Band Interviews will now be a recurring part of our blog and hopefully soon part of our weekly podcasts. For our first interview we are pleased to get to hear from Ex Machina frontman Robbie Folley. Ex Machina is a Salt Lake based band. Just as last year, they’ll be playing a show at Muse on Halloween (Friday) with Mary May I. Don’t forget to check out their music here, (and get the live experience at Muse of course).
Muse Music Café (MMC): What’s the name of your band?
Robbie: Ex Machina, our first bassist came up with the name & it just stuck with us.
MMC: Who’s in the band and what are their contributions?
Robbie: We started as three piece band With myself Robbie Jolley (Guitars, Vocals, Piano), Micah Alldredge (Drums), & Jerry Hines (Bass Guitar.) But the band now consists of, Myself, Micah Alldredge & Cody Florence (Guitar.) We’re currently looking for a bassist. Chris Fallo, Guitarist from Mary May I fills in on Bass for most concerts until we find a set Bassist.
MMC: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
Robbie: I would say that we’re a progressive rock band. Most of our main influences are, Muse, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, & Jeff Buckley
MMC: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Robbie: Cody & I met about two and a half years ago. He was roommates with a friend of mine. I met Micah through our first bassist about the same time I met Cody. Although I have known Cody for two and a half years, he is a recent addition to the band.
MMC: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
Robbie: We formed the band in December of 2007. We all just love music and wanted to write something that could make people feel the way we feel when we listen to our favorite bands.
MMC: What can you tell me about your instruments?
Robbie: Wow we are gear nuts! First of all for guitars Cody and I favor Fender guitars. I usually play Fender Stratocasters and Cody plays Fender Jaguars and Stratocasters. For my amp I use a Fender Vibrolux class A combo amp. Cody uses an Orange AD 30 amp. For effects I usually use the Zvex fuzz factory and the Ibanez tube screamer for a nice over driven tone. I also use a MXR phase 90, Digitech Whammy, Line 6 DL4 Delay, and a Boss Digital reverb pedal. Cody pretty much has the same set up as me for pedals except he uses a Boss Ds1, and MXR Zakk Wylde over drive pedal, Electro Harmonix small clone, & a Vox wah pedal. For bass, we usually use Fender Jazz Basses & Richenbacher Basses. We use an Ampeg STV Classic head & an Ampeg 8X10 cab. For effects we use, Turbo Ratt, Russian big muff & a Boss Flanger. For drums Micah uses a Tamma Starclassic set with Sabian and Zildjain custom K cymbals. He uses a Chad Smith Pearl snare and an Acrylic Pork Pie Snare. He also has a Pacific DW drum kit as well. All of our gear is too expensive but we are particular about our gear because we want to have our band sound the best it can possibly sound.
MMC: Where have you performed? Do you have any upcoming shows?
Robbie: We have performed all over Salt Lake and Utah valley. Our next show is at Muse Music Café on Halloween night with Mary May I, & Follow the Earth.
MMC: Does the band have a favorite song to perform? Do you ever play any covers? Do you usually have a set play list?
Robbie: We all have our favorite songs to play. I can’t say I have a favorite, they’re all special to me in their own way. We sometimes play Creep by Radiohead as a cover. We have a couple set lists that we put on rotation.
MMC: Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
Robbie: I am the primary song writer in the band. I don’t usually have topics when I write. When it comes to lyrics, I usually free lance write everything then I read the lyrics after they’re finished & I usually know what they mean by then. Most of the songs are about love, not being able to sleep, suicide, death, crazy violent things you keep to yourself, fun things such as that. When it comes to writing music, I do the same thing. I have no particular “topic” & or “theme” I just write what ever my soul expresses to me.
MMC: Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
Robbie: When it comes to writing the songs I usually write the main riffs at my house then I take it band practice & sort out all of the parts together like a puzzle. Melodies and lyrics are mainly written in the studio. But lately I have been writing lyrics and melodies at my home with my Acoustic Guitar.
MMC: What are your rehearsals generally like?
Robbie: We usually practice three times a week from seven until about eleven or later. Depending on what we have going on. We usually talk at the practice about what we want to accomplish and do our best to be productive. It’s about writing and expressing ourselves.
MMC: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Robbie: It has evolved intensely. We have really learned how to work together to get everything musically accomplished. Playing together has come second nature to us, but all of that is due to playing consistently for the last two years.
MMC: What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Robbie: Bass players, we need one, do you play? Ha ha
MMC: What’s your ultimate direction for your band?
Robbie: To put out a record that speaks to people. We want to go as far as we can possibly go.
MMC: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Robbie: Don’t ever give up ever. Always keep your dreams intact. It’s not easy to be in a band. It takes work and be prepared to work, I mean work really hard! Keep a positive attitude and never lose sight to why you’re making music.
MMC: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a CD?
We are working on the art work for our EP and hope to be releasing it by December. But as for now you can go to our myspace page, www.myspace.com/exmachinslc
and listen to our songs there.
MMC: Any last words?
Thank you to everyone who supports the local music scene and genuinely cares about other people!
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Robbie. We look forward to your new release and of course to the show on Halloween. Good luck with the bassist search!