Wednesday 26 February 2014

Interview with SWAMP MACHINE

Swamp Machine - Mondo Magic cover art

The next band I have been given the chance to interview are about to release their brilliant début album – MONDO MAGIC – and it's a fucking blast of insane styles and riffs.

I am interviewing the awesome and mighty – SWAMP MACHINE – who is a band you will be hearing a lot more from in the next twelve months or so.

Newly signed to ace record label – When Planets Collide – Mondo Magic is going to blow your whole world apart. It's style of Sludge, Southern Metal, Doom, Space Rock and Stoner Metal will have you rocking out in years to come.

We recently said this about the album.

Your ear canal is overflowing with 10 tons of crematory sludge. To mitigate the damage the Swamp Machine cools down it's steamy, stony stroke with a soothing instrumental lullaby. After one full cycle Swamp Machine proves it's got the horsepower to manipulate the mind and scarify the soul. Heavily tripped out southern sludge at its finest. Welcome to the Swamp Machine..”

Welcome to the Swamp Machine indeed. Lets see what these heavy space riffsters have to say to us here at Sludgelord HQ.

Q1 – Hi guys. Thanks for doing this. Really appreciate you talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. Congrats on your début album. What a brilliant album it is.

Thanx man! You’re welcome. It turned out pretty sweet indeed!

Q2 – Can you give our readers a brief history on how your band came about and where it is today.

Well you know… In the beginning we were just a bunch of stoners listening to classic bands like Kyuss, Soundgarden, psychedelic stuff like Pink Floyd… Started a band… Broke up… Begun a new, heavy-er band, and there you have it! The beginning of the mighty Swamp machine! Our hangout spot where we used to rehearse and play jams was lying opposite to some kind of swampy lake, that’s were we got our name from.

Q3 – So you have read our review of your album. In your own words, can you tell people what to expect when the album is finally released.

Haha! Being worshippers of the mighty riff, off course some heavy riffing! But we always try to throw some rhythms in the mix that are less logical, you know, not like 1-2-3-4. Besides that we’re always trying to create some kind of atmosphere in our songs. Like a picture you see in a dream or a trip… Always searching for the borderlines between fuzzed-out guitars and spacey sounds…

Q4 – Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

The recording of the album was pretty straight-forward. We played the basis track (guitar, bass, drums) live in one or two takes, then filled it up with some solo’s and overdubs and of course the vocals. That way you have the most organic feel to the songs. Maybe there are some minor flaws but hey, that’s the way they did it back in the seventies right? So it’s good enough for us! Its all about the ‘feel’.

Q5 – How would yourselves describe your sound. Doom, Psychedelic, Stoner, Heavy Rock, Southern Sludge. As you guys have included lots of great noises and riffs to impress people with.

I think you summed it up pretty much, yeah. I don’t know, ‘70’s-influenced psychedelic stoner-doom-rock. How ‘bout that!

Q6 – Are you pleased with the final version of the album that is currently out there. Would you change anything about it.

No man it’s perfect! We’re very proud. This is how we sound when we play live, but with an extra sauce of studio-goodness poured over it!

Q7 – How did you hook-up with When Planets Collide to release your début album.

Mr. Gareth Kelly from WPC came across some recordings we did ourselves that were going around on the internet, and he liked it. He wanted us to come to London to play on the Winter Warmer Weekender (doom-stoner-sludge festival) so yeah, that’s how things started rolling.

Q8 – What is the song writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is it down to one individual.

Almost all our songs evolve from jams in our rehearsal room. We put some stuff together, write some new things, write lyrics… Sometimes a song can be written in a few evenings; sometimes it takes a few weeks. Aghori Ritual for example has had a lot of different shapes before we finally decided this was how it was going to be. Skull was much easier. That one just blasted out of our amps almost instantly.

Q9 – Which musical bands and artists influenced you as musicians.

Anything from 70’s hard rock to stoner rock, blues, metal, doom, grunge, psychedelia… To much to say. You know, since there are things like the internet and Spotify, you come across so much great new music and great new bands… Every day I hear some great new music that is a great influence to my own playing.

Q10 – Do you have plenty of opportunities to gig around in your home town or do you have to travel further afield to perform regular.

Haha we come from a little village in the middle of friggin’ nowhere, so we have to travel a lot to play. But that’s OK. As long as we can play its all good!

Q11 – It seems the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal Scene in The Netherlands starting to gain a lot more exposure thanks to a certain music festival called Roadburn. And great bands such as Komatsu, yourselves, Menhir, Dresden/Leningrad and Monomyth to name but a few. How is the scene in your home country. Is it thriving or could it do with more publicity and promotion.

I think the scene doing quite nice here in The Netherlands. But its hard to get some good gigs outside of The Netherlands when you are a beginning band. Some extra publicity and promotion is always welcome of course. The internet plays an important role in that, too.

Q12 - What is your verdict on the whole crowd-funding scene currently going on. Are you a fan of this medium and would yourselves ever go down this route.

I guess it works for some bands. I don’t know. We have a more DIY-mentality.

Q13 – What albums are currently rocking your world. Any recommendations you can give to our readers.

Listening to Om- Pilgrimage right now. Classic!

Q14 - If you could give any advice to someone wanting to start a band. What helpful advice would you give them.

Contact mister Gareth Kelly.

Q15 – In 5 words or less what is the live SWAMP MACHINE experience like.

Loud. Fuzz. Energy. Sweat. Beards.

Q16 – We are massive Vinyl Heads here at Sludgelord. Are you Vinyl Fans yourselves. Is there a chance your album maybe released on Vinyl in the future.

Yes off course we are lovers of the black circle. If we can get the fundings together there will be vinyl. But its gonna take some time (or some help from a record company)…

Q17 – What things do like or hate the most of being in a band. And what would you do to change things if you had the chance to.

Like – Playing live, jamming, being creative, writing and recording music…

Hate - Driving the van, dragging around equipment. Business stuff. But we’re getting people to do that for us.

Q18 – What can people expect from Swamp Machine in 2014. Apart from the new album obviously. 
Anything exciting you like to tell your fans.

Doing a lot of great gigs and festivals. Swamp Machine is also looking to make a video clip. Maybe make some live-recordings or a split EP. And... We’re trying to put a little tour together. So Ye’ be hearing from us!

Q19 – Thanks for talking to us. Do you have anything to say to your fans.

Buy our CD. Take drugs. Be happy.

Thanks to Swamp Machine for talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. Best of luck with your new album.

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Written by Steve Howe