Interview: Empty Machines

Glaswegian duo Empty Machines bring something a little different to the rock genre with their own brand of post-rock, as displayed in their single, Luna. It’s great to hear a band doing something a little different, which is something they should certainly be praised for! Find out more about Empty Machines here!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a single titled Luna. What can you tell us about the track?

(Jodie) Luna is a track which doesn’t have a specific sound and it doesn’t really fit into any specific genres, which has been done deliberately for listeners to interpret their own meaning from the song. I personally feel that the track is quite haunting, both lyrically and musically, whilst also sounding very ‘big’ with a lot going on instrumentally.

(Thomas) The lyrics depict a character called Luna, inspired by the Greek goddess of the moon, who puts a mortal into an endless sleep to ensure he doesn’t age and becomes immortalised in that sleep. It’s sort of taking a look at the darker sides of love and how that can make individuals want to control or posses the ones they love.

How has the reception to the song been so far, and where can the song be purchased?

(Jodie) The reception to Luna has been fantastic so far – I’ve been overwhelmed with how many people have been listening to the track and for the incredible reviews. You never know how your debut single is going to go, so it’s been such a nice introduction for the band. Listeners can check out the song on all major platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

(Thomas) I have been really surprised too. I wasn’t expecting anything really, especially as we haven’t played live and literally didn’t exist before the release of Luna, only two weeks ago. So the fact we’ve been getting the feedback we’ve been getting and getting radio play on Amazing Radio and BBC Radio 1 has been a major surprise.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

(Jodie) Yes, we have a lot of music in the pipeline and we’re hoping that our next single will be ready by October.

(Thomas) Yeah, we’ve been recording for the past year, so we’ve got quite a few songs that we’ve been playing about with. We are aiming to release a new single every four to five months. Our next single is called Velvet Sky. It’s quite a bit different than Luna. That track is much darker. We will need to wait and see if Velvet Sky has a similar reception to Luna.

Are there any plans to release an album or EP anytime soon?

(Jodie) Our current plan is for each of our tracks to stand out from the next, so that we can continuously be creative and play around with new sounds and see what works. After we release a few singles, we’re considering creating a short run of limited edition vinyls, which will have the first four singles on it. However, anything can happen and we’re certainly not opposed to releasing a full album – we’ll just need to wait and see!

(Thomas) Everything is going to be based on the reception and our growing fanbase. If we feel we need to keep growing before doing a physical run, we will continue to release standalone singles. We’ve got six singles in the pipeline.

You’re a two-piece with a DIY attitude. How do you manage to create such a full sound as a duo? What is the writing and recording process like?

(Jodie) Thomas had initially been working on some new music for the past two years but hadn’t intended on releasing it, and so the music had actually been created before I joined the band. He had contacted me just before Christmas last year, to ask me if I’d consider singing on our debut single Luna, and then it worked so well that we decided to make the partnership permanent, with me providing vocals on all the tracks. Therefore, at the moment, I have been mostly just a ‘show up and sing’ member, although I am also a songwriter myself and so we will be collaborating more moving forwards on the tracks we’ll work on together from the start.

Your music has a post-rock sound. What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

(Jodie) My favourite genre has always been rock, but I will genuinely listen to anything and have a very varied taste. I love artists and bands who have a huge stage presence and a big sound, like Bruce Springsteen, Queen and the Rolling Stones. However, I do also like acoustic/blues, and love vocalists like Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin. In terms of current artists, I like Yungblud, Ferocious Dog, Billie Eilish… my taste is pretty varied!

(Thomas) I am similar to Jodie, in that I have an extremely varied taste in music. I am a huge Mogwai and Twilight sad fan which could be influencing that post-rock vibe on the track, but I love all music. Recently I have been listening to Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Fred Again… I am listening to something different all the time.

You’re based in Glasgow. What is the local music scene like at the moment?

Glasgow has always been incredible for music, and you’d struggle to go on a night out and not find an open-mic night or live music somewhere. It’s also been nice to see the the growth of outdoor music events at gigs likeBellahouston Park, Glasgow Green and TRNSMT bring in crowds from across Scotland into the city to enjoy music.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?

(Thomas) We will be releasing our second single Velvet Sky. It’s quite a bit different than Luna but I feel it retains our ‘sound’.

(Jodie) We’re hoping to release Velvet Sky in October and we are open to anything else which comes our way!

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

(Jodie) We actually don’t intend to play live as we’d rather put our efforts into writing and recording new music. We aren’t opposed to playing live, but it would be difficult to do this as Thomas played all the instruments on the recordings. If we manage to build a fan base over the next two years, then we’d consider getting musicians together to play a few limited gigs.

(Thomas) It is something Jodie and I have discussed as we have been in other bands before and love playing live. As Jodie said, if we gain a fanbase then we could justify putting on a limited run of gigs.

Any last words for the fans?

(Jodie) We really hope you enjoy our debut single Luna and we appreciate the amazing response we’ve received so far.