– Thank you so much for answering our interview. How is the band currently doing?
Hi Paco. Yeah we’re doing good thanks taking a short break from rehearsals for a month, then back to business in preparation for our next shows plus also writing some new material.
– Before digging into your full-length album I would like you to tell us a bit about your story. Who are and how did DEEP MACHINE arise?
I formed the band back in ’79….we started out playing 50% covers then our own stuff….. During that time, I auditioned for Iron Maiden, and after getting into the ‘top 3’ a guy called Tony Parsons nailed the gig. I decided I really wanted to take Deep Machine to a higher level. Deep Machine at this point had pretty much fallen apart, so I recruited guitarist John Wiggins (later of Battlezone/ Tokyo Blade fame) Dave Orton on Bass, and Ricky Bruce on Drums. Roger Marsden was later added on vocals. Two years of gigs followed including The Ruskin Arms, Electric Stadium, and London’s Marquee Club. Dave Orton was later replaced by Andy Wrighton on Bass (later of Shogun and Tokyo Blade Fame). At the end of ’81 I left the band due to work commitments. There were various line up changes after my departure, starting with Kevin Heybourne of Angel Witch taking my place on guitar. After various members leaving, the band again pretty much fell apart. It was then that Andy Wrighton with some good musicians formed what can only really be described as a ‘Deep Machine tribute band’ as none of them, including Andy, were original members, and were playing a set using half of which were my songs. This outfit however did go out on the road playing several gigs including Holland’s Dynamo Club before finally breaking up.( I think some of the guys in that band have apparently formed a current band called The Deep). Nearly 30 years went by, and myself, John Wiggins, Andy Wrighton, and Chas Towler decided to get together for a Jam. It went wel,l so we decided to try and re-form the band. After around 3 months of rehearsals we looked for a singer, but found none really suitable. Lenny Baxter, who I’d known for ages, who was formerly the Bass player more noteably with a band called Gangland, put himself forward to give it a try. He came to rehearsals, and we were really surprised how well he did, so he got the job. John Wiggins and Andy Wrighton then had the offer to join a re-formed Tokyo Blade…although this was bad timing for us, the guys would have been crazy to decline the offer, so a new guitarist and Bass player had to be found. John Riley joined on Bass, and Nigel Martindale joined on guitar. After around a year, Martindale was replaced by the awesome Nick East on guitar. This is the current line up today….Two EP’s and an album, with High Roller later, plus some great gigs played, we are still here to belt out some Metal to the fans!
– It’s funny the fact you are one of he oldest NWOBHM bands, your discography consists of 4 demos released from 1980 to 1983. My question is how were those first steps like and why, as a lot of bands into the genre, you didn’t have the chance of releasing a full-length during the 80’s?
The Original line up of Deep Machine recorded a self-financed 4 song Demo, the track being Demon Preacher, Asylum, Witchild and Deep Machine. This Demo was purely to get some extra gigs and maybe send out to record companies. Deep Machine never nailed a record deal though.
– During those years a lot of bands from England came up so, in the line of the previous question yourself, as a lot of other bands, only released demos. What differences do you think there were between the most popular bands and the others? Did you ever have the chance of releasing a full album during that period?
Yeah there were some great bands around at that time, but only a handful actually released EP’s or albums as such. Like us, more of them only hade demo tapes. We had an offer from Neat records to do an EP (which sadly we never acted on) but there was never an album offer….although I’m sure with that particular line up, there would have been in time.
– There have to pass a lot of years, until the first decade of 2000, for you to release something, which was two EPs in 2011 and 2012. Why did you release those EPs? And how did this chance born?
In 2011 I approached High Roller Records with view to make a collectable Vinyl of the original 1981 Demo tape. HR agreed to this, and the release was a complete success. The next year we approached HR again, this time with the offer of 3 newly recorded songs. Among those songs was Whispers In The Black which (as I have already said) was to be the title of this EP. We released this EP purely because we wanted to put out 3 songs, 2 old and one new to gauge the response. Again, this EP was a complete success. The first EP in 2011 with High Roller Records was actually taken from our ’81 demo tape that I described earlier….we got it to digital, then cleaned up the tape ‘hiss’. ‘Whispers In The Black’ again with High Roller, was the second EP and contained a completely new song (the EP title) together with re-vamped original songs from back in the day Iron Cross and Killer. These tracks were mixed and produced by the awesome DeeRal.
– And already in 2014 finally a DEEP MACHINE full-length will be released. How did the chance of finally recording an album arise?
I think it was just a natural progression from the EP’s really….after 30 years a long-overdue project you could say! HR agreed the deal, recording got underway….and we have an album (of which we are immensely proud!)
– About the previous questions, maybe the Internet and the current easy access to all kind of bands and old releases has helped to get attention from more people? Have you noticed this effect? Has this been important when it came to record?
Very much so…the internet is a vital tool to promote the band….
– Tell us a bit more about «Rise of the Machine». What does it deal with and what’s the meaning behind its title and cover artwork?
What does it deal with? A tough question really! Each song on the album covers different topics. Witchild deals with the demonic stuff…Black Priestess is dark and mysterious, Iron Cross is obviously based on a war topic…..and so it goes on. The title ‘Rise Of The Machine’ means literally just that….a return/ resurrection of the band. I discussed the cover artwork with the (amazing) artist Alex von Weiding. We came up with a bunch of ideas between us to re-invent our ‘skeleton creature’ guy AKA ‘Boris’ featured in our original logo. We saw him rising up from the fires of Hell, and thought it would be cool if he was made from Machine parts…the various ‘smudges’ on the Black background of the inside cover represent Boris’s footprints as he stalks around in the dark….very Metal!
– I personally loved the records; it doesn’t sound modern nor overproduced, as some bands are currently doing. Songs are easy listening into NWOBHM/traditional Metal fields. Was this how you wanted it to sound? Are you satisfied with the final outcome?
Glad you liked the records! Yes we wanted to keep the NWOBHM vibe so did not go into over-production. Indeed we are very satisfied with the outcome, it was exactly what we had set out to achieve.
– The opus contains songs you already had during those demos; has been easy to create new songs or did you already have certain pattern built from the older ones?
The new songs namely The Gathering, Whispers In The Black, definitely came easy to us in terms of writing and following the Deep Machine formula….Celebrophile breaks new ground in terms of style as it was written exclusively by Lenny and Nick…..a great song!
– What’s left from those DEEP MACHINE and what do you have to offer nowadays?
There is still a lot of energy left in the band….we offer a full on powerhouse live set!
– On a view to the future; do you have any ideas for a new album?
Yes, we are currently writing new songs which will feature on a new album
– And about shows and tours; how’s is everything doing? And what are your plans to support this album?
We haven’t planned a tour to support the album as such, be we are open to offers from ALL promoters in both the UK and Europe…..particularly interested in playing some shows in Germany, Spain Belgium, Holland and France.
– One of the things I like to know when I talk to veteran people, is the curiosity to know their influences or best albums they have ever listened. What’s your preference in terms of bands and what albums have influenced you the most when it comes to create music?
Judas Priest have always been my main influence….I consider them to have been the greatest Metal band on the planet…..their live album from way back, Unleashed In The East really ‘did it’ for me….awesome stuff! Of course I also grew up with the classic bands like Sabbath, Purple etc…they were also a great influence to me.
– That’s all from our side, our best wishes and hope we could see you in Spain. Thank you so much.
Thanks you, it’s been a pleasure and yes we would love to play some gigs in Spain for the Metal fans there….offers of some dates would be cool!