Destitute? In title only...Like Machines are making serious music
By Kreig Marks
Established in 2019, Like Machines is a hard rock trio reigning from Atlanta, GA. The group (formerly known as The Stir) has toured the country with artists such as Collective Soul, Fozzy, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Clutch, and more. Newly named and newly inspired, the band has been in the studio recording tons of new music. Working with Madison Records and Red Light Management, Like Machines is set to be releasing their new music for the remainder or 2019.
TRR: Hey guys. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine. Congratulations on the new single, "Destitute" and the video. It sounds like you guys have kicked it up a level since the release of Kaiser.
LM: Thank you!
TRR: Like Machines is an interesting name. What is the origin of that? Is this the original name or have you changed it before?
LM: The origin of the band name actually comes from a song that we have called “Like Machines”. We went through a million different names and finally landed on Like Machines for many reasons. The main one being since it was already a song that we had, it didn’t seem like a big departure from what we were already doing. It felt less like we were “starting over” so to speak.
The name “Like Machines” can have many different meanings, but to us it explores the concept of how we as humans try to be more like machines and how we try to make machines more human-like. You can see this in many ways in everyday life from people trying to go, go, go all the time, thinking they don’t need to sleep or eat properly. Treating their bodies like they are machines. Also you see machines like Siri or Alexa, that are designed to be very human-like. You can almost have a full-blown conversation with them. I’m sure that is not far off in the future.
TRR: I hope not but the way things are going you're probably not too far off. The band. Who are the players?
Andrew Evans - Guitar/Lead Vocals
Tanner Hendon – Bass/Background Vocals
Cheney Brannon – Drums
TRR: Have all of you known each other for a while? How did all of you meet?
LM: Andrew and I (Tanner) have known each other since we were very young. We went to the same elementary school and our families were close friends. We didn’t start playing music together until about 5 years ago though. We met Cheney just through the Atlanta music scene. He had been a good friend for a while and once the band started to pick up he was our first call.
TRR: How would you classify your music? There seems to be so many different genres and variations these days. A band recently sent us a demo at Tru Rock and considered themselves Neo-Punk-Hard Rock Death Metal Ska. I guess they're still trying to find their sound.
LM: I would say rock or hard rock.
TRR: There we go. Traditionalists!
LM: We get thrown into the metal bucket from time to time but to us it is not that. But what we find cool about our music is that we can play with a variety of bands within rock genres, including metal. It sorta smears the lines of rock, hard rock, and metal.
TRR: That opens the doors for a lot more gigs and collaborations.
LM: That's probably true.
TRR: This goes out to all of you. If you weren’t in a band, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
LM: All of us are involved in music in many different ways, whether it be producing, gear sales, live production, etc. We all basically eat, breathe, and sleep music. So, I would think if we weren’t in a band, we would still all likely be doing something else involved with music. Or be on the PGA tour, naturally lol.
TRR: PGA tour? Who's the golfer in the band?
LM: I (Tanner) love to play golf! I am okay at it, but I think I like it so much because it’s so difficult. It’s a challenge that never ends.
TRR: Who are some of your musical influences?
LM: The impossible question! All of us have so many different influences, but some of our major ones are Soundgarden, Velvet Revolver, Pantera, and Queens Of The Stone Age.
TRR: That's a cool mix. In your song Destitute, I hear some Dave Mustaine and Alice Cooper vocal influences. Would you agree?
LM: You know we have been getting a lot of Dave Mustaine references lately. Not that we dislike him or anything, but I can’t say he’s somebody we’ve ever regularly listened to. Dave is obviously a bad-ass though so we take it as a compliment. And Alice Cooper is one of the greatest performers ever, and an avid golfer. Haha!
TRR: What do you think makes your band stand out from others?
LM: We feel that our music has a lot of depth, especially lyrically. All of the songs come from real observations and/or experiences. Musically, we try to experiment a lot with different tones and pedals. Being a trio, we have to take a lot of space with the guitar and bass especially, so we love to use an array of pedals to make new sounds.
TRR: What other bands would you like to tour with?
LM: Another tough question!I would say a really cool one would be Royal Blood or Queens Of The Stone Age. They are two bands that we really admire and feel we would fit pretty well with.
TRR: How do you write your songs? Do you all participate?
LM: It’s a little different on every song, but yes, it is a collaborative process. Normally, one of us will have some sort of a start to a song. It could be anywhere from just a riff, to a verse and a chorus idea, to a full song. It is always a process to take it from the idea to a song with a full band. There’s always a lot of small details that get ironed out over the chorus of a few writing sessions.
TRR: Speaking of collaborative, if you could get together with any band or musician to record a song together, who would that be?
LM: It would be really cool to record with Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age. He is involved in so many cool and different musical projects. His versatility is really inspiring and he has some really cool recording techniques.
TRR: Have your people give Josh a call! You never know. And, Josh, if you're reading this, give Like Machines a call!
TRR: Live shows. What's one of the most memorable show's you've done?
LM: Tough to say. We’ve had a lot of really great ones. One that is hard to forget though was in Kansas City, I believe.
TRR: You believe? Looks like you already forgot where the show was!
LM: (laughing) We were having some technical difficulties at the beginning of the show which made it a stressful start. It was also a super small stage and super cramped. But nevertheless, the show must go on! After a rocky start, Andrew goes up to the front of the stage to take a guitar solo. During his solo, he was stepping backwards to get back to the mic. He tripped over the pedal board and fell backwards, slamming his head and neck back into his cab. I can’t lie, I (Tanner) had to turn around because I started laughing. It looked like it hurt!
TRR: I'm sure it did! Those cabinets are pretty sturdy. Hopefully his head was too.
LM: (laughing) But the awesome thing about it was he did not miss a note. After he fell and got right back up and kept playing, I think it sort of snapped us all out of the rocky start! I think for Cheney and I, seeing Andrew being able to muscle through that, it kind of rallied us all to let go of the technical difficulties and just have fun. It turned out to be a great show! “The Fall” was caught on film by a fan so we of course had to post it the next day.
TRR: A new website...."bands who really head bang!"
TRR: What would be your dream show?
LM: I think there’s probably a long list of these and hard to narrow down to just one. A pretty cool one would be to play Music Midtown, which is a huge music festival in our hometown in Atlanta.
TRR: Get your booking agent on it. This next question, I love to ask because there's always a funny story to hear. What has been your craziest fan interaction?
LM: I don’t know if this is that “crazy” per se, but at every show, at least once, without fail, someone thinks that Cheney is Dave Grohl. Obviously, that’s a pretty cool comparison, but it’s pretty funny how many times it happens. We’ve just started responding with - “Who is Dave Grohl?”
TRR: Have you had a “Murphy’s Law” show where anything that could go wrong just went wrong?
LM: I would say it would be the show I described above. Like I said, we had a ton of technical issues at the beginning. Bad monitors, trouble with guitar and bass rigs, I think Cheney broke a stick on like the first song, tiny stage, then of course Andrew fell. But we just kind of hit that point where we almost didn’t care anymore. It was like we knew it was our “Murphy’s Law” show while it was happening. Once we just sort of let go, it turned out to be an amazing show.
TRR: Well, not a true Murphy's Law show since it worked out in the end. Hey, but that's a good start!
TRR: What’s on the table for the rest of the year?
LM: The main focus for this year is writing and recording new music. We have a few shows planned for the fall and are working on getting a few more, but really are just planning to stay in the studio and work on new music.
TRR: Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to or thank you to
LM: All of the fans that listen to our music. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support. In a world where there are so many great new artists to listen to, it means a lot that you take time out of your day to listen to our music.
TRR: Thanks guys and good luck with the new single. We're looking forward to hearing more music from all of you.