Following on from our recent review of their new album, “Lean Back, Relax and Watch the World Burn” we caught up with J.B from Man.Machine.Industry who gave us a bit of insight into the band and how their latest album came about.
Hi J.B, thanks for taking the time to chat to us today. Before anything else, for those readers of the site who maybe haven’t heard of Man.Machine.Industry can you give us a bit of background about yourselves?
I (J.B guitar/voc)started Man.Machine.Industry as a solo project back in 2000 after leaving my band Slapdash which I played drums in. My aim was, back then, to make electronic industrial metal in the likes of Skinny Puppy / Front Line Assembly. So the first album “Mention” is mostly electronic and sounds pitch black. In 2004 I wrote the second album and to my surprise the sound took another turn towards my roots in metal and I put together the first line up of the band with NAIL on bass and DNA on drums. Today the lineup is fresh and new with an extra guitarist bedside myself, Car Crash Jim, bass player 13 and hard-hitting drummer Bennich.
How would you describe the band? Where are you from? How long have you been together?
MMI is defiantly a number One LIVE band. On stage we give our fans what they came for, energy, chaos and one hell of a show. We are all living in the STHLM area of Sweden and just love it. The metal scene in Sweden is very large and you get many great bands passing through here on tours. The only problem is that there is not ONE radio station focusing on new bands that come out. So it’s real hard getting the name out there.
In the current lineup we have been together for just a few months actually. But we all love what we are doing and get along great. We are a hard-working bunch of mother fuckers and don’t let anything get in our way.
We spend every second free from family on the band. Not because we wanna be big ass rock stars… but coz of the love for the music and to give our fans what they miss in other bands.
“Lean Back, Relax and Watch the World Burn” is your fourth studio album. Did you approach the writing and recording of it in a similar manner to your previous albums?
Pretty much in the same way, Yes. The big difference this time was that CC Jim is a new member and had some ideas he wanted in the songs so it was the first time MMI had some other influences in the writing than my own. CC Jim came up with the child’s play box in the intro to We Are The Walking Dead and the guitar riff coming in there. He also wrote the verse riff starting the song To a Blood Red Sky which is freaking good and has that old school bay area thrash style to it that I love.
Also my vocal skills had devolved a lot since the last album so I could use lot more melodies writing the lyrics.
With the inspiration for the album coming from a particular source, what was it that grabbed you to want to use it as a focal point for the tracks?
The End Of The World theme came from three reflections.
First, I saw the documentary movie Aftermath: Population Zero and thought it was scary but in a way very peaceful. Giving the world a chance to catch its breath and start over again without us sabotaging it all in the name of greed, religion and politics.
I saw this movie around the same time all the talk of the “end of the world in 2012” crap started by the big ass liar Harold Camping who got hundreds of Americans selling their houses, taking their children out of school and giving up their life to follow his lies. This made me angry so that fit the angrier songs on the album.
This was my second inspiration source for the album theme.
Still, I, myself, believe that it’s not the WORLD that is going to end, but the human race.
We destroy our place to live in by buying crap and living far beyond our capacity.
And I honestly don’t think there is no stopping in it coz we refuse to see the problem as an individual problem.
The third piece of the puzzle on the theme is a quote… the title.
I read an interview with Gary Holt of Exodus where they asked him where he stood on the question on the Green House effect and what he thought we should do about it. He answered it with something like;
“Well, what CAN we do but lean back, relax and watch the world burn?!”
Thank YOU Mr: Holt, hehe.
Can you give us a quick description of what each track is about?
1.To A Blood Red Sky
A mid tempo thrash attack. I love old school thrash metal like Forbidden, Testament, Exodus and such and it often shine through in my songs. This one is about standing together as One and give the “suits” a fight to the death. We CAN make a change but we have to open our eyes and stand united to make it a reality.
2. We Are The Walking Dead
Energetic and groovy. About the humanity and our naivitivity that are as naïve as a Childs.
Some day along the timeline our children will be the ones who will take the big fall… they are the walking dead.
Many of our fans hold this one as the albums strongest song and it also gets you in a good party mood.
3. Vivite Et Sinite Mori (Live & Let Die)
This is probably the most “commercial” track on the album. An awesome “sing along chorus” backed up with some groovy riffs and beats. The song is a typical “come together as one” and “stay strong” song. In the climate of today the human race need it’s FUN. But of cause we have to think about the consequence of it all as well.
4. War God
This is the albums thrash attack number One. Inspired by old school bay area thrash metal both in lyrics and riffs. Many of the thrash metal songs back in the 80s had War themes and so does this one. We embrace war because it gives us Money AND a God. And they both destroy you bit by bit, Killing you one by one.
5. Lean Back, Relax And Watch The World Burn
I love singing this song. Heavy as fuck with a dark melody in it all.
“As the eye see the world dissolve into oblivion through purgatory fire. Down the spiral of time and history, further down the road of ruins. As the eye see the world collapse we sit still by the flat screen TV. Surround sound to get the final thrill…take it slow… Lean back relax and watch the world BURN!”. It says it all, doesn’t it?!
6. The Cage
Our ever first “ballad”. Love singing this one as well. I just love the hard rock ballads that Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath did in the 70s. I hate that Mötley Crue and Scorpions destroyed the view on hard rock/metal ballads in the 80s and I aimed to get that old 70s feeling back with this one. This is the song where the world is free of man itself and gets a chance to catch its breath and start over again and hopefully it will make humanity more intelligent this time around.
7. Let Go
A bluesy track with a great groove and some cool dual guitars.
Where do I want to be when the final blast is here? How would I like my last hours on this planet to be like?
This is a cover song of my one of my fave bands, Killing Joke. KJ has always inspired me with their political lyrics and their riffs and charisma. On this song we took in a guest vocalist, Jens Westin of Swedish hard-rock/metal band CORRODED.
There is also a video coming up on this song on April 29. (will be on our You Tube on April 30)
9. What You See Is What You Get
This one is a mid tempo song with a somewhat post punk attitude. I love punk and post punk (mostly the UK style) so I always try having in mind that all songs should not be too perfect coz then they drop that edge I think. This song is about showing the world who you are and what you believe in.
Lyric wise this may be the only song that does not fit the theme 100%.
10. The Blind Leading The Blind
This song was very inspired by Deep Purple actually. You got the Hammond organ there and the drum fills in the verse was inspired by their song Burn. Lyrics is riding on the people who blindly follow the commercial TV and companies “tricking” them to buy more and more stuff they don’t need bringing the end of the world closer for each dollar they spend.
11. Aim! Hold! Fire!
This one I LOVE playing live. So SATANICLY groovy and catchy. Love the tight machine like drums and the riff is fuckin awesome. This is another anti-war song like War God and I hope our fans will continue to wanna hear this one live for a long time… coz I wanna play it, haha.
Our first grind beat kicks off on the drums in this one. Probably the angriest song on the album.
Here the lyricist IS planet earth telling humanity to leave her the fuck alone and let her rot in piece.
It starts and ends with a clock ticking away and slowing down at the end moving into the outro of the album.
This is where earth is still and at peace, free from man and its greed and cravings for more of what She did not have. The poem is in Swedish and written and read by poet Lady M and her beautiful voice. We wanted it in Swedish to give the album an exotic atmosphere. Plans where to have the poem translated into English in the booklet but there was no space left but we are thinking about posting it on the web in the future.
Who did you work with on the production and creation of the album and coverwork?
I have always done all of the cover art for our albums. We also do all our videos (so far) our self. We are very much a DIY band which gives us total control on what we wanna be presented like. It’s as important to us as the music.
We have always used the same photographer, Soile Siirtola (www.extremmetal.se) who have shot bands such as Deathstars, Sonic Syndicate and many Black Metal and Death Metal bands out of Sweden.
In the inside of the jewel case behind the CD is a picture of our earth burning up and that piece is made by a friends of my wife, Denise Grönkvist, who has made some really cool stuff.
Where there any particular challenges in writing the album?
Actually, No. It all went fast and smooth but of cause with lots of hard work. But we knew what we wanted from the beginning and had a great plan for it all. Writing songs have never been hard for me. I can write 2-3 songs a week. Not all great but fairly well I think.
What has the response to the album been from your fans so far?
Both critics and fans seem to love it. But you can’t get everyone to like it, right, haha. But overall it seems like we have made one hell of an album that fits many people who are into different styles of metal.
What are the plans for the rest of this year and moving into 2013?
During the summer we will focus on promoting the album 100% and this fall we will be out on the road a lot. Our drummer, Bennich, recently got home from promoting the album and the name in Poland and we have a number of interviews lining up as well. We are working on some gigs over Europe but nothing is set to stone so I can’t say anything just yet but I got a call today from a friend, Joakim (ex Face Down), in MASS.MURDER AGENDA (www.massmurderagenda.com) who told me that they have plans to do a small tour in the UK this fall and wants us to come along for the ride.
Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to the readers?
“Raise Your Fist, Reach for the Sky, Freedom Call, All For One, One For All, Freedom Call… RAISE YOUR FIST TO A BLOOD RED SKY!”
Learn those lines and see ya front row in a near future metal heads! // JB
Huge thanks to you for the interview J.B and a pleasure speaking with you.
All and all the very best for the rest of the year and onwards with Man.Machine.Industry.
Lean Back, Relax and Watch the World Burn is available now via GMR Music
Photography by Soile Siirtola (www.extremmetal.se) and used with kind permission.