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Interview with Andy Makin (Black Light Machine, Ex-Psycho Motel)
August 28th, 2014

Black Light Machine

What can you tell us about this new Project, Black Light Machine?

Black Light Machine is something I'm really proud of. We've only been together a couple of years but I've known Chris Angelow the guitar player from way back. We used to be in a band just before I joined Psycho Motel and he's a great songwriter and guitarist. We've got an album out called "The Hanging Tree", and we're currently going up and down the U.K. gigging.

¿At first sight, we can see influences of bands like Pantera, Machine Head and some other “Metal Modern” bands. What can you tell us about the influences on BLM sound?

Well I don't know about "modern bands"...Our influences are the bands that influenced them I guess. I still come from the Sabbath, Priest, Maiden influences I always did, our stuff has a modern production, and is really heavy, but I think having the aggressive but melodic vocals over the top sets us apart from the more "angry with everything" type bands. Don't get me wrong, I love that stuff, it's just I can't sing that way and wouldn't know how to try! We're all the product of our influences aren't we? But at the end of the day if you put all those influences in a big pot and stir it up and it comes out sounding like you and no-one else then that's the end result you want isn't it?

What can you tell us about the musicians in your band?

Well like I said I've known Chris for years, he's an original, he doesn't sound like anyone else, and there aren't many guitarists left like that are there? We've got Tom Williams on drums who's a young guy but possibly one of the best drummers I've worked with. He amazes me with some of the stuff he does. For such a young guy who's got all the skills of the modern drummer he's got that old school feel to his playing. And we've got Jason Sims who's this Cliff Burton type bass player.

The album “The Hanging Tree” is only available on the Internet? Is there any plan for touring?

At the moment yes the album's only available on the web, and as for touring, well as it happens we're looking into hitting the road quite extensively very soon.

What is your position about the Internet? Is it beneficial or harmful for new bands?

The Internet is great. But the old school rules still apply. you have to hit the road to get the message across. There are so many bands that rely on social media to do all their promotion, which is fine and all that, but at the end of the day you have to physically get yourself out there and gig anywhere you can, and play your heart out each time. I can spot a band going through the motions a mile off, can't you? You have to mean what you sing and play, and the only place to do that is on the road.

How do you see the musical scene today? Which bands can you recommend us?

The scene is flooded with so many bands trying to be what they "think" people want. The scene is awash with bands desperately trying to sound like everybody else. I honestly don't see many bands out there that have shaken me up too much. And my tastes go from Metal to modern stuff like Baroness and Mastodon etc. As for bands that are coming up...we're so busy with our stuff that I don't really get the chance to check out anything new other than new Black Light Machine stuff.

How was the experience of working with Adrian Smith and how is your relationship with him today?

I have the same relationship with Adrian that I did back in the day - I consider him a friend, and we still have a laugh when we get together. Working with him was an amazing experience, something that I'll never forget. The thing is with Adrian is that he not only is an incredible songwriter, but he gave me free rein to come up with fresh ideas for songs. We wrote that album in just over 2 weeks. Me and Adrian, drinking copious amounts of tea in his little studio. The other thing that came out of that was I became a better guitarist from working with him, you can't help but pick up stuff when you've got a guy that good playing in front of you, and he's such an amazing player, you know?

Is there any chance that Psycho Motel returns?

Never say never...I don't know. He called me up to help him when it looked like Primal Rock Rebellion might be doing some live gigs, as he felt that Mikee needed some support with the singing. And it was great to be back in a live room with him. We'll see. He's a rather busy chap at the moment isn't he? But if ever we had the chance to work together again, even if it was for songs that would never see the light of day, I would do it in a heartbeat, of course I would. Any time you find someone on a personal level you are happy to hang out with, and then on top of that they click with your type of song writing, it's an absolute joy.

What do you think about Iron Maiden?

I am a Maiden fan. Best live band I've ever seen, and I saw them back in the day and also quite recently. When I was a kid I wanted to be Steve Harris, I had a Fender copy bass and I used to do the machine gun pose and all that you know? Ha ha! They're one of those bands that you aspire to be like aren't they? They give everything when they play live, and they mean it everytime. That's what any new band should try to do, that's the example of how to be as a live band. It shouldn't make a difference if you're playing to three people in the pub or 300,000 in some arena somewhere, you have to mean it.

Some words for Argentinian fans.

I am staggered by the amount of support we've had from you guys - I never realised that that little album we did back in the day had not only been heard by so many people but also loved by so many. It blows me away that Psycho Motel was so popular with so many of you. When we come to Argentina and we will try our hardest to make that a reality, I hope that you will give Black Light Machine a warm welcome! Please check out Black Light Machine, and spread the word about our music, we are soon going back into the studio and will be giving away a few more songs you can download, plus we're in pre-production with a new video. Thankyou so much everyone, UP THE IRONS!!