Amid a sweaty crowd of 20-something Portlanders, a Eurotrash, techno-fabulous, future rocker in a suffocating midriff shirt, form fitting skin-tight white pants and a white rabbit fur coat, coos seductively behind a pair of the most futuristic knock-off shades, "We have come back … to love you."
The girls swoon as they reach out for Skeeter’s washboard abs above his gyrating hips, sliding and bouncing to the sound of Euromotion. Not bad for a couple of slacker dudes from Santa Cruz.
What started out as a joke between Nate James and friends in California, has found it’s way into the core of Portland’s music scene in the form of Euromotion, who purport to be the "future of dance music." Ironically, Euromotion embraces all the retro clich퀌�s of techno music: over-sexualized lyrics, campy synthesizers, pumping beats and even the very worst of European club style.
Before the costumes and elaborate performance antics, Euromotion’s existence was limited a couple of recordings the band made for fun. After finding its way into circulation around town, a spontaneous cult following of the group emerged clamoring for live shows.
Ever since, Euromotion has been selling out venues all over town. Euromotion is more than just another Portland band at this point – it’s a lifestyle.
Part of what contributes to its overnight success is the band members’ commitment to the concept, not just the music. This commitment is manifest in the way they completely immerse themselves in their personas as European, time-traveling saviors of dance music. Responding as Skeeter, James told me, when asked about the origin of Euromotion in an online interview, "In 3012, I met Fritz and Uter at Dance Church and we decide to make dance music. We are immediately superstars and the government asks us if we would go back in time to help show ancient people how to have a fun time."
Not only are Euromotion selling out local venues that house up to 500 people, nearly everyone in the audience is able to sing along to their borderline absurdist lyrics.
Beyond Portland, Euromotion is garnering attention along the West Coast. Recently, as the featured guests on a KPSU radio program, hosted by a self-proclaimed "Euro-fan," phone lines were tied up for over an hour with callers from Washington and California, along with Oregonians to proclaim their love for the group. They remained in character for the entire three-hour program. One caller phoned in to tell Skeeter, and his bandmate Antonio that listening to Euromotion caused him to undergo an "out-of-body experience."
Quick-witted as always, in thick German accent, Skeeter replied, "Wow, I’m impressed that in 2005 you can use the phone while out of your body."
With the Pacific Northwest’s legacy for being a hotbed for up-and-coming artists, it has become apparent that musicians in this region take their work very seriously. Perhaps what contributed to Euromotion’s overnight success is their resolve to take a light-hearted approach to music. But that’s not to say that they do not take themselves seriously, very seriously.
Heading out on a West Coast tour this coming month, the band hopes that their success will flourish in the rest of the Western states as much as it has here in their homeland city of Portland. With only a demo in wide distribution, Euromotion is counting on the hype of word of mouth, coupled with contagious beats, to thrust them into an ever-widening fan base.
When asked about the future of the band, Skeeter was optimistic, saying, "There is a good, tingly feeling in my heart that has no name, [and] Euromotion is the sound of that feeling … Dance moves do not lie."
With an authenticity in parody that sets them apart, Euromotion may have found their niche in the hearts of Portland music lovers.