One Machine – Interview with Steve Smyth
By Ben Spencer
The self-proclaimed international metal titans, One Machine, have proven they are a deadly force with right from the get-go. Consisting of members from bands such as Nevermore and Savage Messaiah they have been making a name for themselves while creating some serious waves in the metal scene. I decided to learn more about their recent endeavours through speaking to guitarist Steve Smyth.
I’ve noticed online that you guys have quite an extensive bio about how each member came to the band. How important is it to seek out the right members when making music, and do you feel this is your strongest line up?
I felt it was very important, and it wasn’t without its trial and error along the way, but I think we’ve gotten there with the line up that made the album. We gel well musically and get along personally, key ingredients to be in a band together.
Does the band name One Machine have any meaning towards a sense of unity between you guys? If not what is the meaning behind the name?
Well the concept of the name is based on a theoretical cycle explained by Kevin Kelly in a TED talk I saw a while ago. We then developed the idea from there along a darker pathway. The idea is to unify the world with devices via the internet, to create the One Machine. In a way, I suppose that can be looked at as inspiration, that when we play we are One Machine!
Your show at Camden is for the debut album, what is the music like on the record?
Actually, this is our second album, although I think due to lack of support in the promotion department at our label on the debut, you would think this was our first album! 😉
The music on the album was written some in advance, and some completely live in the studio, no one knowing where we were going. Inspired by that feeling of being under pressure with only a set amount of days in the studio and a goal of getting 10 songs tracked, gallons of coffee, and very little sleep! Ha ha, But I knew we had the right team to go into the studio, and convinced everyone, and got us in there. The songs in my opinion are a lot more focused, to the point, there wasn’t time to over-think anything it was just go and do and let’s see what happens. Now we did have a handful of these already mostly done. But certain ones, ‘Screaming For Light’, ‘Welcome To The World’ for example, were a few riffs and some ideas for vocal melodies, and were by and large developed in the studio. Fun, stressful, and I think the end result will have to speak for itself. I hope everybody enjoys listening as much as we did making the album!
Shortly after recording your album you guys were offered slots at European festivals, how did this feel?
Well, we have been considering a few options here and there for 2016 and are weighing options. We really want to get over to Europe again on this album and get it to people over there. We are also looking to expand into other areas of the world at the moment as well, including offers from Asia and North America.
You have all also been in previous bands. How does this affect the song writing process?
I think the main thing with my experience is that it taught me about myself within a set situation, and being creative in those environments, or not being allowed to in others, and learning from those situations. Ultimately, when someone hears an album I was a part of writing and recording in the past, then hears this album or the debut, they say that they hear this or that within the music. That is most likely my contribution to the band at that time, so I’ll take it as a positive, not a negative. I’ve always been a songwriter; I just haven’t always been able to get my songs across until now.
How has the reception to your album been so far?
The reaction to this album has been very positive, particularly in terms of reaction to our vocalist Chris Hawkins, who is probably still viewed as new to people from the first album with Mikkel Sandager on vocals. The reviews have by and large been very positive, with people finding songs as their favourites in the reviews and so on.
I’ve heard that your influences described as both ‘classic’ and ‘modern’. What are some of the big names that you can call inspiration to the band?
Classic- Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Dio
Modern- well that one is different for everybody in the band, but for me, I’m just playing the sounds I hear in my head at this point.
What are the songs on the album that you enjoy playing live the most?
We have played pretty much every track on the album live now. The ones that we get the most reactions out of are: ‘The Distortion Of Lies and the Overdriven Truth’, ‘Kill The Hope Inside’, ‘Armchair Warriors’, and ‘One Machine’.
What are your plans for after the show/tour?
We’re going to keep playing till the end of the year, and we have a bit more promotional stuff coming out, music videos, play-thru videos, lyric videos, into next year, and more touring on this album through 2016.
Outside of being in a band, do you guys have common hobbies?
Well, we don’t really have too much time for hobbies as such, because music is a huge part of everyone’s lives. 3 of 4 of us are music teachers, so we do have that in common, and can talk a lot about that. We do like to tip a few back every now and again, as most bands do, so we do that and throw on some metal and gab.
Is there anything you would like to add or say to our readers?
Write us! We want to hear from you, and we want to know where you live, and come and hit your area as soon as possible in support of The Final Cull in 2015-2016! Thanks for your support, KEEP IT HEAVY, AND STAY METAL!
Our new album The Final Cull is out now, and you can find it everywhere, in particular from us, right here:
You can also find it at Scarlet Records store: www.ebay.it/itm/ONE-MACHINE-The-Final-Cull-DIGI-CD-/262011649164