Maschine release their debut album ‘Rubidium‘ on Inside Out on 29th July . Here we catch-up with founding member and guitarist Luke Machin for his thoughts on the album and the awards the band have already won to date…
1. What are you currently up to?
Well, currently we are looking to do a few shows at the end of the year but mainly looking to tour around next year.
Regarding the next album, I am continuously writing so there will be another album in the pipeline.
2. Could you take us through the new album ‘Rubidium’ e.g. recording process, ideas behind the songs
When writing for the album I create descent sounding demos that include all instruments. I then send the demos to the band and they would internalise what the basic structure of the song would be and what I would have in mind.
Then I would work with each member of the band incorporating their ideas and getting prepped for recording.
Firstly, we recorded the drums at Aubitt studios in Southampton where Rob Aubrey engineered and got an incredible drum sound. I received all the files back and then I produced them at my home studio in Brighton.
In my studio we recorded everything else. It’s a great little setup and perfect for recording guitars, vocals, bass etc.
It was an amazing experience and a really fun process when all the songs start to take shape and eventually it starts to sound like an album, replacing all of the demo instruments with real ones and real musicians.
The songs are a mixed bag of stories, most are experiences I’ve had with illness, relationships and different outlooks on life.
There is one track “Invincible” that tells the story of a man who trained with his best friend to set sail for the Falklands in 82 and sees something heading towards his best friends ship but gets told to stand down and obey orders only to reveal that his best friend got hit by a torpedo and tragically died. This man then has to live the rest of his life with the guilt of not standing up to orders and in turn losing his best friend.
3. How important do you think it is to create a distinctive sound for Maschine and is this harder now given all the music that has already been made through the years by other bands and musicians?
I think it is key to have your own sound. Every successful band has their own influences running through their music but they also have their own distinct sound. Matt Bellamy from Muse for example is a huge Radio Head fan and you can hear influence taken from Thom York but still Muse have their own sound and edge.
I don’t necessarily think it’s harder to create your own sound with all the music around today. For me that’s just more music to get inspired by and take influence from.
4. How did you hook-up with Inside Out? Were any other label offers on the table?
I was playing guitar for The Tangent at the time and a few years before, the main man at Inside Out, Thomas Waber asked Andy Tillison from The Tangent to go out and find him a young, English Progressive Rock band. I introduced Andy to my band and Andy loved what he heard and after 4 or so years after the search begun Andy got back to Thomas with some demos from our band. Fortunately, Thomas really liked what he heard and later that year signed us up. We were approached by some other labels at the time but Inside Out we believe are leading the way in Progressive music.
5. You’ve won ‘Prog’ magazine’s ‘Best New Band’ for two years running now and have been nominated this year under their ‘Limelight’ award. What was it like winning these awards and do you see an upsurge in interest in the band’s music when shortlisted and after winning an award?
Winning these awards is obviously a great feeling. To know that people are out there supporting our music and thinking of us when voting is a great thing even though they have only seen us play maybe once or twice and with no music on sale at that time so it’s even more of an achievement for us. There’s definitely an interest after winning these awards, a lot of people read Prog Magazine and to win alongside many of our favourite artists, bands and musicians is amazing and from that have checked us out and taken an interest in the band.
6. How important is social media like Facebook, Twitter etc for the band in getting your music out there and communicating with your fans?
Social media is very important for us in today’s music scene because a heck of a lot of people use these sites to keep up to date with what bands are doing, so yeah it is a great way for us and our fans in so many areas.
7. Luke – you’ve been lauded by fans and peers alike for your guitar playing. What would you say to guitarist starting out and/or looking to improve further?
Keep motivated and most of all stay positive. It can be extremely hard sometimes if it seems like it’s taking forever to get anywhere but through it all, in my case I try and stay positive and active, eventually things will start to form in front of you and it is true that you create your own luck.
8. What have been the live highlights for you and why?
I’d have to say when we played the Summers End festival. This was our first major gig at a proper progressive rock concert. We were added to the bill last minute as another band had to pull out, so we prepared our set and played to an audience on the Sunday morning (the graveyard shift) as big as the Saturday night. We were the first opening act ever to get an encore as the audience were shouting for more after we played, which was great to hear. It was a fresh, raw show and we were kind of under rehearsed because of the last minute cancellation but it didn’t matter because the audience were really audible and supportive so we rose to the occasion and played a memorable show.
9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from music?
At the moment the weather is great here in Brighton so we try and go to the beach as much as we can and chill out in the sun.
I’m a big film fanatic so we go to the cinema quite a lot and also watch films at home. Things to completely take my mind away from music is a great way for me to relax.
10. Anything else to add and a message for your fans…
We can’t wait for you all to hear this record and we hope to see you all at some live shows sometime soon!
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