RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MANCHESTER BAND MERCURY MACHINE
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
Lee the singer-songwriter of the Machine started a project in his studio mill with synth based tracks aimed towards gaming soundtracks. More people got involved and eventually it turned into a band.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Lee – Singer songwriter who builds the music in layers at his home studio. Once was a drummer in a band named ‘Alone’ that supported Bon Jovi on their Stadium Tour. Lee has been obsessed with music tech since an early age taking things apart to understand how they work. His love for synthesisers shines within Mercury Machine.
Carl aka Shelly – Bass player / backing singer who was an original member of Mercury Machine when formed.
Tim – Lead Guitar – Spent his time in various bands around the world including Siberia
Gav – Drums – Was also the Bass player in ‘Alone’ and NEVER mentions he’s played to 30 thousand people in a stadium (YAWN) haha
Kade – Baby of the band on Keyboard.
I remember coming out of a slow readers gig and met one of you outside handing out your CDS, love that, do you still do it?
Really glad to hear that, yes we do. We think it’s a great way to meet music loving people after a gig to share our music. People really appreciate the effort and personal touch. Its nice to see these people at our gigs and to receive positive messages on our socials. We will keep doing this.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
We played with a band named ‘Sulpher’ at Factory Manchester. The promoter Frank said to us ‘Toya wouldn’t put up with a stage that small, and neither should you’ :o) It still makes us laugh every time we need to play on a small venue stage. “Would Toya put up with this?’ Haha
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic? If so what?
Yes we bought equipment to try and practice at home together via an internet connection. We just gave up in the end.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Nothing on common conspiracies, we don’t think the earth is flat or covid is fake etc.
But Lee and Gav think it’s possible that we are all in a simulation. Similar to the ‘Matrix’ but instead of Robots its a race of advanced humans in the future
We try to please the simulation Gods with music. We hope the Gods, quite possibly a future human geek sat at a computer will enable us to time travel within the simulation.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Gav trying to speak Polish on Lee’s Mic at a Polish Music Festival. A big laugh from the crowd but they warmed to us trying.
What was the worst experience on stage?
We have one pretty much every gig with all the tech we use. Issues with the computer or in ears mainly. Its the simulation Gods sending gremlins in the machine
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Lee – diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. However, it’s no surprise to us with his attention to detail and relentless work ethic.
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe them?
I would say we are a band that is stuck between the 80s and the future. 80s synths driven by a futuristic sound. Id then hand them a CD as they’ve probably just come out of a Muse gig.
Which one of the band is the biggest nightmare? (Just a bit of fun)
The one who’s round is next.
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
You may as well call the talking clock cos no one would answer.
Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)
John Bonzo Bonham, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Jean-Michel Jarre
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
Enjoy the journey
What’s your biggest achievement as a band?
Staying together, haha. Its a big one though. Getting 5 people to have the same vibe and direction is a blessing.
What makes you stand out as a band?
Lee looks like a Vampire. And I guess our music is detailed with different layers of melodies and sounds.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
People or companies in the industry that exploiting artists/bands. Whether it’s booking up venues in advance or giving them a small cut, or even paying to play.
I get its business but we have come across promoters that are very fair so it can be done. It’s the difference between true music lovers and business people in it for the money. It’s very difficult as a band to book a venue to do your own thing.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
Second Life is out on 6th May. Obviously, we are very proud of this track. Its energetically driven. A crowd pleaser to stomp to. Keyboard and Guitar melodies taunting each other through space. Its about the cards you’re dealt with in life. Nobody gets the choice of what situation they’re born into. Its what you get to do because of your situation. The sacrifices you have to make. Trying to overcome difficulties to seize life as a gift.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
The basics of this track has been festering within Lees computer for years. We were going through ideas and tracks for the next album when Lee loaded this up. The groove was infectious it just had to be developed further. The lyrics came when the track was almost complete. We usually jam the track out in rehearsal and Lee begins to sing lyrics that pop in his head. Its usually the next time we meet he’s come with all the lyrics and meaning to the song.
What was the recording process like?
Slowly built up in Lees bedroom. We don’t have a set formulae, Its whatever the track desires the most next.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
How to master a track to make it sound the best it can be compared to the big budget bands.
The only thing is a lyric change from ‘Second Sight’ to ‘Sacrifice’ we’ll leave it on the recording now but sing ‘Sacrifice’ live.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
It’s going to be busy with finishing the 2nd album. We have 17 worthy tracks to pick from. Its a matter of selecting the album and finishing them off. Its roughly 80% complete. We want to make sure the tracks are the best they can be. Probably release another 2 singles from the album on the build up.
We have also recorded a cover of The Chameleons ‘Swamp Thing’ with a touch of synth, which we will most likely release. Goes down well at gigs.
Gig wise we’re keeping it limited until the album release later this year.
30th April ‘Party in the Pews’ after show
22nd May ‘After All festival’
Also 2 festivals for our good friends at ‘Made in Manchester’ We have a fan flying in from Phoenix Arizona to see us live at this gig.
28th May – Dukinfield
18th Sept – Romiley
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Look for the simulation glitches….they’re out there…
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.