Man Made Machine is collective from Phoenix, Arizona ready to place some serious hard rock and roll into your world. After a debut release on Razor & Tie last year entitled Become, Man Made Machine found themselves on the road with such noted bands as Godsmack, Staind, and Halestorm. Now a free agent and ready to take on the world. a vibrant new EP entitled Undeniable has been issued. Produced by Matt Good of From First To Last, contained within are rock solid tunes destined to exhilarate the senses of all who give a listen. Read on as we catch up with vocalist Joe Cotela to find out more about their new self-released EP, their inspiring lyrics, life on the road, and other topics of interest…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Man Made Machine, and how long the band has been together?
I’m Joe Cotela the singer for Man Made Machine. We’ve been together since 2010 so about 4 years now, we were all in other bands together before this as well so we have a lot of years playing and creating together.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are from Phoenix, AZ. It’s a killer music scene that has seen a lot of ups and downs around here but we have a bunch of homies doing their thing from this area. Bless the Fall, The Word Alive, Craig Mabbit from Escape the Fate, as well as people based out of AZ like our brother Chad Gray from HELLYEAH and our boy Elias Mallin who drums for Filter and Ke$ha. There is a more recent prominent indie scene around here too that’s fitted around a venue called The Crescent Ballroom in downtown, which is booming right now. All music is cool in my book as long as it’s good.
Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Undeniable?
The title comes from the title track on the EP, it’s a song about being an artist / musician. You have to have tough skin and be bullet proof to make it through somedays when you’re touring or trying to “make it” whatever that means. It’s about the things I/we have gone through in this band from the highest highs to the lowest lows, you have to keep the mindset that no matter what happens I’ll be undeniable to this world.
Select two songs from Undeniable and what inspired the lyrics.
Another track off the EP, “X-rated” is about how PC and safe things in music, media, most facets of creativity and just life expression are nowadays. It’s not a porn reference, which you might think at face value, it’s a call to everyone to start thinking like realists and to be nakedly honest.
Another important track for me on this album is the softest song on the EP “Fight For You” which I wrote in the aftermath of an anxiety attack. It’s something I know millions of people deal with and it can be beyond scary,taxing and frustrating. I wrote it as brutally honest as I could about accepting that this is something I am going to have to deal with for the rest of my life and it’s gonna be a bitch. In a bad panic attack you feel helpless, alone and sick, like you’re about keel over and so I jotted down “Am I the only one dying here? Show me how to live.” I want to share these feelings as I’m sure many other people can empathize and hopefully find comfort in knowing it’s not just them.
What was it like working with Matt Good of From First To Last and what did he contribute to the overall recording process?
He was amazing to work with. He moved here about a year before we ever worked together on this. We became friends through mutual friends and just going to the bar and hanging and eventually the time came to record again so it just worked out great. We did the last album with Chad and Greg from Mudvayne / HellYeah and got a very raw rock vibe in the production end of things. Which was great, it was what we were trying to do when starting this band. This time around we wanted to utilize Matt’s capabilities with programming and effects and really modernize the sound. We really ran with it and let him push the songs pretty far. We couldn’t be happier with the result.
What could one expect from a live Man Made Machine show?
High energy. We all come from a very heavy, hardcore and metal background. We like to have a few drinks and push ourselves to the limit on stage. We make it into a party no matter where we are.
Has Man Made Machine ever played here in the Los Angeles area or plan to do so in future days?
You know what? Man Made Machine has toured with Godsmack, Staind, Halestorm, Pop Evil, Chevelle, 10 Years, Nonpoint, Fuel ect and every tour we have done has always stuck to the Midwest, south and east… We have played all over California in other bands and we do love L.A. and can’t wait to get back.
Any strange or scary happenings on the road or at a show?
Haha if we can remember them. There’s been a lot of things, like our heater breaking in our RV in Nebraska when it was -10 outside, I remember thinking I was going to go to sleep and not wake up. Weather conditions on tour are crazy man, really puts you through the ringer.
What was the experience like opening for Godsmack and did you get to hang out with them at all?
It was killer, the Staind guys actually fought to get us on that tour, they have been nothing short of amazing to us ever since we opened for them on a different tour at House of Blues in Chicago. It took a little bit to get the Godsmack guys to open up to us, which is understandable because we’re newer, we definitely ended up bro’ing down with them at bbq’s and parties and by the end were cool. Shannon the drummer in particular for me is one of my drum heroes, the drumming he did on Glassjaw’s ‘Worship and Tribute’ is at the top of the mountain for me. Got to hear all about it from him and that was one of the coolest things I took with me on that tour. I’m for sure a music enthusiast and borderline nerd for the stuff I’m passionate about.
If Man Made Machine could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Well we’ve gotten to share festivals with Three Days Grace, Deftones, Incubus, 30stm, Alice in Chains, Rise Against, though I don’t know if that counts… and toured with the aforementioned bands, which are all rad. It would probably be the original line up of Pantera or Slipknot. Neither need an explanation, two of the most influential metal bands of our youth when we were growing up.
What would you like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
Remember that we’re just 5 dudes that try to make good music and we’re humans and to identify that electricity and energy of human life in the songs. Crank it the fuck up too!
Any final words of wisdom?
If you blow chunks and she comes back, she’s yours.But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be. – Wayne Campbell
Man Made Machine is:
Joe Cotela – Vocals
Justin Sena – Bass
Matt Reinhard – Drums
David Ludlow – Guitar
Steve Siminski – Guitar
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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