After spending seven years creating music as They Say Fall, this Gainsborough band took a change for the better after the departure of their guitarist, and were reincarnated as the quirky yet irresistible Bad Machines.
Combining post-hardcore, rock vibes with modern, borderline space age tones makes for very interesting listening indeed. We caught up with vocalist Kehn Gembalczyk and guitarist Brad Bishell, as they took us on the Bad Machines’ incredible journey and let us into the mind and heart of their latest single ‘A Life of Chasing Butterflies’.
First of all, I’m going to start with a question we’ve all probably asked at one point or another, most likely on a drunk night out: How on earth did you [Bad Machines] get here?
Kehn: We got here when our spaceship was destroyed… Our parents jetted us to earth safely in the last escape pods… Honestly, I couldn’t begin to fathom how we got here. After eight years of playing music collectively in one way or another, watching most of our peers and friends alike crumbling around us, it’s hard to imagine how we made it to this point in the first place. But we’re here, and truthfully, we’re just doing what we want and really enjoying the ride.
If you had to describe the Bad Machines’ style and sound, so that it would fit on a bus ad, what would it say?
Kehn: “Bad Machines: Cutlery in a blender that accidentally sounds lovely.” I’ve used this analogy before, but I think it best sums it up.
There’s a quirky piece to your live set that includes the use of one of the greatest film speeches of all time, Charlie Chaplin’s moving and still hauntingly relevant speech in The Great Dictator. How did this come about and what significance does it have to Bad Machines?
Brad: We’ve always had a love and an affinity for film, I always love to use every opportunity possible to show that passion in our music, our lyrics or live show. I’ve wanted to use the speech for a long time, but so many other bands in recent years have been using it. However when we changed the band’s name, I knew it was the perfect time for it. Bad Machines is inspired by the continuing question of our reliance on technology, and our relationship with automation and machines. Are we becoming more man, or machine men?
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Let’s talk about your first release ‘A Life of Chasing Butterflies’, which is amazing by the way. How does it feel to unleash it upon the world?
Kehn: I can’t describe how good it feels to finally show everyone what we’ve been up to! We’ve been sat on finished music since our inception, choosing the right song to release and waiting for the right time. It’s been tricky, but I think we managed to keep it all under wraps for the most part! So far we’ve had insane feedback, so it’s made it completely worth the radio silence.
Can we get a little insight into ‘A Life of Chasing Butterflies’, and what it is about? Tell us something wonderful and secret about it.
Brad: I wrote the lyrics, and general framework for this song about 10 years ago, so it’s great to finally be using it. I wrote the song about slowly witnessing the change in one of my childhood best friends, who succumbed to the worse aspects of smoking weed. I watched an intelligent, hilarious and fun loving guy, retreat into himself and lock himself away, becoming a shell of a person. I wrote it as an open letter to him, and how in my mind I’d imagined I could help him, but ultimately knowing that the only person who can help him was himself.
You’ve just popped back from a few live shows, how does it feel to be back on the road?
Kehn: Nothing we’ve done in this band has ever come close to the feeling we get being on the road. In our first incarnation as a collective, we played Download Festival, and I think it’s safe to say that it was the best day of all our lives combined. Now it’s finally time to take what we consider to be our most honest, most mature, and quite frankly best work and start the journey all over again, and we couldn’t be more excited to be back at it! These first few shows with our good friends in Elements. were just a taster of what’s to come, because essentially, it’s the reason we do what we do. We’re in this to play shows, and we’re in it for the long haul.
What are your plans for the rest of the year, or maybe even beyond?
Brad: World domination. Seriously though, we just want to get out and play more shows, and connect with some more people. We’re incredibly proud of the music we write, and we’d like the share it with as many people as we can. We love creating music, and we’ll do it until our joints cease to function, our skin rusts, and our batteries run dry.