With their single-word moniker and an energetic style that incorporates the rhythms of pop, punk and alternative, Mexico City-based Motel heralds a new dynamic in the ever-accelerating currents of modern Latin rock. Their hooky single “Dime Ven” was the precursor to their self-titled Warner Music debut album, a well-received introduction that earned songwriter Rodrigo Dávila a 2006 Latin Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song and honors for the entire band when the CD was nominated for Best Rock Album by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
The son of a well-known television personality — his mother is author and journalist Paty Chapoy — Dávila studied at Boston’s eminent Berklee College of Music before returning home to complete his composition studies in Mexico. After a short stint as a solo artist during which he recalls being paid for an early performance with an artichoke pizza in lieu of pesos, he formed Motel with vocalist and guitarist Billy Méndez. Over time, a shifting rhythm section was locked in when bassist Ruben Bridge and Pepe Damian, a drummer who had studied music in the U.S. at Arizona Western College, were enlisted as full time members.
More melodic than their stateside counterparts, Motel references such disparate influences as Jeff Buckley and Coldplay. With rock rhythms, pop melodies and evocative vocals balanced on an axis of both optimism and melancholy, the band clearly appeals to an emerging generation of young fans weaned on MTV — listeners on both sides of the border who are eager to check into this Motel.