(Photo Credit: Blake Perry)
We had the opportunity to interview Los Angeles-based alt group machineheart for an Artist Spotlight! Fresh off the release of their debut album People Change (released on February 8, 2019), machine heart is on fire. Their fresh alt-pop sound is catching on with listeners, as they average almost 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and have many tracks with several millions of listens. Needless to say, the sky is the limit for this four-piece. Check out what they had to say in our interview!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"All of our parents were musicians actually, so we all sort of just fell into it very naturally. I didn't really consider anything else as an option. It was more just like "yeah this is what we do." We've all been making music since our early teens. Carman and Harry played in bands together as teenagers and then Jake joined in with them after a few years and then we all met in our 20s."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"It looks a little different every time to be honest. But mainly, someone comes with a riff idea or drum groove, or I'll bring a song I wrote on piano and we'll vibe from there. Harry does most of our production so it keep everything pretty in-house."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"We all have our own eclectic styles, but for me, I love Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, The Cranberries, that kind of stuff. And it's kinda funny because growing up, my mom would listen to Enya constantly and in retrospect, I can totally hear how that subconsciously made its way into my writing and sonic preferences. The boys are all from the Seattle-area so they are very inspired by anything moody and grungey. Radiohead, Foo Fighters, War on Drugs." 4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"I'm just getting more into guitar (piano is my main instrument) so my gear knowledge is still pretty limited, mainly to in-studio plugins that I use demo-ing songs out, but Carman (our lead guitarist) is a gear lover for sure. He uses the Strymon Timeline alot in our live show and also the JHS Double Barrel."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"For us, the atmosphere at the show is so important- it's what will leave that lasting impression in their memory. Our music is kind of that wall of sound vibe so it definitely lends itself toward a cinematic soundscape which is pretty fun to experience live. I see it like the sound waves echoing out and enveloping and swallowing people up so they can be overwhelmed by it. It's a very spiritual and emotional thing to listen to music, and we always try to convey that in our performance."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"It's funny because I think when we were making our (debut) record, I thought "this is for them," but then once it was finished I realized "oh, no this totally was for us." We really needed to explore our sound in a space that had no limitations or perimeters and that's definitely what we did when we made it. But the special part of that is putting the music out in the world. Like, we made it for us, but now it lives a second life through the fans. The stories become theirs and they interpret them in the light of their own situation and life. It's a really beautiful, transitory thing."
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"It feels great having our debut album People Change out (as of Feb 8th) but we are already back in the studio and working on LP2. Feels exciting to start shaping the next piece of the puzzle."