I was meandering through the hit-or-miss Spotify sponsored New Punk Tracks while at the gym when what did I stumble upon but a rocking, punk(ish) song from The Motorleague called “Everyone is Digital”. And who but lead singer Don Levandier was kind enough to talk with The Indy Review about it.
From Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada The Motorleague has been together since 2006 and released two full lengths, most recently Holding Patterns (2016). With impassioned vocals and crisp but fuzzy fast paced rock lead singer Levandier has attempted to eschew a clear genre definition having previously described the band’s sound as “stoner-punk.”
However, in “Everyone is Digital” there feels like there’s an urgency or aggression that seems less concerned about listenability and more concerned with anxiety and frustration. Levandier says this single lacked some of the production or arrangement considerations of songs from Holding Patterns claiming “It’s pretty much exactly the way it was written so maybe there’s a bit of rawness coming through.” Despite the hedging, there is rawness coming through, and not just in the rhythm but in the vocals as well.
The lyrics hooked me on the song and conjured some memories of early Bad Religion’s social commentary on No Control. “Everyone is Digital” balances a critique of this age, with morality and some existential query. It starts with disillusionment empathizing with the listener about “living in a moral vacuum” where “there’s no right / no wrong / just gray, gray area.” It seems to suggest that in this digital age we might be sacrificing some of the heart and soul that makes us human as we put more of ourselves into our digital lives unable to stop “’til we run out of lithium, / but everyone’s plugged in”. He gets to the loss of heart in the middle as people may forget what has been sacrificed to make us have such opulence with our thanks being endless nights of Netflix on our flat screens drinking lattes “trading our souls for faster speeds”. What makes this song is the self-awareness of being a perpetuator of the same digital culture that he laments as he “trashes [his] glass house” and hopes to repair the world if he can figure out how to break himself out of the cycle.
The lyrics are much more direct than previous work by The Motorleague with Levandier explaining “I’m often guilty of writing lyrics that are too vague and was really hoping this one left little up in the air”. Well, it doesn’t leave much up for interpretation and, therefore, gives people something to discuss.
Hoping that there might be more where this came from I asked if there was a new album imminent. Lavandier said “Not in the immediate future, but there are more songs recorded and on the way this summer” and the band has been writing these new songs with videos in mind to be released along with.
Ultimately, if this single is the direction the band is going then I am really excited and looking forward to whatever they have next. Thanks again to Don Levandier for getting back to us and giving us a bit of insight into what is happening.