Gary (Echo Machine): rock'n'roll can definitely be revived, now it is just sleeping and distracted
Echo Machine is a new-wave pop group from Dundee in Scotland. Formed in early 2018, their debut single "St Elmo" was released on Friday May 4th. Mesmika asked the band what a "new-wave" mean, if they know any Russina pop bands and who are Echo Machine's fans.
You introduce yourself as a new-wave pop group. What does “new wave” mean? What the difference between “new wave” and an “old” one?
Gary: New Wave was a title given to bands in the late 70s and 80s who moved away from straight-forward blues rock and began to incorporate other sounds from electronic, dance and disco music. Usually these bands would also try to push boundaries in look and style. Since we began Echo Machine we have been trying to push ourselves to use new technology and incorporate new influences in our sound, I think this is a good thing for musicians to do, otherwise everything will become dull and stale.
You three played in different bands. Do you continue playing in your old projects or you dedicate all your energy to Echo Machine?
Gary: We have stopped playing in all other projects, Echo Machine is our life now. We are like Pokemon who have moved up to the next level, we are new monsters now.
You like pop bands of the 80s as well as more modern acts. Do you know any Russian pop bands? Do you have any favorite among them?
Gary: I don't really know any Russian pop groups, I am sorry. But I would be interested to hear some suggestions. We have been trying to broaden our musical geography, taking lots influence from things like Italian Disco, French Crooners and German Synth Pop. MaybeournextobsessionwillbeRussianPop.
You said that Rock n' Roll has been turned into a consumerist zombie. Is there any way to revive rock’n’roll?
Gary: Yes, rock and roll can definitely be revived, right now it is just sleeping and distracted. There is still great music being made by great bands, but they live more in the shadows. It is almost impossible not to be swept into the consumerist world as a modern band, since the arrival of the internet it has become very hard for bands to make enough money to live, so compromises have to be made. But bands still need to stay pure in their ultimate intentions, they shouldn't have to censor themselves, or write music with advertising in mind. Songs and ideas still need to come from a wild place.
What is rebellion for Echo Machine?
Gary: I don't think I know what rebellion is anymore. In the 50s rebellion was Elvis Presley shaking his hips, during 70s punk it was swearing on television and in the 90s shrugging your shoulders and not caring about anything was rebellious. But now we live in a world where anything is instantly accessible from the screen in your pocket. By the age of 12 most people have witnessed all kinds of sex and violence. The one thing I do know is that their is no rebellion in recreating the past.
Who was the director and author of your first video?
Gary: Our good friend Troy Lynch from Dundees Magic Box studios directed our first video. We wanted to create something that really introduced our ideas into the world, something big and bold that people would remember, but also something we didn't cost a lot, as we are still very poor, ha ha.
What did you feel before your first ever gig in Dundee? What did you expect?
Gary: I was very nervous before our first gig. I have never really been nervous before a show before, but things felt so new this time, It felt like a real risk. And I guess it had been over a year since we last played, so we were out of practice. Thankfully the gig was a success, it felt great to be back on stage! Nothing went wrong and everyone had fun. It was such a great emotional release. There was a lot of glitter, and paint and dancing.
What kind of audience can be your fans?
Gary: I think our music is for everyone. We are want to be as free and open-minded as possible, we want our shows and music to feel this way. We don't want anyone to feel left out, maybe because they are shy, or because of their sexuality or their background. We want to be a welcoming celebration of diversity and fun. I hope our music is still loud enough for rock fans, but is fun enough for pop music fans and possible for people to dance to. If the world is on the brink of an ecological or nuclear apocalypse we want to go out in style, throwing the greatest party of all time.
What is your favorite book?
Gary: This is an impossible question for me. I think it depends on my mood. Some days I am sure it is The First Man by Albert Camus, other times Age Of Reason by Jean Paul Sartre, then I remember The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. I get obsessed by authors and devour all of their works at once. Right now I am in love with sci-fi author Ursula K.LeGuen.
Some words to your potential Russian fans.
Gary: Come with us on a journey! A crazy, unpredictable journey. We don't really know what we are doing right now, but we know it will not be boring! When we next come to Russia we are going throw the biggest party of the century, I hope you can come!
Gary Echo Machine
Read Russian version here.