Another Big Machine
'The Inner Workings of ABM'
ANOTHER BIG MACHINEís concoction of rock instrumentation, pop vocals, tightly constructed anthems and youthful exuberance has produced a gem of a self-titled debut album.
The seed of ANOTHER BIG MACHINE, a band called Addavoy that featured White and Carmouche, was formed in 2003 when several of the members were just out of high-school. Their sound was mature beyond their years - not deliberately crafted pop, what it became was a natural progression for the members - "We would just jam and jam, so our sound came off of what we did in rehearsals," says Carmouche.
Learning by getting out there and DOING IT was the only way to break out of their local music scene, a small, insular one at that. Their hometown, Gonzales, Louisiana, is about 20 miles from Baton Rouge. "Where we are from," White explains, "you had to play cover music in order to play, period." Soon they were peppering their covers of Tonic, Better Than Ezra and the like with songs of their own, and within a year they had self-released a CD and established themselves along the so-called Redneck Riviera, from Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas to Florida.
In time, Addavoy popped up on the radar at a couple of major West Coast record labels and it was off to Los Angeles to showcase. The guys then headed back to Louisiana just in time for the mother of all storms to knock the wind out of their sails. Addavoy sadly became another of Hurricane Katrinaís casualties. In itís place came something new, invigorated by Carmoucheís switch to bass, the band truly became ANOTHER BIG MACHINE.
Buoyed by a new name, a reconfigured line-up and renewed enthusiasm, ANOTHER BIG MACHINE retooled their sound. Near the end of 2005 the band began writing, and in May of 2006 recording began. McCoy, White, and Carmouche crafted a sound that ranges from songs of ardent love like "Sedated" to the defiant stomp of "Do Me Like This."
ANOTHER BIG MACHINE had to, literally and figuratively, have things shaken up to get the right equation for their self titled debut. This equation adds up to some soul-stirring music that could serve as the soundtrack to many young lives.
The debut album comes out early 2008, on Rising Storm Records through Universal Distribution.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? Justin McCoy - "Growing up I was influenced by Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Foo Fighters, mostly early 90's bands. Still to this day these groups are still major influences in the music that we create."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new debut CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "I would say that we have a rock/pop kind of sound. The record is really diverse. We have songs that are acoustically driven with soft pretty vocals and some songs that are filled with loud guitar riffs and in your face vocals. I think we cover all aspects of the rock/pop genre."
A self-titled album is usually either a case of lack of imagination or complete empowerment within a unit ... so, which is it for ABM? "Neither. The reason the record is self titled is because most of the songs we tracked live. This record is the closest you can get to hearing ABM live besides coming to a show. It's totally stripped down and raw. We decided that the record had so much life and was so true, that it should be self titled."
Back before ABM were formed just why did Addavoy break up ... and why didn't the name still remain when it came time to resurface? "Addavoy never broke up, we just lost members. The band was reborn as a different band and the name stayed the same until we realized that our sound and our writing style was going in a different direction. When we realized that, we decided it was time for a name change and a new direction for the band."
Trying to make it as a band you first had to play by the bar rules ie: playing covers every night. What were some of the covers played back then that one might get to hear snuck into a set nowadays if they came to see you play? "'Born on the Bayou' by Creedence Clearwater Revival."
Indeed, how easy (or hard) is it to have created a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "I don't think it's either. I think that being yourself and writing the music that you feel inside your soul will become something new, vibrant, and fresh."
Please tell us more about a couple of your most personal of songs that feature on this debut and why they mean so much to you? "A song called 'Sedated' is one of my favorites. 'Sedated' was reworked about five times before we were truly happy with it. I feel that the version that's on the debut album is the strongest. We had a lot of fun recording this song and I believe a lot people will relate to it."
"Another is 'All These Lights' which features Dane Carmouch, the bass player, on vocals and it sounds amazing. It was written with a friend of ours Blake Harlow. It was good fun to have him in the studio with us watching this song really come to life."
It's been said that after all this time you finally have the 'right equation' re: the band and the sound. So, does that mean nothing could be added to put the cherry on the cake of ABM, so to speak?! "We are truly happy with our sound and where we are as a band. We may experiment some with other instruments in the future but as of right now we are completely satisfied."
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today ... and why?! "'Don't Stop Believing' by Journey. It's an awesome song!"
Lastly, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "Yes, Penguins are my friends!
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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