"We have been a punk band, and we've have been a hardcore band. I think today we're a metal band," says Jeff, the vocalist of Machinist! The Valdosta, GA-based outfit has been grinding since forming back in 2011, releasing two EPs and a full-length, Pronegative, in 2015. I ask Tim about Valdosta, a city I've never been to. "I’d describe Valdosta as a little big town. It has a constant in and out flow of new people because of the Air Force vase and university.
"As far as lineage, I’d say there’s not a ton of huge bands but there are definitely some internationally touring acts. Indianola Records was based in Valdosta and they released early albums for Casey Jones, Evergreen Terrace, Across Five Aprils, A Day to Remember... all kinds of bands. Also Ninja Gun was from Valdosta. They were pretty big in the alt-country and hot water music scenes. As far as current bands, there’s not a ton going on. Actively touring bands are us, Dying Whale, and Second Death."
Machinist! is gearing up for the release of Closer to Death, their sophomore album and first for Innerstrength Records. "The current lineup has been together since right after our last full-length released in 2015. This group of people gets along really well. We play well together and we write well together. Most importantly, we enjoy each other’s company. I think that that cohesion comes through in the music we make. It all feels right and it flows," Jeff tells me.
In a No Echo exclusive, listen to Closer to Death in its entirety below and get aquainted with the discordant sounds of Machinist!
Listening to Closer to Death, it’s not hard to imagine Machinist! playing on everything from a power violence to a crust punk to a death metal bill. "We’ve always been a band that could play with most any kind of band. Our sets are really hectic and high energy and sometimes they’re funny. New fans always comment on the humor and the goofiness that is present in our set. Like they realize it’s okay not to pose. Like you can just be here and enjoy heavy aggressive music without being a miserable asshole. That being said a lot of our older stuff was more hardcore punk and we’ve definitely drifted away from the hardcore scene.
"A lot of those people seem to be the most staunchly against being poked fun at. Think 'this isn’t a game this is my life' type bullshit. Metal fans tend to be a lot more musically open-minded in my experience. Obviously there are exceptions but we’ve kinda moved away from playing hardcore shows for the most part. We get a better response from metal crowds. That runs the gambit from trip pants, to Slayer shirts, to hunting knife train kids."
Closer to Death will arrive in stores on April 13 and can be pre-ordered from Innerstrength Records.