For the people who don't know you yet. How would you introduce yourself to them?
I would say that we are band that those who'd like metal if there was only a bit more pop in it have been waiting for. And if you're nostalgic about old-school video game influences mixed with metal, punk and rock, you're in for a treat. Five white guys from the frosty north of Sweden, not seldom declared the most unique metal band in the country due to unconventional vocals and surely some other elements too.
Reviewers and metal heads all over the world will pass verdict on the album in the weeks and months to come. Does that affect you? Or couldn't you care less what is written and said?
Oh, we care maybe too much. Seeing what the fans and others think of our creations is the absolute best thing about what we do. We sit eagerly refreshing sites and message boards to get the latest feedback on our stuff. Of course it's a bit sad when people don't like it, but strange enough most people who take a direct disliking to our music tend to come around from “not my thing” to “can't stop listening”. We've had all kinds of people do that complete u-turn. Reviewers, fans, anyone, contact us a few weeks after their initial review and say “damn I don't know how I could have been so wrong”.. What we've learned from this is that Machinae Supremacy music has a learning curve, or whatever you want to call it. It's a bit different, so it might take some time to get used to, but once you do, you realize that the music beyond is just great.
In my review this month I said that this album is a mix of Pain on downers, Him on uppers and Lacuna Coil…. You absolutely don't agree with me on that one, right? Or do you think that a pretty good picture of your music?
I truly suck at trying to define our music, maybe I'm just too close to it. I think I would agree with you on some points, like they all have “different” vocals, not the Americanized “Creed”-style vocals or the Collage-style or screamo-standard that overruns today's metal scene. Don't get me wrong, I listen to some of those bands, I don't mean to dis them, I'm just trying to say that bands that DON'T have that sound are rare. All the bands you mentioned are included in that rare group, though, and so is Machinae Supremacy.
Let's talk about some of the tracks, 'Skin' for example. It has this Iron Maiden kind of vibe in it. Do you recognize that?
Indeed, it does have Iron Maiden qualities, like the two-string minimalistic picking on the slow chorus, as well as the dual-lead guitar harmonies. I don't believe we get a lot of inspiration from Iron Maiden though, but on the other hand, many of our inspirations are likely to be in influenced by Iron Maiden and similar bands, so indirectly, that is surely where it stems from.
The title track is 'Overworld'. Can you explain a bit more where the inspiration for that track came from?
Musically it came together from a simple synth-line I made (on the album it's layered beneath the guitars playing the main riff) and a chorus lead-guitar Jonne did. It is a very simplistic song in a way, even though it's got a blasting drive that keeps your blood pumping when you rock with it. The lyrics are in part about us and our generation, about control and not being ashamed to take pride in what you achieve. Religion sees pride as a sin, but I say if people got to feel more pride in what they did, they might forego other less noble motivations like for instance profit. One line in the chorus is actually inspired by Joss Whedon's TV series “Angel”. I'll leave you with that, thus leaving the fans something to look for next time they bat through it.
Another track that will raise an eyebrow or two is 'Gimme More'; a cover of the Britney Spears. Why did you pick that specific song to do a cover? It's not the first time you do that.
True, we did Mel C's 'I Turn To You' some 6 years ago or so. I'm not sure what made us do 'Gimme', really. We'd planned to do “Toxic” a long time ago and then we just never got around to actually doing it, and someone else beat us to it. Then, when we were making this album, someone mentioned Britney had a new album out, and I checked out the first single. The trick with covers such as these is to listen beyond the “pop” production and try to imagine if the song itself is a good song. I determined that it was, and that it would make an awesome Machinae Supremacy song, so we did it. Even some of the band members had their doubt about it, but once we'd recorded it everyone was pretty much convinced. It rocked.
I looked on Youtube and striking thing was that a lot of your new stuff has already home-made video clips, made by fans. What do you think of that?
I love it. We have a very dedicated fanbase, all over the world. Since our music spread by the internet to begin with, I believe that we have fans in very small groups all over the world. We obviously don't have fans on the level that Linkin Park or Metallica do, but our fanbase is just as widely spread out over the globe. And also, with the lack of official video material and live footage from us, they take the next best thing, and make their own. I think it's awesome.
Is Machinae Supremacy a real do-it-yourself kind of band? I mean, without having a recorddeal you were already pretty popular on the net.
Yes. Even now, with Spinefarm backing us up, we recorded our album completely on our own. We asked them to send us gear instead of paying for studio time, so that we could take our time and do everything without someone standing over us with a stop watch. In spite of that, we finished the album in a little over a month once we got started for real.
If you picture this band is five years, what do you see?
I see us packing a few more albums, having toured both Europe and the USA. Right now we don't even have a booking agency. I don't really know why, we're awesome live. ;)