Strange Machines is hitting 9b Studio in Milford, MA this winter to record Voice of Color, the band’s first full length album. Working with producer Toft Willingham (Spiritual Rez) who also worked with the band on 2014’s Turn the Tide, the group has launched a Kickstarter campaign with a great deal of rewards for fans new and old.
Guitarist/singer Mike MacDonald talked to NYS Music about the campaign and shed some light on the project. Catch them on the road this spring at April 8 at Putnam Den with Lord Electro and April 20 at The Haunt in Ithaca supporting TAUK.
Pete Mason: The video is hilarious and gets the message across for purpose of the Kickstarter in a unique way. How did you guys come up with the concept and how long did it take to shoot?
Mike MacDonald: Haha the video was a blast to make, we were in tears laughing the whole time. The concept came from myself and Toft one night in the studio tossing around concept idea’s and that one stuck. We shot it the next day over the course of several hours, Toft has a great eye for film.
PM: You are recording at 9b Studios in Milford, Mass. How did you come across the studio for your first album and what brings you back for the second time, with producer Toft Willingham?
MM: We came across 9b back in 2013 when our previous bass player recommended the studio for our first music video shoot. We did our Steal Away video there with Toft and clicked immediately with him on both a creative and personal level. The chemistry was right so we decided to do our whole EP there and we couldn’t have made a better choice. Toft is an incredible producer, he brings a wealth of technical knowledge to the table as well as creative input and is just down right fun to work with. He’s become a great friend over the years. 9b has almost become like a second home to us, we feel completely relaxed and at ease there which is essential when creating any form of art. It’s for all these same reasons that we decided to return for our new album.
PM: How does the upcoming album “Voice of Color” compare to 2014’s “Turn the Tide”?
MM: You’re going to see a whole new side of SM on this record. Some new songs as well as some we’ve been playing out for awhile but with a new twist. We also have two new members since the last one which brings a very different feel. It’s already starting to sound incredible, we couldn’t be more excited to share it with everyone. Turn the Tide was a very reggae-oriented album; and while Voice of Color touches on some reggae at points, there is much more diversity. A lot of rock and a lot of funk with hints of livetronica, hip hop and other things all while keeping to our roots. I think there is something for everyone on this album.
PM: How has Strange Machines grown and evolved over the past 5 years, and where does 2017 find the band headed, both directionally and on tour?
MM: The band has evolved a great deal since it’s incarnation back in 2012. We’ve had several lineup changes but we’ve finally found the perfect fit. Isaac and Craig are both incredible musicians and we’re lucky to have found them. We all have very diverse musical backgrounds which has been the cornerstone for our eclectic sound which is constantly developing and changing. We’re dreaming big for 2017; we plan to release the album in May and we will be releasing our spring tour soon with some big surprises in the mix. We also plan to hit more festivals than ever before this summer, which ones we can’t say just yet but there’s some good ones on deck. We’ve even discussed doing our first tour to Colorado in the fall but that’s still a little ways away. Keep an eye out for spring dates coming soon.