Meet: Irish punk/alternative rock act MotionSickness

MotionSickness from Co Laois recently played The Workmans Club Cellar in Dublin after a great set at this years Forest Fest festival where I was lucky enough to catch them play.
Abigael Paquet went along to the Dublin show and before the band took the stage she had a sit down and chat with the band.

Words Abigael Paquet:
Photos Abigael Paquet & Ian Mc Donnell

Abby: Who inspired you to become musicians? 

Bonnie: I could probably answer that question. If the question is who inspired me as a musician, specifically, that would be probably my brother. He sings and plays guitar himself. He’s in his 30s now, and I’m only 22. So there’s a big age gap there, and he raised me from when I was tiny. But um, he used to teach me guitar, and he used to sit in the room with me and play all these different songs. And he made me want to become a singer and a musician. So … that’s probably my influence. 

Kara: When I was a kid, my dad just kept buying me instruments. And he’d be like: “Oh, you don’t have to play them.” But I just started playing, you know … I’d start with the real easy shit. He encouraged me a lot and I got into certain bands when I was younger, like Green Day and all the pop punk stuff. Now, my music is completely different to what I used to listen to when I was younger. That’s the kind of stuff that influenced me anyways, to start playing.

Jack: To get into the kind of music we play, that was probably my uncle. He was big on Megadeth and stuff like that. I would say, in terms of playing styles, I think Lemmy Kilmister 

from Motörhead was a big one for me. I like to think I bring to the band an Aldi Lemmy … 


Jack: A knockoff version of Lemmy. Cliff Barton from Metallica. Fucking Phil Lynott as well, of course, was a huge one for me. And yeah, that’s pretty much it for me. 

Neil: Yeah, I’m sort of similar. I was raised on like Neil Young, Def Leppard … You know, I’m a huge pixies fan. And I love alternative stuff. I take a lot of my inspiration for drums from Dave Lovering, the drummer from Pixies. Like, he never drums a standard beat – same as The Police – you know ? All the drumbeats are so different. I really take so much inspiration from that, but I’m nowhere near as good as that. But that’s my goal, to get near that. So they’re kind of my inspiration for drums. 

Bonnie: Before we end this, I really want to say as well, that myself and Kara specifically took a lot of influence from a lot of female vocalists and female musicians …

Kara: Especially recently.

Bonnie: Yeah, I forgot to add that in but it’s really important that we took from bands like L7, No Doubt, Destroy Boys … So many bands with powerful female vocalists and female guitarists, female bassists and drummers and all these things. And it’s really cool to see like, and that was kind of our goal, to make a statement as women. Especially in this industry, it’s really hard. So, I mean … I’m wearing nipple pasties right now for this gig ! [laughs] I want people to know that we really want to make a statement. That’s the point. That’s it. 

The Workmans Club Cellar photos:

Abby: And are there any artists you’d like to collaborate with ?

Kara: Well tonight is one of the best nights we can answer for that because me and Bonnie especially wanted to play with Nxb0dies. We actually ended up getting them as a support band for our headliner gig there in June, which was a huge accomplishment for us. That was huge for us, especially for me personally, because I love Freda. They’re fantastic musicians and Strangers With Guns as well are unbelievably talented. So, even tonight is an awesome opportunity for us. And we’re friends with all of them as well, and they’re all such awesome people.

Neil: Myself and Jeff have plans on collaborating on our own project in the future. And I also love Nxb0dies. They’re an amazing band. They’re so cool.

Abby: Where would your dream venue, city, or country to play live be and why ?

Kara: I think me and Bonnie have talked about this in a really vague sense. Like, we just want to tour the world !

Bonnie: I’d love to play Marlay Park. I’d love to play somewhere in America. I’d love to play at Wembley.

Kara: I’d love to play at Glastonbury Festival. Yeah, that’s a big one. I’d love to do that.

Jack: I think in Ireland, The Academy would be great. And beyond that, say Slam Dunk Festival. 

Bonnie: Anything grimy, really.

Neil: Kingpop, definitely ! Or Farm Aid !

Everyone: Oh yeah, Farm Aid !

Abby: How would you convince someone to listen to your music ?

Kara: Just do it !

Neil: Hit them continuously !


Kara: No, honestly, like I feel like like like especially with a new music we’re writing, we’re we’re not like mad different or anything … But we have our own style, we have our own sound; if you listen to our music, you’d know it was us. 

Bonnie: There’s elements of each of us in the music you know, we all have a say in each song. You can hear us behind every part of the song that we’re in control of, you know what I mean ? Like, you can hear a piece of me in every song, you can hear a piece of Kara as she writes most of the songs and in the drums you can hear like obviously what Neil does – he’s very specific with what he does ! And Jack added so much as well. We all add our own little piece. 

Kara: I like to tell people to just give it a go. If they don’t like it, that’s cool, but just try it.

Jack: I think the music in Ireland is so good, especially now. Fontaines D.C. being the biggest breakout. 

Neil: And King Cabinet.


Jack: Yeah … Sprints and Thumper, bands like that. And if you like all that kind of stuff, I think people would really like us.

Abby: And what can people expect from your shows ? 

Everyone: Absolute madness ! Pure chaos !

Bonnie: Lots of energy ! You got to participate. You got to be in the mood to jump and dance around and just go fucking mental. 

Kara: You can listen to our music on Spotify however much you want. But once you see us live, you’ll never go back. We’re awesome live ! We’re great craic !
Neil: It’s pure chaos. 

Abby: But in a good way !

Everyone: Yeah !

Kara: We have a lot of fun on stage. We’re not doing our shows just to play our music. We’re doing our shows to entertain and to show people what we’re made of. 

Bonnie: Performing is so much fun ! We love the action of getting to show a little bit of ourselves and also getting to share that with other people. And having other people enjoy that, it’s just one of the most beautiful things. And oftentimes, you’ll see people singing our lyrics – well not often not too often, but you know sometimes – and whenever that happens it’s just it’s so exhilarating. And it’s so nice to see the people actually enjoy what we do. 

Jack: The way we look at it is: if there’s 2 or 200 people out there, we’ll play the same show. And if we get two more people that gives us a like an Instagram, or whatever it may be, great ! It’s small, it’s slowly but surely. It’s fun, it’s great craic ! 

Kara: It’s our favourite thing to do, that’s why we’re here. 

Abby: Do you have an an album coming out ?

Kara: Well, we just released our EP Smile, You’re on Camera! in June, and we’re going to – hopefully – the studio to record a new album in January/February.

Bonnie: It will be coming out probably late that year.

Kara: Yeah, we will be releasing a few singles anyway. But yeah, it’d be the end of next year before we have another album.

Bonnie: Also, the album is gonna be SICK ! If you think that’s good, this shit is going to be fire, man ! People aren’t ready !

Kara: [laughs] It’s going to be motion sick, man !

Everyone: [pretending to get sick – bleghhh] [laughs] 

Abby: Are there any questions that you wish journalists would ask you but never or rarely do ?

Kara: We don’t have enough experience to have an answer from that question for that question, to be honest. 

Bonnie: We’re only babies. 

Kara: We’ve only had a few interviews and we’re just happy to be here ! So, ask us whatever you want. We’re always happy to answer questions.

Bonnie: Literally, anything that anyone wants to know, we’re happy to answer. And as Kara said, I’m just grateful for what we have and what we’re doing, and and whether it grows or whether we stay plateaued; I don’t know, but whatever happens, I’m going to be happy because we’re performing and that’s all that matters.

Kara: People need to talk about Jack’s knees more often ! [laughs]

Jack: Yeah, people like to see my knees …


Bonnie: He’s got some serious knees on him !

Jack: It’s fucking weird !


Forest Fest photos:

Abby: What was your worst moment on stage ?

Kara:  I have a great answer to this question. We played a headlining gig to promote the release of the EP Smile, You’re on Camera! We were playing one of our songs from the EP, called So Pathetic. Basically, my string broke and the whole guitar went out of tune. So, I was trying to play this song and it was completely out of tune. And I had to take my guitar off and try to sing and do something about it. But it was horrific, and we had a videographer there ! Nxb0dies were at that gig actually, and Freda – the singer – ran back and got me a spare guitar. She brought it over to me, she was a gem, oh my god, I could not be more thankful ! But Jesus fucking Christ watching that video back and hearing [out of tune guitar sounds], was the worst thing I’ve ever heard ! It was horrific, I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life. 

Jack: I think my one is my first gig with another band. I was really nervous so I drank a lot. I remember was my dad saying: “he’s too drunk to play !”. And he walks out to the smoking area, it sees me with two pints.


Bonnie: The thing is with me, I’m self critical no matter what I do. So, I could be onstage and you know, sing a whole set and then everyone could be like: “Oh, that was so good !” and I’d be like: “no that was fucking awful”. Because I’m hearing myself and I know when my voice cracks. I know when my voice is shaky. I know when I’m hitting the wrong pitch. I’m really picky with myself. So, every gig I have to have a little pep talk myself. But I don’t have any kind of moment where I’ve been super embarrassed.

Abby: What’s the craziest rumour about yourself ?

Bonnie: Since we started the band, there’s been no rumours for me personally. But when I was 14, a bunch of people at school said I had a penis.


Bonnie: I didn’t have a penis. I have a vagina ! I’m a perfectly biological woman. 

Kara: I think, genuinely the only rumour that’s ever gone around about us is that me and Bonnie were a couple. But we’re not ! We may be gay, but we’re not a couple. 

Jack: Mine is boring, people said I was gay. But so what if I was anyway ?! But it’s just one of those Midlands Laois talking: “He has two of his ears pierced, he must be gay !”

Kara: “Those two girls hold hands sometimes, they must be gay.”

Jack: Who gives a shit !

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