"Rev Up Your Motorbaby"

by Amanda Hanlin/interview by Geoff Wilbur

Sponsored In Part By
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I never thought that I would characterize a band as being the love child of Type O Negative and Alanis Morissette, but it was the first thing that came to my mind as I listened to Motorbaby. Their CD, self-titled Motorbaby, may be characterized as somewhat wistful yet strong and unrelenting, which is how frontwoman Sharon Middendorf seems to be herself. The singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer is also rather a public relations aficionado having clearly mastered the art of web-based promotions. "It's just good to do it yourself," muses Middendorf.

Middendorf may have good reason for her desire to remain independent when it comes to promotion after a long, somewhat disillusioning bout with Mercury Records. Motorbaby, formed in 1994, consists of Sharon Middendorf, Ron Mancuso on bass, Lez Warner on drums. The three struck out with not only their CD but also their own label (MB Records) and their own promotions agency (Ten Wings Music). They were picked up by Rawkus Entertainment in 1995 who brokered the deal for Motorbaby to work with Mercury. Over approximately three years, Motorbaby waited for something to happen. Unfortunately, their 1998 CD release coincided with Mercuryís collapse. Middendorf explains, "We didnít get to promote it like we wanted. We just didnít get the radio push,".

But Middendorf is grateful that it worked out the way that it did and it is obvious that the band has bounced back to make the best of the situation. The band has an established, solid sound on its debut CD. They have received national attention with the track "Keep On," which won second place in the rock category in UBLís Born on the World Wide Web. Other tracks have been licensed for Warner Brothers as well as several motion pictures.

Middendorf calls the upcoming disc, 3, a compilation of work over the last several years. The disc features songs created by the original threesome but also features work with Kathy Valentine of the Go-Gos and mega-producer Tony Viscotti. Their inventiveness shows in their ability to create soulful vocals without losing the "heaviness" in bass and guitar lines behind them. Their disc is thought-provoking, even daunting, and leaves a lingering impression.

These days, the band is still together although living in different cities and working on their individual and collective endeavors. For Middendorf, it includes lots of yoga and even a little acting. Middendorf will appear in the new Woody Allen film, Sweet and Low Down. "Itís a little, tiny part. You can hardly see me." But Motorbaby fans can rest assured that this band will never blend in with the scenery. Check out their web site at http://www.motorbaby.com for sound bites, videos, tour dates and merchandising in a well-planned, creative presentation.

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