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Meet Elana Justin and Motive Black

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Elana Justin leads upstart rock act Motive Black. Alternative Addiction spoke with her about the band's new single and their upcoming EP.

March 18, 2020


Elana Justin grew up in Great Neck, NY. Like a lot of artistic types, she didn’t fit in perfectly anywhere. She tried various clubs and things, she got into drama, but it she didn’t feel like she had found her calling until she started diving deeper into music.

“I grew up and I was a singer,” began Justin on how she got into music. “I did theatre. I never fit in correctly anywhere. Then, I started listening to different kinds of music. I found some strong female voices in more aggressive music and punk music. That’s when I realized that was what I was supposed to be doing.”

That led Elana to rock music, which eventually led her to her burgeoning rock band Motive Black. Of course, Justin did grow up in the New York rock scene; she found her voice and her feel for aggressive music playing in New York City’s lower east side rock scene.

“Joan Jett’s music really spoke to me when I was younger, and it still does. I’ve always thought that she was the coolest. Her voice is awesome and she’s such a huge influence,” added Justin when explaining her rock heroes.

Justin found her way from New York to Los Angeles where she’s seemingly come into her own. Her vocal coach in New York introduced her to Josh Wilbur, who would go on to mix Motive Black’s upcoming EP. Wilbur introduced her to producer Nick Rowe, who would go on to produce the record and co-write all of the songs on the release with Justin.

“I’d come in with an idea, usually I’d start with lyrics,” noted Elana when talking about the upcoming EP’s writing process. “Sometimes Nick would have a cool riff and we’d start with that, but a lot of it was starting with lyrics and just coming up with ideas. Nick’s easy to work with. The whole experience was super organic and just a good experience.

The EP is heralded by the debut single from Motive Black called “Broken.” In the interview Elana talked about writing the song and how the EP was eventually recorded.

“We were coming up with ideas for the next song and we were writing lyrics about breaking down walls, allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Nick came up with a cool riff and we just went for it.”
“We recorded all of the songs at his home studio in Eagle Rock. That was awesome because there wasn’t a time constraint. We got to sit and take our time. Even though everything came together easily, there wasn’t that added pressure. We did a little bit of the recording at NRG, when we put Ray Luzier on the drums, we needed a bigger studio. But for the most part, a lot of it was done in a really comfortable home studio space.”

Yeah, Korn’s Ray Luzier helped out Justin by playing drums on EP, including “Broken.” Rowe and Justin were lucky enough to recruit him to play on songs. They were also lucky enough to get Marcos Curiel of P.O.D., to play on “Broken.”

“I like performing the most, but I really like writing and recording too,” explained the Motive Black frontwoman. “It’s like a puzzle. It’s fun to figure out what goes where and if you’re actually getting your point across.”

It’s easy to hear that Justin got her point across on “Broken” but time will tell as the rest of the EP comes out. We’ll also be able to see Elana back up her potential on stage when life gets back to normal. Motive Black had some guest musicians play on the record but her lineup for the band is equally impressive. The band features KC Jenkins on guitar, Gabe Maska on bass, and Jeff Dewbray on drums. The band members kept running into each other at various venues on the Sunset Strip until they wound up eventually deciding to start a band. Part of how the band met is serendipitous but a big reason why the band formed is the magnetism that Elana Justin has. She’s extremely confident and passionate about what she does and who she is.

“That’s what I responded to when I was younger,” said Justin of her love of hard music. “Say it aggressively when you have something to say. I only hope to be a part of that strong group of women who have led me here. Women like Lizzy Hale. She’s rocking and nailing it. I want to be part of that group. The more women out there doing this type of music, the more options there are to listen to find something else. Who wouldn’t want to rock out to a badass chick singing rock and metal? I would”

Us too Elana, us too.-aa




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Meet Elana Justin and Motive Black

March 18, 2020

Image

Elana Justin leads upstart rock act Motive Black. Alternative Addiction spoke with her about the band's new single and their upcoming EP.

Elana Justin grew up in Great Neck, NY. Like a lot of artistic types, she didn’t fit in perfectly anywhere. She tried various clubs and things, she got into drama, but it she didn’t feel like she had found her calling until she started diving deeper into music.

“I grew up and I was a singer,” began Justin on how she got into music. “I did theatre. I never fit in correctly anywhere. Then, I started listening to different kinds of music. I found some strong female voices in more aggressive music and punk music. That’s when I realized that was what I was supposed to be doing.”

That led Elana to rock music, which eventually led her to her burgeoning rock band Motive Black. Of course, Justin did grow up in the New York rock scene; she found her voice and her feel for aggressive music playing in New York City’s lower east side rock scene.

“Joan Jett’s music really spoke to me when I was younger, and it still does. I’ve always thought that she was the coolest. Her voice is awesome and she’s such a huge influence,” added Justin when explaining her rock heroes.

Justin found her way from New York to Los Angeles where she’s seemingly come into her own. Her vocal coach in New York introduced her to Josh Wilbur, who would go on to mix Motive Black’s upcoming EP. Wilbur introduced her to producer Nick Rowe, who would go on to produce the record and co-write all of the songs on the release with Justin.

“I’d come in with an idea, usually I’d start with lyrics,” noted Elana when talking about the upcoming EP’s writing process. “Sometimes Nick would have a cool riff and we’d start with that, but a lot of it was starting with lyrics and just coming up with ideas. Nick’s easy to work with. The whole experience was super organic and just a good experience.

The EP is heralded by the debut single from Motive Black called “Broken.” In the interview Elana talked about writing the song and how the EP was eventually recorded.

“We were coming up with ideas for the next song and we were writing lyrics about breaking down walls, allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Nick came up with a cool riff and we just went for it.”
“We recorded all of the songs at his home studio in Eagle Rock. That was awesome because there wasn’t a time constraint. We got to sit and take our time. Even though everything came together easily, there wasn’t that added pressure. We did a little bit of the recording at NRG, when we put Ray Luzier on the drums, we needed a bigger studio. But for the most part, a lot of it was done in a really comfortable home studio space.”

Yeah, Korn’s Ray Luzier helped out Justin by playing drums on EP, including “Broken.” Rowe and Justin were lucky enough to recruit him to play on songs. They were also lucky enough to get Marcos Curiel of P.O.D., to play on “Broken.”

“I like performing the most, but I really like writing and recording too,” explained the Motive Black frontwoman. “It’s like a puzzle. It’s fun to figure out what goes where and if you’re actually getting your point across.”

It’s easy to hear that Justin got her point across on “Broken” but time will tell as the rest of the EP comes out. We’ll also be able to see Elana back up her potential on stage when life gets back to normal. Motive Black had some guest musicians play on the record but her lineup for the band is equally impressive. The band features KC Jenkins on guitar, Gabe Maska on bass, and Jeff Dewbray on drums. The band members kept running into each other at various venues on the Sunset Strip until they wound up eventually deciding to start a band. Part of how the band met is serendipitous but a big reason why the band formed is the magnetism that Elana Justin has. She’s extremely confident and passionate about what she does and who she is.

“That’s what I responded to when I was younger,” said Justin of her love of hard music. “Say it aggressively when you have something to say. I only hope to be a part of that strong group of women who have led me here. Women like Lizzy Hale. She’s rocking and nailing it. I want to be part of that group. The more women out there doing this type of music, the more options there are to listen to find something else. Who wouldn’t want to rock out to a badass chick singing rock and metal? I would”

Us too Elana, us too.-aa

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