Thursday, 28 October 2010

Introducing...Down The Machine

YMC chats to Matt, Danny, Steve and Neil from Down the Machine

YMC: Tell us something about the band, how did you meet, how long have you been playing together?

Matt: Steve and Danny have been playing with each other (literally) forever. I joined the band mid 2009 with Neil joining soon afterwards.

Steve: Danny and myself have been in various bands together since high school, we pretty much have the exact same taste in music so we worked well together. The band had many incarnations before we eventually found Matt and we ended up as a 3 piece with me having to play the bass. We decided to take on a bass player to free myself up on stage – that’s where Neil stepped in to complete the line up in March this year.

YMC: How did the name come about?

Steve: Originally we were called Leatherhead and we were, ahem, asked ‘politely’ to change it as there was already an act using the same name. Danny and myself must have gone through hundreds of possible names and at the time, I was working in IT and a call came through saying “We have a machine down.” Stroke of genius.

YMC: Who writes the songs?

Matt: Steve writes all the songs for the recordings, these then get the personal treatment live.

Neil: Steve writes all the music, and sometimes lets me play with his knobs.

YMC: You've recently made a video, was that fun? Did you do everything yourselves?

Danny: Yeah, this was Neil’s baby... He did all the hard work organising from start to finish and then Steve had to go through all the footage and put it all together. Was a fun day, and a tremendous experience!! 

Neil: The Video shoot was awesome!! It was a home brew video, with help from a few friends, like James Reains from Brokenheart Undergound, Mark Stephenson, and Tim Hoadley. We had a great time shooting from start to finish – I can’t wait to film another!!!

YMC: Are the visuals very important to you because you've also made available for free download, a 14 page booklet from your album?

Matt: I think visuals and image are very important to any band or artist, it’s what sets you apart from the crowd. The 14 page booklet was to add something additional to the typical downloads that all bands put about.

Steve: For me, the visuals are very important. With our various releases and online content, I strive to have a visual style that is consistent and recognisable, and that included the free Losing Faith Booklet. 

YMC: You self-released your album Losing Faith, was that a good experience?

Steve: We had no choice but to release it ourselves at that point-we weren’t signed on a Label and felt it was the next natural step in the band’s journey. Again, it was hard work, but well worth the effort and experience.

Neil:  Releasing the Album ourselves seemed like the ideal move to get noticed as a band at the right time. I think we also wanted to prove a point. It doesn’t matter who you are, what band you’re in, your music can be heard.  I was absolutely stoked when I found Rock Industry Magazine has reviewed us and found a few other online reviews!!

YMC: So to the biggest news! You have just been signed byAmbicon records, what is this going to mean for you as a band?

Matt: I think it is going to be a real push for the band. Ambicon records are really excited to be working with us and we're over the moon to find a record label that really want to work with us to achieve a common goal as opposed to being just interested in how they can exploit our music. Having a team working behind the scenes takes a lot of the pressure of organisation from us, so now we can concentrate on playing, and the music.

Danny: I'd like to think that they will help us achieve our goals as being a successful rock band, give us the push we need to turn things up a notch!!

YMC: You have stated that you make music that you love, for yourselves first and foremost, without worrying about a record deal, and in the end you have got one. Do you think that's good advice to all bands out there?

Steve: I’d like to think that’s how we all feel. When this deal was offered to us we all agreed that it was the best thing to do, a natural progression of the band. I would say to bands out there to just do what we did: write music that you believe in, record as much as you can and get your music online and play as many gigs with as many different bands as possible. Put in the hard work and eventually it will pay off.

Danny: The music industry has changed big time over the few years, getting a record deal just isn't the most important thing anymore-it’s all about hard work, belief and getting noticed. Any band can work, I really believe that, it’s a case of playing hard, and trying to work smart.

YMC: Do you have any plans to tour?

Danny: TOUR..... Bring it on... It’s all I've ever wanted to do since I first picked up a guitar. Ambicon are setting up gigs as we speak, so we hope 2011 will be a big year for us to get on the road. I can’t wait!!!

Neil: It’s the name of the game. Ambicon have got plans in store for us, already working on booking shows, and soon we’ll be in a town near you!!
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