Motive predicates action. It drives us to grow, change, and create as a species. It also unites us around a common goal. For the members of IN MOTIVE—Devin Barrus [vocals], Lee McKinney [guitar], Nick Rossi [guitar], and Conor White [drums]—music remains the ultimate motivation.
Quietly coming to life in secret over the course of 2016, they rallied around a singular sonic vision…
“Motive is to have a purpose. It’s what you want in life. At the same time, it’s a double entendre, because a motive is also a melodic idea that makes you feel something. For us, it all means looking forward.” Says Nick Rossi.
“This band is our motive,” agrees Conor. “It’s everything we’ve pushed for.”
The guys began working towards this in late 2015. Long time friends Nick (ex-City in the Sea) and Lee (Born of Osiris) found themselves both deep in writing mode for a new musical outlet. With a similar sound and goal in mind, they decided to collaborate. Conor also joined the fold, and the trio recorded multiple tracks with mutual producer Nick Sampson. They uploaded one of the instrumental tracks on the Sumerian Records YouTube channel to see who would interlock seamlessly as a vocalist. As the clip quickly cracked 140K views, one vocalist in particular stood out.
“Devin’s voice was the perfect contrast to the instrumentation,” continues Conor. “It was a subconscious thing. We just knew he would fit.”
“He brought in a unique element that we never expected,” adds Nick. “We wanted a singer whose voice you could identify with the band right off the bat. He was the best fit we could’ve ever found. Moreover, he felt the music the way we did.”
Without telling a soul, the group finished tracking the collection of songs with Sampson in Michigan before heading to Bakersfield, CA to track vocals with none other than hard rock legend Jonathan Davis of Korn. Both producers pushed In Motive to bend and break boundaries.
“We’re super comfortable with Nick Sampson,” says Nick Rossi. “He’s really tight with us and even played bass on the record. We’re all Korn fans, and working with Jonathan was just incredible. To be able to hang with him and get insights into what he’s seen throughout his years in the industry and hear his opinion on our songs was unbelievable. He took our vision and helped us get to where we need to be.”
As a result, the quartet crafts a sound that ebbs and flows between progressive metallic intricacy and alternative infectiousness careening through a space of tight guitar-craft and off-time rhythms. That initial YouTube video turned into “The Disconnect” powered by warm tones and an unforgettable refrain.
Meanwhile, the first single “Revival” builds from intergalactic six-string soundscapes into an entrancing chant punctuated by falsetto and fire.
“I just want to give people something real,” Nick leaves off. “This is who we are. It’s our motive. It’s our life.”