“We’ve been through a lot of different genres and styles,” said drummer and bandleader Dave Watts. “But it has always been rhythm music. These days we’re more song-oriented than ever, but we’ve always done our live shows trying to explore improvisation as much as possible as well.”
Watts attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and later started the band in 1998 after moving to Colorado.
Watts said that the members of the group bring a wide range of styles that all embellish a strong funk base. Together, they combine the inevitable dance feels of R&B, soul and hip-hop with realms of experimental, communicative improvisation.
“We’re trying to bring back the more subtle art of music listening," Watts said. "That includes a more harmonically challenging experience for the listener; more rhythmically challenging.”
With eight full albums and multiple live records released, Watts said The Motet has goals of touring internationally.
The Motet has played at venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheater. Fans have access to Motet records from throughout their career on main streaming platforms.
“With our music, I would suggest, you know, listen more than once," Watts said. "Try to look in between the lines. Listen a second, third or fourth time.”
Mellow Swells plays in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area very frequently, and will bring a similar energy to the show on Thursday. The group consists of Knox Engler (guitar/vocals), Jones Bell (keys/vocals), Charlie Garnett (bass) and Jakob Bower (trombone/percussion).
“It’s music that I think a lot of people can get down to," Engler said. "We strive for music that is easy to dance to, while maintaining certain layers of complexity that don’t make the music oversimplified and just existing in terms of its dance-ability. We try to balance creativity and pioneering some sort of unique sound, while simultaneously making sure people can get down to it.”
Engler said he and the other members try to bring styles that reflect their personal influences, creating a unique blend of sounds in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. He and Bell are leading songwriters for the group.
“I personally listen to a lot of progressive metal bands, and that influences the guitar side of things, while Jones is the driving force of the folk side of our sound,” Engler said.
Mellow Swells is in the process of personally recording, producing and mixing their first album, which they predict to be released in about two months.
“We’re happy to have them back and very excited about Mellow Swells as well because they seem like they’ll fit really well with the show and the crowd,” Heath said.
Tickets for the show can be purchased online or at the door.