Interview: 2016 Must-Know - Machineheart

Los Angeles five-piece Machineheart have already been championed by tastemakers Neon Gold and Nylon magazine, and have two #1 charting singles on Hype Machine to their name already.

Deservedly, 'Circles' (featuring Vanic) was one of the catchiest earworms released in 2015. Here's hoping we finally get a full-length album in 2016.

"I hope people feel free when they listen to us - that any heaviness or chains or stigmas that the world has put on people, that those can fall off, and only honesty is left."

COUP DE MAIN: In an ideal world (with unlimited resources available to you), what would Machineheart's relationship with fans be like?
MACHINEHEART - STEVIE SCOTT: Our favourite thing is playing shows and having that electric, magical experience with our fans. I guess if we didn't have to charge for tickets and could let every fan come out to the shows, we would. Oh that would be amazing!

CDM: How does your songwriting process work?
MACHINEHEART: All five of us are a part of the writing process, but it looks different each time - mainly because having five people in the room is a bit chaotic so we will usually start a song with two or three of us. Oftentimes one of the guys will have a riff or a progression on guitar, or I (Stevie) will have a lyric concept. It's very free flow and natural feeling - that's super important for me to feel like the song is  honest and "right" which, of course, is super subjective to how I'm feeling that day and not very conducive with the fact that it's art and there's really no true right or wrong there. But you know, that's where your artistic integrity is formed for yourself in your personal moral code of "right and wrong" in songwriting. That's what makes our music sound like machineheart and not like someone else.

CDM: Do you write your lyrics specifically for the songs, or do you write poems or prose and then evolve them into song-form?
MACHINEHEART: I keep a journal of lyrics where I'm constantly jotting down ideas - and I'm a total nerd on rhymes, like I love them; probably too much. So I journal in rhymes and poems, and then of course my phone has a long-running set of notes with lyric ideas or rants when I'm feeling emotional. But I find that I only use a few phrases from those actual ideas, most often the concepts are used and actual lyrics are formed along with the music. I think it's really imperative that the theme matches the feel of the music; the feel is always the biggest influencer for me. I'm a big feeler.

CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you've written?
MACHINEHEART: On our EP 'In Your Dreams', I probably most enjoy 'Best Thing' lyrically, but we've been finishing the writing process for the LP and that has a few songs that I really love - one called 'Shelter' and another, 'Speak In Tongues'.

CDM: What do you think is the difference between a good song and a great song?
MACHINEHEART: For me, I need clear structure, and from there it's easy to let the rest of the song fall into place. And if it's honest, people feel that. That is most important. I love having just written a song and everyone in the room is singing along and smiling - it's that feeling that something special just happened and everyone knows it. I love those moments.

CDM: At what age did you write your very first song ever, and what was it about?
MACHINEHEART: My parents bought me a keyboard and journal for Christmas when I was ten-years-old. I filled that journal with songs and made my own notation system to remember what notes to sing - it's not unlike typical music notation, but I had zero knowledge or training to know how to actually do that. I still have that journal and it's truly hilarious to read the lyrics now. My little baby heart was writing about love, so juvenile and innocent.

CDM: What do you hope for people to take away from listening to your music?
MACHINEHEART: I hope people feel free when they listen to us - that any heaviness or chains or stigmas that the world has put on people, that those can fall off, and only honesty is left. I hope they feel inspired to do whatever it is that they feel passionate about in life. I hope they feel brave. Getting to make music is such a privilege because we are doing what we most love doing, so I hope people get to do what they most love doing.

CDM: If M.A.C.H.I.N.E.H.E.A.R.T. were an acronym, what would each letter stand for?
MACHINEHEART: Mostly All Chaos Here In New Ears Heavy Eyes And Really Trippy.

CDM: What's on your bucket-list?
MACHINEHEART: This is hilarious, but I want to play the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And Harrison wants to play the NYE ball drop party. Jake wants to travel to as many countries as possible. Trevor wants to be wheeled out in a wheelchair to the stage like Kurt Cobain. Carman wants to headline Glastonbury in the UK.

CDM: When will the Machineheart album be out?
MACHINEHEART: 2016 will have lots of new music from us.

MACHINEHEART's EP 'In Your Dreams' is out now - click HERE to purchase it via iTunes.

Watch the 'Best Thing' music video below…

P.S. Click HERE to check out more of CDM's 2016 Must-Know artists in CDM Issue #17!