Zwaremachine has been a mainstay on Brutal Resonance for quite some time; their music has always been boot-stomping industrial club fun. That being said when the time came to start our little record label we were more than happy to begin with Zwaremachine's EP "Ripping at the Fabric" (stream / order HERE). The five track release has been received extremely well with fans, critics, and DJs putting the songs on blast on radio shows. The fun doesn't stop there as Zwaremachine has been crafting awesome, hard-boiled music videos non-stop for the songs on the EP. Their latest one for 'What We Are' is decidedly premiering directly below. Check it out and then check out the entire YouTube Playlist for all of the music videos released for "Ripping at the Fabric". Be sure to stick around after the video for an interview with Zwaremachine founder Mach Fox!
Hello Mach! Let’s get an introduction to Zwaremachine and yourself for those who are reading this and don’t know who you are or what the project does. What is Zwaremachine and what do you do?
Mach Fox: Zwaremachine is my Industrial/EBM band from Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA. I am also a video artist/VJ and release solo music as Mach Fox. I released our first Zwaremachine recordings in 2011 but it wasn't until the 2018 release of "Be A Light" that I began to look for members that could be a permanent part of the line up and tour. From 2011 to 2016 I had different musicians playing synths and electronic drums to reinforce the sequencer arrangements and I was doing vocals, live synth and visuals. I had started the band as a vehicle for my dark electronic audiovisual performances and by 2017 decided I wanted to work on writing a debut album that reflected my influences and my desire to have a great live set. Performing live is the main goal of the band and now with the addition of bassist Dbot and drummer Dein Offizier we have a strong trio to bring the depth of sound and aggression to the stage.
Before we get into the good stuff, tell us some genre influences.
Mach Fox: In relation to the songs on the new EP there was definitely a heavy Wax trax! label influence and so many of those bands and the Ministry side trax projects were an influence. I also find that bands like Alien Sex Fiend, Nitzer Ebb, Skinny Puppy, Portion Control, Clock DVA, Front 242, Klinik and Dive inspire a lot of the music I make and ideas about production along with horror and sci-fi movies being a part of the sound imagery and lyrical content at times.
“Ripping at the Fabric” has been described by you as one of your most definitive releases to date. We’ve been receiving a ton of positive reception from fans as well. What did you do differently in production to make “Ripping at the Fabric” so genuine?
Mach Fox: This EP came about spontaneously and in a very short time so I think it kept some of the rough and ugly edges and that lends to the genuine feel of the songs. We hadn't planned to be releasing anything new until the next full length album which we are currently working on was finished but since that recording was going very slowly I wanted to keep active in the studio. The EP started as a project where I was going to lend vocals to tracks that music producer Darren Corri was working on and when I got the tracks they were sounding great but not yet arranged musically as songs that I could easily write and record vocals for. We agreed that I would edit and arrange before adding my vocals and that process very much reminded me of the way I had been making electronic music when I started the band so I asked Darren if he would like to co-write an EP that we would release as Zwaremachine and that became the partnership. I also liked the fact that these tracks were a bit more aggressive with faster tempos which I knew would suit the live set with the current line up. So I focused on making this EP for DJs and dancefloors and it's great that fans have picked up on that energy and are getting into these tracks.
And let’s talk about that cover art. Made by Mark Gerrard, it looks as if Robocop had a bad day and was shot to itty bitty pieces and his remains are a trophy on his hunter’s wall. What is it supposed to be?
Mach Fox: Mark Gerrard and his brother Paul Gerrard have been the artist team working on all of our Zwaremachine release artwork and I feel very lucky to have them contribute not only because the artwork is amazing but I also like the idea of having a consistency to the visual world that is surrounding the band. I very much draw from horror and sci-fi influences and those themes come through the lyrics as well as our artwork. That image used for the EP was already something we had considered for the 'Remain Unseen' single but did not use at that time and we felt it fit the theme of this release because of its aggressive tone and since we had already printed t-shirts and stickers with artwork based on that design which were popular it was easy choice for this EP. We have had many positive words about the cover... you may have to ask Mark about what it actually represents.
There’s a theme to the album about an “International Hero” as the fourth track puts. What is the overall story or concept of the album? And how did you come up with this theme?
Mach Fox: The next full length album we are currently recording has a working title of "Conquest 3000" and is a concept album set in the year 3000 when earth resources have been depleted and the wealthy and privileged have already left leaving millions to fight for what little is available in a hostile climate while "Ripping at the Fabric" is set in a world just before that era when there is still hope for a better mankind. In the song 'International Hero' the line "You got a gun, I got a bullet" was about cooperation to overthrow the rulers and oppressors and the idea that one person may have the gun representing the vehicle and another may have the fuel for that vehicle and by combining resources and coming together they can accomplish the task. If you examine the lyrics on the EP you may find they also relate to the current times as well...which is equally as scary as my futuristic sci-fi scenario.
Out of all of the tracks on the EP which ones are your favorite and why? Mine is the title track by far.
Mach Fox: I like 'New Design' mostly because the lyrics are from an old demo track of the same title which was never properly recorded and now it gets a new life on the EP. I also really like 'Resist' since it has always reminded me of PTP's 'Show Me Your Spine' which is an all time fave track.
Though quarantine is going on the States and European countries are starting to slowly open up. What are your plans as far as touring or live shows go? Are you going to be performing via livestream to promote the EP more?
Mach Fox: We had planned on some European shows this summer followed by shows in the U.S. this fall to promote both the EP and re-release of Be A Light as special edition but are now waiting on word about when we can reschedule those. As soon as I am able to travel I will get together with Dein Offizier (drummer) and Kitty (band manager) in the Netherlands to rehearse and plan some dates for upcoming shows. I don't feel that livestreaming would be an option for our type of energetic performance and since Dein Offizier lives in the Netherlands it just wouldn't be possible though I did consider some offers to perform solo as Zwaremachine it just would not be the format I want to present these songs. It will be worth the wait when we can perform as a trio again!
I’ve also read that you re-released Be A Light as a special edition on Sliptrick Records! That’s awesome. But why the decision to re-release the album? Did you alter it in any fashion or just add bonus tracks?
Mach Fox: The decision to re-release the debut full length as a special edition was mainly because that album had really good response but the label we originally released it with did not have any worldwide distribution so it had limited reach in Europe and countries outside of North America. We felt it didn't make sense to jump to the next release without giving "Be A Light" a bigger audience and time to grow since those songs were so well received by reviewers and DJs and in our live sets. Since we are concentrating on shows in central Europe we decided it would be best to find a label to partner with and bring it out as a special edition more geared towards a that crowd and we added remixes more suited to DJs. We had the artwork slightly reworked by Mark Gerrard and added the track 'Remain Unseen' which was only available as a digital single before and also notable since it was the first recorded Zwaremachine track with bassist Dbot.
What else does the future hold in store for Zwaremachine? Do you have any other singles, EPs, or remixes planned?
Mach Fox: At the moment I am gearing up for rehearsals and performances which includes choosing the equipment we will tour with and working on visuals for the set. When we tour in the U.S we are able to dress the stage a bit more with crt monitors and custom equipment which would be costly to fly over to Europe so I am making plans for two different types of shows. We are also recording and mixing tracks for the next full length album and working on new videos.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your time. I do wish you the best and leave the space below for any further comments. Cheers!
Mach Fox: Thank you. We appreciate the support of Brutal Resonance and everyone getting the word out about the new EP and special edition of Be A Light. We also look forward to a future where live music will thrive again and hope to see all of you somewhere in the world.
Jun 26 2020
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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