BY JULIA CIRIGNANO
Their lead singer is 14 years old. Their last album was titled Eternalize. They are from Canada. They are all related. Their new music video is titled “Doves + Snakes”. Who are they?
Motion Device is a band from Canada consisting of Sara Menoudakis (vocals), Andrea Menoudakis (bass & keyboards), David Menoudakis (drums), and Josh Marrocco (electric & acoustic guitars). They started playing together in 2010 when Sara (at the time only nine years old!) was busy covering heavy metal songs from bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Led Zeppelin, and Rush. Soon, the band started playing original songs, and ended up raising $32,000 to record their debut album Eternalize that was released last year.
Motion Device is not your typical rock band. The band consists of three siblings (Sara, Andrea and David) and one cousin (Josh). They go on the road with their parents instead of groupies. Being with your family this much has to be difficult, especially through these musicians teen and early adult years. Although this band is younger and closer than typical rock bands, Josh talks about the positives aspect to their unique set-up.
“The fact that we’re all family has been a huge plus since the very beginning of Motion Device,” he said. “We’ve always had great relationships with each other and our families as well and I don’t ever see that changing. We spend a lot of time with each other outside of music so that makes us even tighter.”
Sara perhaps may have spent some of the most difficult years of a young girl’s life, facing stardom with her family. Through the journey though, Sara has managed to embrace the positive aspects of her life. Sara shares how a nine-year old grew to love heavy metal.
“[….] my parents got me into rock music at a very young age,” she said. “I’ve always listened to all kinds of music, not just rock and metal, but the heavier stuff has always been my preference from the first moment I picked up a microphone.”
Sara says that her age hasn’t been a problem. She has actually managed to live a normal life, for the most part, “I go to school and have friends like everyone else. The only difference is I happen to be in a rock band and you might know my face from all our YouTube videos.”
Sara loves what she does and seems genuinely happy. Being a young vocalist must be hard since a nine-year old’s vocals are physically less developed, but Sara has pushed through, and become an extremely successful singer — better than many of her elders.
“I’ve been to quite a few vocal teachers and each one of them has taught me something new that helps me be a better singer and performer,” she said. “I also have been playing guitar for quite a few years and that helps me a lot when it comes to writing vocal melodies for our music. Playing in a band with older members has really helped me develop my own unique style as well.”
As the members of Motion Device grow and mature, so does the band as a whole. Like fine wine, these four band member have developed a great deal since 2010. Josh talks about the band’s “natural and necessary” transition from playing covers, to writing and recording original tunes.
“I feel like the transition from covers to originals is a great reflection of how Motion Device has grown as a band,” Josh said. “Working on covers and playing covers live was a time to not only become tighter as a band technically, but also a time to find our identity among our inspirations. On our Eternalize album and in our new material currently being written, I feel like we are really starting to develop our own sound.”
As the band refines their own sound, they are also getting to know themselves and each other better. The band agrees that there isn’t one main songwriter. David explains the relaxed way in which the band writes their music.
“We all work together and feed off each other’s ideas to create our music,” he said. “Most songs come from an individual or a jam session and start as instrumentals with vocals and lyrics getting added at the end.”
Lyrics are very important to Motion Device. Unlike typical musicians at their age, they are socially aware, and prepared to use the stage they have to their advantage. They have something important to say.
“We want our music to have a deeper message than most songs out there today,” offered Andrea. “We like to write about what’s going on in the world, whether it’s positive or not, and how it affects us as a society and individually.”
Motion Device has definitely touched and affected some people, since they were able to raise $32,000 through a crowd-funding campaign to record Eternalize. Once recorded, the album received a very positive response from fans the band weren’t even sure they had. David talks about their surprise over the money they raised.
“It was hard to predict how successful our crowd-funding would be. We actually were only looking for half that amount but fans all over the world kept donating,” he said. “It was great to know that people are really listening to us and the positive feedback and comments just make us want to work that much harder.”
Around this time, Motion Device discovered that their fan base spread throughout their country and also throughout the world. Because of this, the band has begun to make their way out of Canada. They made their U.S. live debut at Brother’s Lounge in Cleveland, OH, on July 25, 2015.
“Playing in Cleveland, Ohio was our best gig yet,” said Andrea. “Meeting our fans and seeing how passionate they are towards this band and our music was amazing. People came from all over the U.S. and Canada with one family coming from as far as Norway for a meet and greet. It was really fun to perform in front of people who know and love what we do.”
Their success in America has shown them how many fans they really do have all over the world. David talks about their plans for the future saying, “More shows in Canada, the U.S. and the world hopefully. We have a ton of fans in Europe, South America and Australia as well.”
Along with a tour, fans should also keep an eye out for new music from Motion Device next year.
“Right now our main focus has been on writing new songs for a 2017 concept album and developing Motion Device’s sound,” said Josh about the band’s immediate future. “We’re always pushing to become better technically and our new material will have a lot of twists and turns that I’m sure our fans will love!”
For more information about Motion Device, visit their website HERE.