Pic by Tony Contini
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
-Thanks for having us! We’ve been doing well. Just getting ready for Christmas and bothering all our friends to watch the video for Beautiful Scene. Ha. The new album comes out in January so we’re pretty fired up about that too.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Beautiful Scene”?
-Yeah, I wrote the chorus in the drive-through of a Jack In The Box and didn’t think too much of it then the rest of the song just came together over the next few months. We’ve been playing it for a while now. A lot of people seem to like it.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
-Well the chorus just kinda wrote itself and I tried to mold the verses around into this idea of being happy where you are, ya know? Finding happiness in the place you already live.
How was the film experience?
-It was great! Jesse McCloskey and the White Opus guys met up with us a couple times to hammer out the concept then we shot most of it in a day. They were patient with us even though we’re kind of idiots. It was a lot of fun, those guys are the baddest.
The single comes off your new album Boy – what’s the story behind the title?
-Oh! The guys in one of our favorite bands, El Camino Sutra in Monterey, call beers “boys.” Like “Hey grab me a boy,” or “Who wants a boy?” and we thought it was hilarious so we started calling everything a boy; beers, cheeseburgers, cars, girls. We still think it’s really funny even though just about no one else does.
Anyway, we were on tour and couldn’t think of a name for the album and I think somebody said something along the lines of “oh who cares, it’s a just a boy.” and we just decided to call it “Boy”. Kinda dumb, huh? Ha.
How was the recording and writing process?
-The writing process was good, we kind of just tooled around in the basement/practice room with song ideas and then tweaked them over the course of touring and shows, then when we didn’’t think they were terrible we decided to cut em with our dude Robbie Lynn in Northridge by LA. Recording with him is always fun even though Southern California is fucking terrible.
What makes Southern California so terrible?
-It’s just traffic and smog and assholes, ya know? And I hate the Lakers but yeah, recording with Robbie makes it all better, we just drink a lot of Coors Light and eat Pizzasaurus Rex. And he really knows what he’s doing, any kind of sound we’re going for he makes it happen and offers suggestions. I mean, he’s even playing bass on the whole album because we were between bassists at the time. He’s the man.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
-We’re mostly just trying to rip off old Stax and Motown tunes. It doesn’t always sound like it but that’s ALWAYS our starting point.
As far as lyrics go, I usually have to finish them right before I record them, we mostly play bars and spots where the sound isn’t too great anyway so I don’t focus on the lyrics until I have to.
Would you call this a concept album?
-Not really. I don’t really have the wherewithal to write an album of tunes that are intertwined. It’s more sonically cohesive than conceptually driven.
Any plans to hit the road?
-Oh yeah, we’re hitting the West Coast in March for Spring break. We’ve done it 5 or so times in the past but every time we go we’re playing better clubs and drawing more people. It’s nice. Progress.
What else is happening next in Failure Machine’s world?
-Our boys in Joan and The Rivers from San Jose are starting a label kind of thing to help West Coast rock bands record and tour and, you know, do band things. It’s called SNAFU Family and they’re putting out a mixtape of all the bands that are involved, it’s gonna be rad. We’re helping out with that as much as we can.
Oh! We’re also gonna record an EP of Drake songs called “Wake N Drake.” That’ll be pretty funny.