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Interview with Machine Gun Kelly

1) Hi! Tell me about your band and what kind of previous experience do you have as musicians?

Machine Gun Kelly were formed back in 2000 by decision of M.G. Miche (me – vocals), Manfre (bass) and Alabarda (drums). Saul Devil (guitar) joined the band soon after.
We all had different backgrounds: one of us was more keen on Stoner and Southern Rock, another was more keen on Classic Hard Rock, etc., but we all wanted to play old-fashioned hard rock songs to have some fun. Three of us already had experiences in the local metal and hard rock music scene, one had never played in a band before.
The line-up slightly changed through the years, new members joined and others parted ways with the band.
Jan, the current guitar player, was more focused on death and folk metal. He made our style take a more heavy direction. He is also in charge of the sound engineering of our albums.

2) Why did you pick your band name? How did you form? Why did you decide to play the genre or genres you do?

I (M.G. Miche) took our name from a record of a thrash-metal band of the ‘80s, the American Zoetrope.

The cover of one of their albums features pictures of various gangsters and robbers of the 30s, including that of George ”MachineGunKelly ”. His name sounded good to me, thus I proposed it. It was accepted.
As I mentioned above, we formed because we wanted to play pure old-fashioned hard rock songs, like those of the times that, given our age, coincided with our youth.

3) What can you tell us about your latest record?

It’s a nine-track album titled “No Easy Way Out”, the third one, and it will be released on January the 30th, 2018 under Sliptrick Records.
Its hard-rock style is very close to that of the ‘80s, but the sound is more heavy. Infact we categorize our music as heavy rock.
Who listened to our previous albums found in these a bit of punk and street style vehemence, which I think can also be found in this work.

4) What the kind of album feedbacks are you waiting for?.

Basically, we do not expect anything.
We just hope that people will enjoy the album, and that we’ll have the chance to play as many gigs as possible to promote it, also in Europe.

5) Are you gonna to make some world tour in the future? Do you think this is available for everybody option to tour around the globe? What do you think band have to do to get such opportunity?

It would be nice to go on tour only in Europe, but underground bands need a lot of money to accomplish such a thing and nowadays it’s getting harder and harder to make money. We for our part do our best, but we also have to deal with everyday problems.
Commitment, reliability and professionalism are fundamental, but money plays a big part.

6) Do you believe in heavy music scene without money?

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, in the underground scene money is needed.
You can consider yourself lucky when all expenses are covered.

7) What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?

It’s a double-edged sword. It has allowed many musicians to be known, but at the same time it has accustomed people not to spend money to buy underground music.
Since it has become a trend, we also had to adapt by sharing the songs for free.

But this trend has damaged those who invest time and money to create music, in order to express themselves and entertain people.

I’d like to finish off with the following remark. When I hear someone say that 10/15 euros for a vinyl or a cd are simply too much, and they have a 700-euro iPad in their hand and a 1000-euro iPhone in their pocket, both renewed yearly or more often, I’m a bit puzzled.

8) Who are your musical influences? Have you ever think your band could be so famous as your favorites?

We’ve been influenced by the bands we have always loved and listened to: Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, AC / DC, but also Tank, Tigers of Pan Tang, Krokus and Twisted Sister.

It’s hard even to get close to their level.

9) Do you have a formal music education? Do you think it’s a Kind of important thing?

Some of us are self-taught, some others had basic or advanced music education.
Music education is important for sure, it provides a solid basis and expands the room for improvement. But experience is the greatest teacher of all.

10) How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?

Strong will and commitment help us find the time to rehearse at least one evening a week, even if we are dead tired.
We schedule our live events depending on our obligations.
Our mates understand and support us.

11) How do you handle mistakes during a performance? Or you can assure there are no any mistakes during your gigs? Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?

During the years we made many live performances, both in bars and in more professional contexts such as rock clubs and festivals, therefore becoming more experienced.

Problems may occur, but experience boosts self-control allowing you to correct the mistake and quickly get over it.

Before going on stage, we experience more excitement than anxiety.

12) What’s next? Thank you!

Only god knows!… No, seriously, we are scheduling some gigs to promote our new album, and we are also composing and recording new tracks.