Bands that mix numerous genres make for an interesting listen. The Man and His Machine manage to take every underground hardcore genre from punk to deathcore and everything in between. Staff writer Craig Roxburgh had the chance to catch up with the band and discuss their sound, their name, what influences them and the meaning behind their music.
MEB: First off, with a name like The Man and His Machine, there has to be a meaning behind your name. So what is the meaning behind the band’s name?
The name was thought up years ago before the band was even 50% formed. There’s no specific meaning behind the name but it can be interpreted in many ways, so it stuck. The original reference is from an old Godzilla movie.
You guys manage to straddle a various amount of underground genres like hardcore, power-violence punk and thrash. This a pretty brutal combination of genres. What music did you guys listen to while growing up that eventually culminated in you forming a band that managed to brutally, and successfully, combine so many genres?
We are all influenced by a really wide range of music. Everything from hip-hop to grindcore so it’s really hard to narrow this down to a short enough list. Some of our aggressive influence has probably come from bands like The Gorgeous, Converge, Slipknot, and Propagandhi.
Your song titles have rather unique and amusing names. How do you guys name your songs?
We enjoy not taking song names too seriously, so we wrote a few 2-3 syllable compound-word song names and since then it’s been smooth sailing. Short and sweet.
On a more serious note, your songs are incredibly aggressive. This is on both a lyrical and musical note. What inspires your song writing?
Our band is all about playing live so the days we get to spend on the road really inspire us to write more music. None of us are overly aggressive as people, we just get together to make music and this is what comes out.
What are major themes that you guys like to focus on when writing lyrics?
One member writes all our lyrics and they are mostly just observations of society, and patterns in the world we live in. They usually end up politically charged or in some way relate to how corrupt the systems are that we take part in.
Do you feel that if society was less of a messed place; your lyrics and music would have been a lot different to what it is at the moment?
Music is always an expression of the world around you, if things were different in society it would definitely change our music lyrically, but it’s hard to say if the musical delivery would change at all. We’d probably still be playing short thrashy tunes.
This isn’t really a musical question but your songs do reflect a certain amount of anger directed at society. What do you wish you could change within society in order to make it a better place?
Greed. Most problems in the world stem from the monetary system/big oil and the mindset that puts profits over the well-being of people. Small groups of the disgustingly wealthy have complete control over the mainstream media, education systems, and pretty much any other aspect of society that you can think of. When this much control is handed to a small group of individuals we can’t expect much more than a world where the game is rigged against you from birth. There is a trickle-down effect where even the everyday citizen is forced into trying to get ahead by any means necessary, and unfortunately it’s even respected.
Despite the anger directed at society, you guys must harbour certain about of love for the world we live in. What are some of the things that you think are pretty great within the world?
The innovations in technology, science, independent journalism, health and social conciousness are all amazing. Every year solutions to age-old problems are being solved and people are changing the world for the better from the ground up. Grassroots movements and alternative media are more powerful than ever before thanks to the connectivity of the Internet. The future is really positive if we can unite as a group regardless of what country we live in, and address the issues we feel are important. We’re on the cusp of something really big as a species.
What are The Man and His Machine’s plans for the future? Is there a potential full-length coming along soon?
We just released part one of a live video session that we recorded in April. Some of the songs on the video are going to be on our full length that we’re hoping to release next year. We’re using the live sessions as a tool to hopefully find people and studios to help us with the debut album.
Finally, what would your reaction be to finding out you have a few fans in a country like South Africa or in any country that is out of the way of the traditional international music scene of America and Europe?
We would be really stoked to have anyone spend the time to listen to our music. Especially in places that are out of our geographical reach. We had a review of Gangrene on a website based out of Mexico. It made our day.