Machine Talks About The Dynamics Of The Band, New Music and Special Announcements If You Haven't Already Done It, It's Time To Send A "Congrats" DM Now
LOS ANGELES, CA- I’ve known Peter Thomas for almost a decade. I met him when he played drums for another band, but after he moved on, he teamed up with Madeline Mahrie for her musical project: Machine. When I first listened to the CD he gave me years ago, I was hooked. The alternative piano rock sound was something that not many artists explored, and Madeline’s Fiona Apple-esque ferocity intrigued me.
On October 13th, 2018, Blurred Culture and no season was able to host Machine at Madame Siam in Hollywood for a performance and I was able to catch up with them for some photos. Later, I would talk with Madeline and Pete about their music and what’s in store for 2019.
How did Machine form?
Madeline: I was with this douche-bag, and my friends described him as a “self-perpetuating machine of douchery”. Originally, the metaphor was, “I’m going to put a wrench into the gears to stop the machine from running”, but then it turned into, I was the machine … enduring his shit. Until I got away from him. That’s how I came up with name Machine. There were a couple other ideas, but they’re kinda hanky. “Like”.
That would have been such a meta name for a band.
M: There was also Madeline Ivory, but that’s kinda goofy. It was good for the kind of style that I used to play. I used to do more honky tonk and ragtime stuff.
I love the name Machine. In my opinion, I think it totally suits your musical style.
M: Now, it’s kinda gone to the extreme. Now, I use sewing machines all the time. Pete is a machinist. And the CP70 that we tour with … that thing is kind of a beast. We call that “the machine” [….] Back in the day, I used to play everything. I’d play the CP70, and also drum with a loop pedal, and sing … Machine started as a one man band.
How did you connect with Pete?
M: I saw him play with another band, and I played shows with his other band. At some point, I lost the drummer that I had, and Pete started filling in. He filled in on and off. I got other drummers. My old drummer came back for a little while. Eventually, it just became permanent. And I had a big old crush on Pete for, like, forever.
Does the interpersonal relationship in the band cause any conflict?
M: Sure! Of course. We’ve broken up on tour. I’ve had bad shows, and he not only gets it as a band member, but then …. he’s my best friend and lover … but he gets my bad side from a lot of different angles. So we work really hard on making things solid between us. We’ve been together for four years, and I’ve known him for six, so we’ve done a lot of growth. Nowadays, it’s really easy. Now, I feel like it’s kind of hard to put up with other people’s shit cause we do so well together.
Does the chemistry carry over when you are writing new music with each other? Or, Madeline, are you the one who does most of the writing and bring it to Pete afterwards?
M: Traditionally that’s how it was. We’d have one or two a year that we’d do together, but now Pete’s been bringing in some really awesome songs to the table. It’s changing. We’ve been together for a long time, and all of sudden there’s a whole lot of new stuff coming out. (to Peter). I’ve known you for six year, and why amI just now hearing these amazing songs.
Pete Thomas: It’s really new.
Are you letting your inner artist come out now?
P: Madeline has just been a good inspiration and a creative person to be around. She’s inspires me and also helps a lot …
M: I give him challenges. He’s really good a puzzles. There’s this band that does four chord songs. Basically, every pop song is a four chord song. I was like, “Pete, you should write a four chord song,” and so he did, and it’s so good! I cry…. I’m crying just talking about it.
P: She definitely encourages me to take chances.
Are you singing Pete’s songs,Madeline?
M: Right now, we’re both singing Pete’s songs. I’m really open for whatever he wants to do.
That’d be a first for me. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Pete sing anything.
M: Oh. My. Gosh. He has the voice of an angel. He’s like the son in American Dad.
Have any of the new songs been recorded yet?
M: No. they haven’t been recorded yet, but we’re going up to Oregon to start the process this Spring. We’ve already started recording a couple of other songs that will be on the next album with those songs.
I remember from our conversation a couple months ago, you had been really inspired by gospel music. Are you still on that path?
M: Oh, yeah. It’s just like a vibe. Most of the songs that are going to be on the album are really personal songs that we wrote while we were on tour under extreme sleep and financial deprivation and woes. [Going back to the song’s that’ Pete’s written], I get so excited about the songs that he writes. That’s something that I’m really enjoying right now. I’m finding satisfaction in playing music that I haven’t had since I was really young. I joke how it’s like a drug… which is probably is because I get an endorphin rush … but it’s a roller coaster of feelings and layers of vocals and heavy drum beats and good gospel chords that give me that endorphin rush I was talking about.
You have any announcements for your fans?
M: Announcements? Pete and I are getting married. August 24th! In Oregon!
Well …. That’s certainly a big announcement!
M: I got a solid human being who’s not completely batshit crazy like I am. It’s nice. It’s a great balance. For the first time I have 100% trust in the person that I’m with. I think part of that is because we’re in a band together.