Machine­heart have been the soundtrack to our sum­mer months here at Hope St HQ, with their unique brand of syn­th-laced alt-pop. We caught up with Stevie Scott, front­wo­man of the L.A-based band to talk about the city of angels, life on the fest­ival cir­cuit and of course, their much-anti­cip­ated new EP.

Tell us a little about your new record, how does it dif­fer to In Your Dreams EP?

—This will be our second EP; we released In Your Dreams a year ago so it’s def­in­itely time for more music, and a lot of it. Hon­estly, we’re just stoked to be releas­ing more music in gen­er­al. We had so many songs writ­ten at the time we released In Your Dreams and obvi­ously since then we’ve writ­ten many more songs so it’ll be nice to give fans, and new listen­ers, a broad­er spec­trum of who we know ourselves to be.

We’ve spent more time this year writ­ing new music than we have play­ing shows which has allowed us to cre­ate so much new con­tent. We’ve really grown from song to song and writ­ten in a lot of cool lanes. I think this new batch of songs is a dir­ect rep­res­ent­a­tion of where we’ve been at col­lect­ively over the past year. We’ve grown a lot as musi­cians and we feel as though we’re still evolving; these songs are some of our more per­son­al and more mean­ing­ful songs.

You’ve spent the sum­mer on a bit of a fest­ival cir­cuit, how has that been? Is it more fun than tour­ing?

—This sum­mer was amaz­ing. We all love fest­ivals and get­ting to jam-pack a bunch of con­certs into one. It’s fun get­ting to watch friends play their sets and then they’ll come over to ours. It’s kinda like a fam­ily reunion for us musi­cians, we’re all bump­ing into each oth­er in the cater­ing tent or side-stage. And what’s great is you’re not play­ing to a spe­cific audi­ence. It’s a bunch of people who like to watch live music and make the most of it; that gives a lot of energy we really feed off of.

Each of you has a really diverse back­ground and set of influ­ences, how do you reign that in to form your own ori­gin­al sound?

—It was nev­er too much of a chal­lenge for us, hav­ing dif­fer­ent influ­ences. I believe that’s what really gave us “our” sound. A few times when we were still exper­i­ment­ing, someone would go a little too far one way and then one of us would reel the oth­er back in, but now writ­ing flows pretty nat­ur­ally. Not to say that every song is sure-fire but we know our sound and the ebb and flow we like to fol­low when writ­ing.
Gen­er­ally Harry and Jake (drums and bass) will start some­thing rhyth­mic­ally or I will have a chor­us or melody that came to me or Car­man (gui­tar) will have a cool riff. And then we build from there. We all have our own build­ing blocks that we bring to the table. The guys carry a real sense of rock and roll, which makes sense since they all hail from the Seattle-area. I grew up in Cali­for­nia but was always pin­ing for the UK, so I have this strange mel­an­cholic-pop tend­ency. It really works out for us when we bring it all togeth­er.

Now you’re all based in LA, the world cap­it­al of pop cul­ture. Do you feel that the city influ­ences your sound?

—I would say so. I mean, we are always writ­ing, wheth­er we are tour­ing or vis­it­ing some­where so it is inter­est­ing to hear how dif­fer­ent places eli­cit vary­ing sounds and vibes. We took a trip up to Seattle this year just to lock ourselves up in a house and write. It was beau­ti­ful because we were right on the coast over­look­ing the clouds rolling in over the water. The songs def­in­itely have a dif­fer­ent feel from when we’re writ­ing, say, in Malibu on a sunny day, which is where we wro­te Circles actu­ally. And then Stone­cold we wro­te in Venice on a cloudy day. It’s funny how places can really tweak the mood you are in and the over­all vibe of the ses­sion. We’re think­ing of tak­ing a trip to Sweden to see what we come up with.

We’ve had you guys on in the office through our sunny months — what 5 songs have formed the soundtrack to your sum­mer?

—Gosh, so many great songs, it’s hard to pick. But may­be, in no par­tic­u­lar order: Day­dream­ing by Radi­o­head, Some­body Else by The 1975, Robot Stop by King Giz­zard and The Liz­ard Wiz­ard, Easi­er Said by Sun­flower Bean and No Prob­lem by Chance The Rap­per.

If you could per­form any­where, in any time peri­od. Where would it be?

—We def­in­itely roman­ti­cise that era of rock and roll that feels so untouch­able and clas­sic. I won­der if it’ll ever go back to that. We love that time of Fleet­wood Mac, Led Zep­pelin, The Rolling Stones. What a time! We would’ve loved to play a fest­ival with them. Actu­ally, I guess may­be it’s pos­sible now that these leg­acy acts are going back out on reunion tours. We’ll cross our fin­gers.

And finally, can you describe the new record in 3 words?

—Enig­mat­ic. Over­due. Magic.

For more on the band, vis­it www.mchnheart.com

(Pho­to­graphy by Anna Maria Lopez)