machineheart has lit up the scene with their infectious, alternative sounds, being named by the UK’s NME as a “2017 break-out band” as well as a Top 5 “Spotify Emerging Artist”. Hailing from Seattle, the LA-based band has garnered over 47+ million streams off their debut EP within the first year, and is poised to make their mark.
Unheard Gems: We are so excited to get to talk to you on Unheard Gems! I’ve been hearing your name everywhere recently. How are you?
Machineheart: Thanks! We are great. It feels amazing to have the album out. Feels like we’ve been waiting forever to have it out in the world.
Unheard Gems: Just for our readers to get a little bit of background on you, when did you first know you wanted to pursue music and what was your journey like? (individual or as a band, more questions about the band to come though).
Machineheart: It’s funny because all of our parents were musicians, so I think we all just fell into it. I do remember being 7 years old and sitting in the back of our family van listening to the radio and resolving in my mind that I wanted to be a musician. So I guess it started there for me.
Unheard Gems: How did you all decide to become a band? What is your origin story, name and all?
Machineheart: We met through mutual friends but before that, the guys had been playing in different bands together up in Seattle. And then when we met, we started playing and jamming and writing together. We didn’t pick a name until we already had a handful of songs so I guess maybe we did it backwards maybe? haha.
Unheard Gems: Congrats on your first full length album! “People Change” came out on february 8th! I really love all this new music for you, what is it like having your first full length album out in the world?
Machineheart: Feels amazing. We finished making the record over a year ago, so it required a lot of patience over the last year, just waiting for it be here. Now that it is, it’s like a massive sigh of relief. You sit with the songs for so long, you know, so it feels so satisfying to put them in the hands(and ears) of other people.
Unheard Gems: Can you tell us a bit about this album? Is there an overarching story or theme? What was the process like for creating this album?
Machineheart: It was a very experimental process making ‘People Change.’ We really wanted to have this huge soundscape of space where we could explore and stretch and make whatever felt most creatively satisfying. And that’s exactly what we did. I think we made this record for ourselves in that sense. We of course tell the stories and sing the songs for the fans, but the process was for us. It was actually very isolating at first. Like we made this big space for ourselves, but it was only the four of us. So there’s definitely a theme of self-discovery. That’s ultimately how we ended up choosing ‘People Change’ as the title track. It was quite literally what happened during the record making process. We felt like different people coming out the other side of it.
Unheard Gems: You also release a music video for your song “Altar” on february 7th! The video is so cool to watch and just beautifully done. I was wondering if you would tell us a bit about the story behind this video both conceptually and also how it was to bring the song to life in the process of filming?
Machineheart: Ah thank you! Yes, you know, the song feels so desperate but also driving at the same time, so we wanted something that felt delicate and wild simultaneously. Our director Boni really brought it to life for us. We needed a landscape that was desolate and expansive to match the cinematic vibe of the song. When we wrote the song, I was desperately needing something to help pull me up out of a low- I felt like I had reached the end of myself and needed something much larger to save me. I love how the video reflected that.
Unheard Gems: Do you have any other big things planned for 2019? You kicked it off in a pretty big way but what comes next?
Machineheart: Yeah, we are on tour right now which is fun because we’re playing all new songs off the record. Feels really good to do them. We’re already halfway into writing the second record so we’ll keep pushing through writing in between touring and playing shows. We’re really enjoying hearing from the fans, like what songs they like and why. It gives the music a whole new life.
Unheard Gems: I love getting to talk with bands because I like the know all the fun things about the band dynamic. Do you have any favorite memories or stories that your fans may not know? (they don’t have to be the most exciting in the world but just great memories as friends and bandmates)
Machineheart: Being in a band really is such a unique thing- I don’t think there’s anything quite like it. Because you are co-workers but like a little clan and family. You spend 24-hours of the day together when you’re on the road. It would probably drive most people crazy- and maybe we do drive each other a little crazy but for the most part we just really love each other and love doing what we do. When we get super delirious on long drives, we’ll start the whistle game where you pick a song and whoever is the last one whistling wins the game. It’s so ridiculous and sounds so terrible that you can’t help but laugh and obviously you can’t whistle and laugh at the same time so you’re out once you laugh. We get seriously delirious on those 12 or 14 hour drive days so at least we can still laugh and enjoy being with each other.
Unheard Gems: Who are you guys listening to right now? Who are some musicians you think deserve more attention in the music industry and why?
Machineheart: We all have different things we listen to. Jake loves composers. He just told me about one yesterday- August Wilhemsson. I’ve been listening to Jessica Pratt’s new record which is super magical & also getting into Let’s Eat Grandma a bit. Harry is listening to The Horrors and Fever 333 right now and Carman’s into the new Rosalía album. I guess we land all over the board. It’s nice coming together with all of our different palettes.
Unheard Gems: Lastly, for all of our readers, where can they find you and your music and is there anything else you want to leave us with that we didn’t talk about in our questions?
Machineheart: I think you can find us anywhere on the internet haha. We’re all over there. Thanks so much for the great convo!
Photo Credit: Blake Perry
Interview by Hannah Schneider