In 2001 Motorace’s Five Star Laundry by Motor Ace was being being played on triple j, Triple M and a bunch of other stations in between. Unheard of today right? Then there’s Motorace’s iconic track Death Defy, which reached an even wider audience as the theme song for the beloved Australian television series The Secret Life Of Us. Back in the day, they were all over your eyes and ears. Fast forward almost two decades and Motor Ace’s hoards of fans no longer have to wait for that highly anticipated reunion, because in March and April of 2019, the band we all love will embark on a national tour to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the band’s inception, kicking off in Adelaide at The Gov on March 29, then moving through Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and finishing up in Melbourne at the renowned venue 170 Russell on April 12.
The band are thrilled to be back together to play hits and album faves from Five Star Laundry, and later albums Shoot This and Animal, for fans all across the country, as lead singer Pat Robertson says, “It’s been 20 years since we were playing our first shows around Melbourne – at the Punters Club, Evelyn and Espy – and 13 years since the last Motor Ace show. It feels pretty bizarre to be honest, but really looking forward to playing shows with the guys and most importantly seeing if we can still party!”
Ahead of the tour, Motorace bass player Matt Balfe gives us a little insight into his bass world.
BASS – Matt Balfe Motor Ace
What was your first bass?
White Fender Jazz 90s – made in Japan. I never much liked the Jazz for rock.
What’s your main bass now?
Pretty standard – Fender Precision Bass. I recently picked up an eighties Japanese P that I like better than the American version that I played for years.
Through what amp and why?
Trace Elliott V8. I love big valve amps and this one is the best of the bunch. John Entwhistle’s amp of choice – nuff said… Apparently there were only a handful made. It’s loud, warm, reliable and cuts through a mix. The DI sounds great in the studio and on stage. The only drawback is it weighs a ton – I recognise this is an old man complaint.
Do you use effects at all? If so what?
Not really – I am a simple guy. Overdrive within the amp, that’s about it.
What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
I’ve played on a few records since the band last played together. The last time with a Melbourne band called Five Mile Sniper. There is some talk of a new Motor Ace song… it’s just a conversation at this point ????
What gigs have you been playing lately?
A brief tour with Five Mile Sniper. Other than that, it’s been very quiet. I am looking forward to getting back on the road with the guys and seeing if we can still bring it. Quietly confident.
Most memorable gig?
There were so many memorable gigs… touring with Oasis, the Foo Fighters, the Livid shows… Most memorable would have to be Fuji Rock Japan. It was quite surreal playing Japan’s largest rock festival to a huge crowd. Cold Play, Iggy Pop, Morrisey, and Elvis Costello were a few of the other acts on the line up.
Worst stage nightmare?
I’ve had a few play out actually. Being blasted with white noise by a dodgy foldback tech, getting a massive electric shock from a mic, and a tour where I blew up 6 Ampeg SVTs in a row.
Album that changed your life?
The Violent Femmes self-titled album really hooked me into music in a big way. As a 14 year old the angsty lyrics and bipolar energy were so relatable. I am still blown away by how a totally acoustic record can sound so heavy.
What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
Motor Ace will be hitting the Road in April 2019 for a string of capital city shows. We are playing some great rooms – I can’t wait to get back on stage with the band and make some special music again.
A bass tip for the kids?
Knowing when NOT to play is as important as knowing when to play
Tickets to Motor Ace 20th Anniversary – A Five Star Reunion tour are on sale now.
MOTOR ACE 20th ANNIVERSARY – A FIVE STAR REUNION NATIONAL TOUR
FRI MARCH 29 | THE GOV, ADELAIDE SA | 18+
Tickets available from http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=92178
SAT MARCH 30 | CAPITOL, PERTH WA | 18+
Tickets available from http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=92186
FRI APRIL 5 | FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW | 18+
Tickets available from http://bit.ly/FAC19_MOTOR_ACE
SAT APRIL 6 | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD | 18+
Tickets available from http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=92188
FRI APRIL 12 | 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
Tickets available from https://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/motor-ace/106229?skin=747