1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.
We are Cracked Machine – a four piece band from Wiltshire. Bill Denton on guitar, Clive Noyes on keys, Chris Sutton on bass and effects and Blazej Gradziel on drums.
2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.
People have called our music psychedelic/stoner/space rock. That’s probably a fair description but we don’t want to be restricted by genre names. We have all come from different musical backgrounds, which can sometimes be a tricky situation, but we have developed a style and method of working that embraces the differences.
There is a lot of jamming and involved in our creative process and we have learnt how to be fairly ruthless with ideas when they don’t work and equally we don’t overthink ideas that do. We definitely thrive on the improvisation side of playing.
3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?
We are fairly seasoned musicians and we’ve done our time in bands of various kinds. Cracked Machine started when Bill had the idea of starting a band who would just improvise everything. That was back in 2015. Clive came on board first and soon after Chris also stepped up to the challenge. Our big challenge was finding the right drummer. The guys we played with were all technically great, but it was the improvisation side of things which scared them off. Then in September 2017, we finally found Blazej. Two days after arriving from Poland we were jamming and a couple of weeks later we were gigging. The four of us knew we had hit on the right line up as soon as we started jamming with Blazej.
4. Stage or studio?
Both are important to develop as a band and as musicians. We have just finished a long stretch of studio time to get our album I, Cosmonaut completed so we are enjoying getting out and playing live at the moment. It’s always good to meet people face to face. The good thing about improvising on stage is that both the audience and the band are hearing the music for the first time!
5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?
Bill uses mainly Fender Strats and Orange and Marshall amps and cabs. Pedalboard-wise, it’s all off the shelf stuff with an Ibanez TS 808 driving an EHX Big Muff forming a big part of his tone. Delay comes from a Vox Time Machine and an MXR Carbon Copy with a good old Boss BF3 Flanger on modulation duty. He uses a modded Crybaby Wah for some crazy cosmic effects now and then – it’s just a standard GCB95 with the buffer removed and a switch added to change capacitors which changes the tone sweep. Chris is the electronics wizard and he is always turning up with new and interesting pedals that he’s built. His core pedals (at the moment) are a Boss ODB3, EHX Bass Muff and a Source Audio Nemesis. He used a Boss OC2 on a couple of tracks as well as an Electro Harmonix Small Clone to add flavour. On one track we used a Korg Electribe through a Boss ME50 multi effects unit for the bass line. Clive used Roland VR09 and a Novation MiniNova synth. We are always experimenting with new gear so that our sound evolves and develops with us. Nobody’s rig stays the same for too long!
6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?
At the moment we are developing sounds and tunes for our next album so there is a lot of experimentation going on with amps, pedals and other kit. If we had to pick something, it would have to be Bill’s twin amp set up of a Marshall DSL 100H paired with an Orange TH30 driving a Marshall 1960a and Orange PPC412. It gives a massive guitar sound (which definitely brings a smile to Bill’s face).
7. Where can we check out your tunes?
An extended, remastered version of I, Cosmonaut will be released on CD and Vinyl in the next couple of months but you can listen and download our music (free at the moment) on our Bandcamp.