Updated: Jul 5, 2019
From the surrounds of Melbourne comes a glistening new pop-rock outfit, Viera Motel. Although leadman Jay Pollock admits the band has been a long time in making. "Fergs (Matthew Ferguson - guitar/keys) and I actually met at the same secondary school and have been playing and writing together for around 8 years now. We didn't get a solid band together until about a year ago, when Matt Colvin (drummer) found us on Gumtree of all places. Dane (bassist) was in an old line up we had a few years ago...and we decided to contact Dane again for a reunion jam! The rest is history".
The name Viera Motel certainly has a charisma about it and in fact represents a metamorphosis for Pollock and Ferguson. "I guess you could say it’s significant in the fact that a name ‘Tanika’ has been involved in both of our band names since Fergs and I first got together...so to change it only a couple of months ago was a big turning point. We feel the name alone sets the scene straight off the bat, Motel’s carrying the idea of a last minute refuge for those down and out, those having affairs, those taking a break on midnight long freedom drive etc. While writing I tend to picture most characters just sitting in a motel room. The ‘Viera’ just looks nice".
Pollock is true to his words, with debut single 'Take Heart' indulging in inky lyricism. "I basically wrote it with the vision of someone looking into the mirror during a shit relationship, sick of being emotionally tortured by someone else and telling themselves, 'enough is enough'. I actually wrote several songs, including a demo album based around the darkest moments of an early, serious relationship, and concept of eventually ‘taking heart’ but none of the tracks seemed to work. Then one day being bored at work, I gave it one last crack and lyrically merged it with another demo track 'Take Hold Of Me', which led to what we have today".
Yet Take Heart's Stygian tones are buoyed by striking pop-rock choruses akin to Interpol and fellow Melbournians City Calm Down. The Viera Motel sound is undeniably audacious with an energy that almost seems wasted unless echoing out from an arena main-stage. "To do a well respected festival show would be brilliant. All songs are actually written with festival shows in mind, so I do feel we’re built for them." You'd think Viera Motel were being overzealous, but take a listen to their music and you'll find that Pollock's words ring true.
When asked if Viera Motel have plans to play any particular stages Pollock had this to say: "Each upcoming band aims to be one of the biggest bands in Australia, and if they say otherwise, they're either lying or know they're rubbish. So yeah, to be one of the biggest bands you need to aim for the biggest festivals". This audacious attitude alongside their captivating choruses is why the band have been likened to Joy Division, The Killers and Gang of Youths whose front-man in their early days was once accused of 'dancing around like a festival headliner'. Aim big, win big.
'Take Heart' does hearken to the glory-days of 90’s pop-rock with infectious synths riffs and a driving dance beat. The payoff to the weighty chorus is guided by Pollock's anthemic vocal range. The band shines with potential, presenting a track that mashes together meaningful alt-rock lyricism and the best of pop-rock sensibilities.
"For Fergs and myself, The Libertines was the band who inspired us to begin writing. Until then we believed you needed to be A Class guitarist, A Class vocalist etc. Then along came The Libertines, especially Pete Doherty who taught us “as long as you have your guitars turned up, solid tunes and style, you’re right to go”. We were pretty much in that pond for a while until we discovered Interpol, who taught us that we could still be raw, but also structured. Also not to be embarrassed by being open and honest with your lyrics, as dark as it may be".
We wondered who the dream band for Viera Motel to play alongside would be. Pollock says "My first thought was the Beatles, but they’re obviously no longer around and also, what an embarrassment that would be on our end. Can't see myself doing any good at harmonising during 'Paperback Writer' and I just can't see John Lennon playing the piano riff to 'Take Heart'. Although, he would do a lot better job at the falsetto vocal parts then myself".
There are certainly big shoes out there for Viera Motel to fill but they are a band that definitely have the feet to fit them. Check out the single and let us know what you think. Viera Motel are launching 'Take Heart' at Yah Yah's in Fitzroy, VIC tonight. Stay tuned for a future tour announcement.