounts and homepages with details on how to find stuff and generally try a bit harder to keep y’all in the loop from now on. Post-millenial communications strategies still feel a little foreign to us, but we are learning, and we will get it right. One day! Promise!

Now, go pre-order Neigh!! and be one of the lucky ones that gets it on vinyl!

Be seeing you,