Hello Ruy. Although Machinergy was formed in 2006 it took you until September 2010 to release your first album 'Rhythmotion'. Why did it take you four years to get the album out? What happened?
Hi Erich. Well, when drummer Helder and I joined together to start this project, in June of 2006, our first and immediate decision was to write an album. We had already played together in another band called Immunity but never came up to record an album. We only did a couple of demos and live shows. We had many line-up problems and never recorded a full length which is something we always dreamed about since the beginning when we started to practice in Helders bedroom, around 1990. So, we usually say that 'Rhythmotion' is the work of twenty years and not only three or four years. But this time it was for real and we really desired to make a good album and, above all, something we could be proud of forever. We didn't have a record deal or any kind of deadlines so we let the inspiration flow naturally but since we only wrote and recorded mainly in the weekend and both me and Helder have other things going on such as regular jobs, etc, it took a little time to assembly all the things. Another important thing is that the album was entirely written by two persons so we had a duplicated task. In the meantime, we also started to play live and this was another factor that delayed the release of 'Rhythmotion', but it was also a good thing to rehears the vocals before the recording.
Now, in July 2011 we got the album for a review here at Lords of metal. So again, it took some time. Why?
That's incredible how time flows!! When we released 'Rhythmotion' our goal was mainly to promote it in our country, in our playground, so to speak. We tried to sell some CD's at live shows, via internet, do some t-shirts, etc, no big deal really. But we worked hard on internal promotion and sent a lot of promos to Portuguese webzines, fanzines, radio shows, etc. and the feedback has been, so far, very good! Of course we thought of sending some promo-stuff outside our country but it's a little bit expensive and again we must have time for it. Also we are the only two persons doing all these tasks and it becomes a little complicated to reach everything we would like. So we are sending some promos from time to time when we can and when there is some extra money available.
I understood that you have made five hundred copies of 'Rhythmotion'. What is the status of these copies nowadays? Are you almost sold out or are there still enough copies available to order?
We still have a lot of CD's left! We have only sold a few copies of 'Rhythmotion' until now at our gigs and to people we know. Most part of the CD's that are already gone were used to promote the band. We have now a partnership with a Portuguese label for the distribution of 'Rhythmotion'. Let's see if Machinergy reaches some new places. It would be good but we know it is very difficult nowadays to sell an album in CD format. People don't have money and the CD is almost history.
The music from 'Rhythmotion' is very divers. If I have to explain it to someone I would say that it is a mixture of light industrial and melodic thrash. Would you agree?
I think your explanation would be ok. Machinergy's main root is thrash-metal. It's the genre that influenced us the most since the beginning as listeners and later as musicians. Bands like Sepultura, Sodom, Kreator, Slayer, Metallica and many others shaped us in the way of composing with all that aggressiveness and energy only thrash can deliver. It is a genre in which we fully identify ourselves. Besides that, we're always looking for the other side, and that is the melody. We think a good song, in general, must combine both power and melody. I think that's the right equation for the perfect song! The industrial reference light is very curious but correct. This has been recurrent in the reviews and, in a certain way, it has been a kind of surprise for us. I think the industrial remark has more to do with the drum work from Helder and with the final sound of 'Rhythmotion'. But of course we like and hear frequently bands as Fear Factory, Rammstein, Prong, Ministry etc, so it's normal you may listen to some of those influences in our music.
'Rhythmotion' is also an album that needs a couple of listening sessions before you notice all those things that are going on. The drums in the title track sound for example really different than usual, the high guest vocals in 'Godus' come up very unexpected and 'Moneytrees' shows how an instrumental songs can be exciting without becoming dull. Where do you get the ideas for this diversity? And don't you think that some ideas might be too different for the metal community?
I agree with you. 'Rhythmotion' may not be an easy album, especially during the first listening. But when you understand what goes on it may become something special. In someway, I think it may be positive not being an easy listening album. It reveals care about the songs and general atmosphere. We worked hard in those songs and cared a lot about the global result as an album and we think we achieved that. So the listener must have some work to do while listening to it as well. About the diversity, we listen to every kind of metal and music in general. We love the old stuff but we can't ignore what's happening around us in this moment. It's in our blood as listeners and as musicians. So it's natural that the final result appeals to be a little different and maybe reminding of some influences without being trendy or a copy. We always had special care in terms of composition trying to step into something new and refreshing. To repeat what is already done would be a complete waste of our precious time. We're artists and an artist is an independent mind and must always try to create something new not being afraid of reactions or whatever. The metal community is nowadays very different from the eighties or nineties. We lived those times and everything is different now and music is no exception. Metal fans in general are more open to something different today. I even think they search more than ever for that.
Another question that popped up while I was listening to 'Rhythmotion' was about the fact that Machinergy is only a trio. So how do create and record your music? Are you all multi instrumentalists with a lot of ideas? Or do you maybe use a lot of computers? And while we are on the subject, how will you do all of this on stage?
We have a lot of ideas, that's for sure! That's why we have some side projects such as Bicéfalo (grindcore) or Miss Cadaver (punk/crust/crossover) and other things going on related to metal. We have a lot of influences and we can't put it all into Machinergy, our main project. So we create these alternative acts to release all our influences and tastes. For all these, we assembled our own studio at Helders house which we decided to call Fifteen Steps Up because we play in the attic and it's the place where we record all our stuff and rehears. It was an investment in our future and so far we will not feel that studio stress thing again where everything has to be made in a hurry and costing us a lot of money. When we started to record the album, we only thought of doing something as much complete as possible because those songs will stay forever like that and, although being two persons, we did it as if we were a four or five piece band and stepped over that limitation. The live issue is a different thing. We are more raw and straight to the point and the intensity of the songs even rises on stage. There are some little things we have in 'Rhythmotion' we cannot reproduce live so far but tomorrow we may do it with another guitar or so. People who have seen us live usually comment on all the energy we put in it at live shows.
Machinergy, 'Moneytrees', Beautyfall' are all words that are a mixture of two different words. What is the story behind this?
I think this game of words began with the song 'Rhythmotion' (which is a fusion of rhythm and motion) even before the band's name appeared. In all we do we try to be somehow a little different. I think we can always be a little more different, everyone can. We always try to put all our energies in something new and refreshing and it begins with small things. For many bands the music titles can be a detail with no importance, not for Machinergy.
And what can you tell us about the lyrics from 'Rhythmotion'? Is there a general theme and what are 'Blakus' and 'Incendiário' about?
The 'Rhythmotion' album is all about anger and revolt, disappointment and frustration. At the same time, in the middle of this cyclone of emotions, there's still a window of hope, an injection of courage and determination as in the lyrics of 'Tirano' (Tyrant) and 'Morning'. But the general atmosphere deals with anger. The song 'Rhythmotion' is about the other side of the media. In this specific case, about T.V. Television is like food. People need to consume television almost as they need to eat in order to keep living. But there is a kind of unconscious feeling, somewhat a hidden perversion to watch suffering, killing, tragedies, etc. Maybe it's our already formatted brain or maybe we need to feed with the others misery to keep on going. I know it's a sensitive and maybe even an abstract topic but I see it that way. 'Blakus' is, with any doubt, the most different and alternative song in the entire record. I think it was the first song we did when Machinergy began in June 2006. It just sounded different and we let it flow. It's a slow, compassed piece of music but very intense. I don't remember from where the name 'Blakus' came out but it just sounded good to its purpose. The lyrics are very raw because we decided to write about the pink shitty world and pink shitty people whom we now call the Blakus people. So, the words are spit with anger and straight forward. Its meaning is basically a big fuck off and die to the socialite and its people who crawl and only care about their own vanity and nothing more. The “bla, bla, bla” chorus is used to express exactly what Blakus people usually say: nothing! 'Innergy' is very biographic. It's about friendship and a timeless dream of having a band and play live, drink some beers and do some records, the usual but always magical stuff. It's a story and like every story it must start with 'Once upon a time…'. The chorus is a triple heavy “Ma-chi-ner-gy!” We're here and to stay! 'Godus' is eventually the epic song of the album. We say Godus is the God of Nothing, being another name and definition created by Machinergy. It's about a friend loss and the complicated issue of beliefs. 'Incendiário' (Fire Starter) is entirely sung in Portuguese because it's about Portugal. You may have already heard or seen it in the news but this country is totally fucked up! Portugal is broken! There's a lot of corruption around here and that's putting our future at risk. It's revolting to see poverty's growing while rotten politicians drive their latest Mercedes or BMW. It's very sad to see, more than ever, a country being divides in two: poor and rich. The lyrics also touch the absence of cultural interest (there is more than only fado, the traditional Portuguese music) and, again, the mass-media issue and their daily massacre. 'Rewine' and 'Beautyfall' deal with mental diseases and dependences. 'Moneytrees' we used to call techno-thrash because it reminds us of something danceable, with rhythm but aggressive. The name comes from a wave in Bali, Indonesia. We wanted it to sound tropical like the music does.
'Rhythmotion' sounds and looks very good for a self financed album. But I guess that you are still looking for a label. Any luck until now?
Even before we finished the album, we decided that 'Rhythmotion' would be a self-released record because we had already spent enough time around it and we didn't want to waste more time. Looking for a label requires time and negotiations and we decided those issues would stay for a future release. Our main goal for this first record was to get people to know Machinergy inside our country. To do some gigs here, etc. And I think we've accomplished those targets. We're happy with the reactions, the general feedback has been very positive. Recently we have sent a couple CD's to some record companies worldwide in a very relaxed way. Just to say “Hello, we are Machinergy!”. So far, some have replied but nothing special.
Okay guys. This it for me. I wish you all the best for 'Rhythmotion' and I wonder if we really have to wait until 2013 to see a new album by Machinergy?
I think you'll have to do for a new album! We have the second album almost written. It will have ten original songs and what I can say for now is that it will be faster than 'Rhythmotion'. It has already a title but I can't reveal it yet. We have some good expectations with this future record so we will work hard on it and maybe in 2013 it will see the light of the day. Meanwhile, we're thinking of recording three or four 'extra' new songs and release them as an EP during 2012. If that occurs, we will send you the promos! Thank you very much for this interview and who knows, maybe we will play someday in Holland? That would be great! The best of luck for you and Lords Of Metal! Energy!