Phoenix FM - 'Brentwood's Only Alternative' - Almanac 2006
Q + A with Steve Machine, Drummer with The Machines
in the band? Nick Paul – Vocals, Guitar Stephen Reddihough – Bass,
Backing Vocals + Steve Machine (me) - Drums
Where are you all from? Southend-on-Sea, Essex
When and how did you get together?
The Machines were formed by Nick Paul in 1977, and were Southend’s first punk band. They originally split in 1978. Stephen Reddihough the bass player had played with Nick in a proto-punk band called Raw Power back in 1974-1975, and I’d played in various punk bands in the ‘80’s, so when talking to Nick earlier this year, we thought we’d go into a studio to blast some Raw Punk Rock ‘n’ Roll, and we liked the results, so we decided to continue the Machines name and look into recording a lot of unreleased Machines songs.
What have you been up to during the last 12 months?
The band didn’t get together until the end of February this year, so it’s taken a while to get a set together, for as well as playing old Machines classics like ‘True Life’ and ‘Evening radio’ we wanted to write some new numbers to take things forward. Two rare Machine songs from a demo the band recorded in 1977 (‘Racing’ and ‘You Better Hear’) were released on a compilation album this year (Bored Teenagers Volume Four on Bin Liner Records) and there was a launch gig at The Boston Arms in London on 10.09.06 to celebrate it. It was a great night and quite a historical event, as it was the first time the Machines flag had been unfurled and flown again for 28 years!
Which band do you think you sound like?
I’d like to think it sounds like a mixture of The Ramones, The Stooges and The Heartbreakers, with a bit of early Clash thrown into the mix. When it’s teetering near collapse and sounds like the most unholy of rackets I’d say it probably sounds like the sound of The Vortex circa ’77!
If you could play a gig with any other artist, who would it be?
There are loads of artists we all admire – The New York Dolls being the main one, so I’d have to say either them, or my favourite band of the past 15 years, Social Distortion.
What do you argue over most within the band?
I know that out of chaos can come great art, but I’d better say ‘argue? Never, it’s all harmony!’ (He says diplomatically!)
Who would be in your ideal festival line up?
Iggy Pop, New York Dolls, Social Distortion, Backyard Babies, Us (we have to be there of course!), Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Patti Smith Group, Buzzcocks, The Briefs, Choking Susan, David Bowie (performing a Ziggy Stardust set), Carbon/Silicon, Hanoi Rocks, Guitar Wolf, Concrete Blonde, Ian Hunter, The Damned and Roky Erickson.
Which cartoon character do you associate with the most?
If the question was about Comic Book characters, the answer would have probably been The Crow, but cartoon characters, mmmm…maybe something created by Atsuko Shima or Robert Crumb.
What was the best gig you played at?
The Boston Arms, London – September 10th 2006. The Bored Teenagers Volume 4 CD Launch party. X4 Vintage ’77 UK punk bands – all blasting on all four cylinders -a great night!
What was the best gig you went to?
New York Dolls – Live at The Forum, London – 22.10.06 Magical. I saw their Meltdown show two years ago which was awesome, and after poor Arthur passed away, I wasn’t sure what would happen, but Sami from Hanoi has injected the right amount of R’n’R resurrection in them, and it’s great for the guys to be finally receiving the kudos they so rightly deserve!
What was your favourite single of the year?
‘Really The Blues’ – Carbon/Silicon
What was your favourite album of the year?
New York Dolls – ‘One Day it Will Please Us To Remember Even This’
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Interview by Paul Golder of Phoenix FM
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