Interview by: Samantha Toy
1. Hey guys! Can you please introduce yourselves and what you do in the band?
We’re Beautiful Machines, a synth-pop-rock three-piece from San Francisco. We make music from future memories; think Blade Runner meets Maze Runner, like a very sharp maze. Conrad (vocal, guitar, synth, songwriter), Stef (synth, keys, backing vocal), Veli (drums, beats, programming and lighting wizardry).
2. Beautiful Machines formed back in 2011. How have the past five years been?
I can’t believe it’s been that long. Past five years have seen quite a change. The formation of the band, our identity, our styles, the lineup has changed slightly, our productions and artwork, but underlying all there is a familiar vibe, just more accentuated. It took us the first year and a half I think to really discover our first sound, then that sound keeps growing and becoming more of what it is now and what it will become. We’ve learned a lot about each other, relationships have changed. We’re producing more music now that our vision is more clear.
3. What’s your favorite part about being in a band/being in the music industry?
Being in a band, you share everything, the ups and downs, responsibilities, you have others as comrades to lean on and find inspiration. My favorite moments are those that happen when it’s only us, and we’re just making music together at the moment, jamming (but not in any traditional way), it feels like we’re unlocking some new doors. None of that music has seen the light of day, but it’s really really cool and very instrumentally interesting. Perhaps we’ll at some point release these clockworks. I also love the moment you walk on stage to a new audience in a really unique place, like when we played at Northern Nights surrounded by redwood trees, look at one another and think, “hey we are fabricating reality right now and about to share it with all these people. You guys ready?”
4. Aside from being in a band, do you have any other musical talents? Or any hobbies?
We all have a bunch of interests. (Conrad), I am really into mind-expanding information, learning new things, watch way too many Ted Talks, I have an affinity for sci-fi media and new tech. I am a huge outdoor enthusiast, active and adventurous, despite my AI interest. I don’t think you have to be one or the other. I love escaping into the natural wonders of the world, exploring and imagining, learning form cultures. I have a 1976 Puegot road bike I call Jaqueline, that I love to take on long excursions, why do I have an older bike? It makes me feel like I’ve traveled back in time to the Tour de France. I am inspired by inspiring people and want to do the same. Stef is into yoga, hiking, outdoor explorations, world travel, expanding consciousness, building community, and looking at different models for society, all through a heart of compassion and kindness. Besides synth, she plays concert classical piano, very beautifully I may add. Veli, raised on metal and motorcycles, is like this hugely amazing imaginative mad scientist inventor, programmer and drummer. There is no “no” in this man’s vocabulary. He just figures out a way to build or do something then does it, having never done it before, a true DIY guy. As a Finn, he loves his licorice, and in fact on his last trip to Europe a few weeks ago, brought an extra suitcase just for Scandinavian sweets, especially licorice.
5. Your second release, Bridges, was released this year, how has the reaction been to it? Do you guys have any favorite songs or lyrics off of Bridges?
We have received some really awesome recognition and people have said wonderful things about it. Can’t say I have a favourite song, since I genuinely like the whole thing. But right now we’re working on a music video for “Million Miles”, the second track on the album, so our gaze is there. It’s the more heavy driving dark tune. I really like the lyrics in this one and toward the end, there are some secrets there worth exploring if you’re a lyricist and imagineer of emotion.
6. Since the holidays are coming up soon, do you have any musical plans for 2017?
I want 2017 to be a really well traveled year for the band. For now though, we need to finish writing and producing the next album and then plan a tour that makes sense. We would really like to tour Europe next summer and hope that happens. I think our music resonates with people there, at least that’s what I keep hearing.
7. I saw on your website that your third album, Singularity will be release in 2016-2017, is that factual?
Factual, back when the post was written, we were aiming for 2016, but time is elastic, and now we’re aiming for 2017.
8. Could you tell us anything about it? Will you guys be touring honoring Singularity?
Actually, while responding to this interview, the thought just occurred to me, and I think this is what we’re going to do. We are exploring with a mode or theme of fours. Whereby quantum computing is quad-based instead of binary and since we’re exploring singularity, where we dive into a future where man and machine merge, AI and everything which is now in the current scope of future is explored. The thought now is to release 4 EPs of 4 songs each, perhaps some hidden songs when there is an octave or mathematical significance resonating with the album. Singularity I – IV. Touring. The plan is to tour US and EU for Singularity, depending on feasibility. But I think that will happen.
9. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Do you have any last words for your fans?
Music is one of the great things for both us and the world. It has the ability to communicate in a language that is true and beautiful and can bring wisdom in a time when we really need it. If you are a music lover, please support your artists, even if its just verbal encouragement.
Make sure to stay up-to-date with Beautiful Machines on social media, and see them at a show near you in the future! http://www.beautifulmachinesmusic.com