13 Feb 2020

VIDEO PREMIERE: Kathy Bates Motel ‘Damaged Goods’

From RNZ Music, 10:00 am on 13 February 2020

Kathy Bates Motel is the new musical project from Supergroove bassist Joe Lonie, and his friends Milan Borich (Pluto), Jolyon Mulholland (Mulholland) and Morgan Albrecht (Cindy). We’re stoked to present their debut single and video ‘Damaged Goods’.

Joe came up with the bones of 'Damaged Goods' soon after Supergroove broke up: "I remember blocking out the guitar chords to ‘Damaged Goods’ in my Mum’s kitchen and trying to find a melody.

“When I stumbled onto the chorus melody it made me cry instantly and I felt like I had something worth pursuing. That melody never changed, and the music for the song has remained pretty much constant"

A talented director of TV and music videos, Joe produced, directed and edited the video for 'Damaged Goods'. It was shot by cinematographer Duncan Cole in an old community hall next to Auckland’s Hollywood Cinema in Avondale.

They’ve created something very much in line with the slick camerawork and ironic humour of their earlier works for Goodshirt, Liam Finn and The Finn Brothers.

Kathy Bates Motel have done things a bit backwards. They’ve never played a show, but they’ve recorded a full album of nine original songs and a cover of Robert Palmer’s 'Johnny and Mary’.

It’s something of a concept album chronicling the details of the rise and fall of a relationship looked at from both sides with humour and honesty.

“The name Kathy Bates Motel is fairly evocative of our music,” says Joe, “It's an out-of-the-way place you can go to that’s modest, affordable and comfortable, although you may be murdered in the shower or have your ankle broken with a sledgehammer.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously, despite sometimes singing about grim aspects of life.”

Joe recorded the original demos for the album in his kitchen over the winter months of 2018, then gave them a rough mix. He took them to engineer/producer Jol "musical maestro" Mulholland at Auckland’s The Lab studios, who came on as producer.

First choice for drums was Milan Borich of Pluto fame. The feeling was that the songs would be brought further to life by Milan’s smooth groove, sense of humour and songwriter’s sensibilities. 

With no time or option for rehearsal, Milan put down the drum tracks for all ten songs in a day and a half at The Lab just a week before Christmas 2018.

Joe and Morgan then returned to begin the task of replacing all of the guitars, bass, keyboards, and glockenspiel previously recorded in Joe’s kitchen.

Currently, Kathy Bates Motel are finishing the album, and pre-producing the next crop of videos. There may be the possibility of live performances in the future.