We saw Machine Driven Sun few months ago in Wydział Remontowy as support band for Pull The Wire. And we were blown away. They were kind to invite me for one of their rehearsal session and to answer a few questions.
Can you introduce yourselves to our readers? Who you are and your role in the band?
DRM404: Hello, I am Dagmara (DRM404), the co-founder and drummer in Machine Driven Sun. Apart from playing music, each of us has her / his own area of activity in which we feel most comfortable. In my case it is taking care of organization issues, but I also help with compositions, graphic design, social media etc.
Volven Wolf: Hi, I’m Volven Wolf/Volven. My real name is Maja, but I always use ,”Volven…” when it comes to any form of art (before it was “Volven de Viant” so stuff signed like this is also mine :). In Machine Driven Sun I am the vocalist, I sing, scream, compose vocal lines and write lyrics. Since I love creation and doing things I also, among other things, became the band’s private makeup artist 😉 Makeup is one of my hobbies/passions and the way of expressing myself, I do my makeup on my own for anything I take part in – and I love taking part in and organizing a lot!
So long story short, I write, make paintings mixing techniques, I am a photomodel (now having less and less time for it…), I also took part in quite a few music videos. After being inspired when taking part in a similar event as a model, I organized a few alter fashion shows, at tattoo festivals, also being a model there.
Getting back to music I also compose my own tracks and play different instruments, I’ve had released my first solo CD ,”Desiderium” by underground label Black Death when I was a teenager. I also recorded 2 music videos for my tracks and made the cover for the CD on my own. Anyway it is a real underground. I’ve had many different music collabs, from recording tracks to playing spontaneous gigs on festivals etc, also including playing blues in pubs, busking with my handpan on the streets… so as you see, everything concerning different music genres. I also took part in quite a few music videos (including MDS music vids of course ;), I love getting into a role so here we go, I did few performances in my life, including one at Castle Party Festival.
Also my job is floating around art (so how not to be a freak? 😉 ) – I have my own business, running a studio where I am a tattoo artist, body piercer, dreadmaker, permanent makeup artist… – everything about changing what’s outside so it fits what is inside. The best reward is a smile of my clients!
But let’s get back to the band! Although a vocalist is usually the frontman of a band, I always highlight that our is a result of hard work of the whole band. And I am glad that I have the opportunity to make music with people who are open for new inspirations.
Sorry for taking so much space here, I was doing my best not to write a book here… 🙂
Oskar: Oskar, bass guitar.
Paweł Z.: Hi, I am Paweł and I’m the synth player who’s also in charge of graphic designs for our merch and albums along with DRM404. I’ve been in Machine Driven Sun in the beginning and it became a big part of my life along the way.
I also write songs sometimes, but most of those will show up in our future release
Paweł D.: I am Paweł and I play guitar. I have also been quite heavily involved in composing and in general the band’s writing process so far, especially on our last release.
When did it all start for Machine Driven Sun?
DRM404: While we play in our current form for over a year, the band was formed in 2018 and changed quite a bit in the beginning. Originally we played lighter rock with electronics and put more emphasis on the visual aspects and alternative world, which is currently being developed as part of my DRM404 project. Machine Driven Sun in its current form is a heavier rock / metal with progressive and industrial elements and strong vocals. The visual part is now complementary rather than dominant to the project.
Volven Wolf: For me it started in the beginning of 2019 after DRM404, looking for a vocalist, invited me for a rehearsal – after which it just ,”clicked” and I stayed in the band so we were complete now. The band had been making music before, but after I became official member of MDS, we started working together with new fresh energy and inspirations and also due to my vocals, which are a mix of singing strong and gentle parts and also extreme vocal techniques like screams, the music got into more heavy and emotional paths. The fun fact is when we met for the 1st time I was singing as if it was a jam session (that I love btw), it was a complete impro, but these impros became further inspirations for composing vocals to some songs, “Hey! Are you talking to me?!” was born just then 😀
I think I also added something to the visual part since I have my own, strong image including tattoos, artistic makeup.
Paweł Z.: It began in 2018 in a small garage, after a friend told me there’s a band inspired by Nine Inch Nails who are looking for someone to take care of the synths/electronic sounds. Since I am a big NIN fan I couldn’t miss that opportunity.
Paweł D.: I joined the band at the end of 2018. I saw a post on FB saying the band is looking for a guitarist. At the time I wasn’t really an active musician. I was just playing in a bedroom, so I decided to give it a go. Went to MDS’s rehearsal and I’ve been in the band since.
Congratulations on your new LP “Spiral”, there are great tracks like “Phajaan” & “Blackout”. Can you tell us where your inspiration comes from? And what is the creative process to make new music?
Volven Wolf: Thank you! I am really glad that you mentioned “Blackout” since it is one of my favorite and most important one from all our tracks. You can find a lot of really hard emotions I was going through in the lyrics and vocals themselves there. So here we come to answering your question about the inspirations – vocals are the final part of creating songs, I need something to work on. So emotions that the sound brings to me, memories that come back then, everything that surrounds me, that I am going through, read, watch…. – you can find it all here. Especially when it comes to tracks about hard emotions, pain – I think everyone can refer to it in their individual way. With songs which are depressive, sad – you name it, I don’t want to make people feeling bad, I want to say ,,you are not alone in the sh*t that you are going through” as such songs were and still are a huge support for me, especially in really hard moments.But sometimes I just like creating a lil’ story, play with words… it depends on the atmosphere of the track and what’s in my head then. And, what is funny, the temporary titles of tracks inspire me to, actually a lot of them became the official names for the songs 😀
When it comes to technical issues – when I hear the instrumental part I usually immediately know how the voc lines will sound, so it’s like I sing random things to work on the vocal melody and changing techniques in different parts – then I write lyrics so they fit the music in all aspects..
As I am responsible for vocals I don’t only compose them and write lyrics, I also have certain ideas of how I should sound on a record, sometimes I want to add some extra effect to make it more interesting – so I take care of that when we record new tracks.
Oskar: When I joined MDS, songs from Spiral were more or less already written. I reinvented some of the bass lines and proposed some minor changes to songs. That being said, the biggest inspiration for me were the songs themselves.
Paweł Z.: Inspiration comes from all places honestly. Sometimes it’s a certain mood that we feel and want to show to the world through music, sometimes it’s an image to be pictured.
Technically speaking, I guess every member has a different approach to writing music. For me it often starts with the synths. I spend a long time tweaking the settings and playing with the oscillators to get a good sound. A great synth sound is enough to inspire even if there’s no great riff to play with it yet.
Paweł D.: The music for the record was written over a long period of time, so it is hard to give a specific answer. Most of the music on the previous record ‘Kili’ had already been written when I joined the band. All the members of the band come from a little different musical background, so when we were preparing new material, we were figuring out what works for us and what doesn’t. I quite like progressive music and wanted to smuggle a bit of that to an industrial vibe of the band. That is actually very visible in “Phajaan“.
For 2 years now, we are going through a pretty difficult time because of Covid and the restrictions it has hit the music industry by canceling tons of concerts. How did you handle it?
DRM404: Fortunately playing in a band is not our regular job, which makes the situation easier. I only regret that we had to cancel our concerts with Aggressiva69, Citizen N.I. and Gorgonzolla among others. Luckily, we’re back to playing and we recently played a gig with Citizen N.I. in Wrocław and soon we’ll be playing a few concerts with Gorgonzolla!
Volven Wolf: Yeah, it was not such a problem in the aspects mentioned by DRM404. But for example, we had less rehearsals… and, of course, living without the opportunity of going to a gig or playing one was just heartbreaking for folks who love music. Anyway the Covid pandemy had an influence on pretty much all aspects of our lives, making everything harder, destroying a lot, including mental health of many people. I can only speak for myself in this case, anyway I have to admit that it had a horrible impact on me as I have my own business, the huge amount of stress, being overworked to the fullest, health problems connected with all of this and unfortunately being really disappointed by people I trusted, it all just broke me and that influenced my activity in the band. But hopefully, it all gets better.
Paweł D.: First few months of the pandemic were hard musically. It is extremely difficult to feel inspired and write music, when you sit at home all the time and nothing really happens. Luckily, some gig opportunities started to show up in 2021, so it motivates us to work on some new ideas and promote the “Spiral“.
What are your projects now? For this year & the future.
DRM404: This year we focus on promoting our latest album, mainly by playing concerts in different parts of Poland.
Volven Wolf: As DRM404 mentioned, we are focused to promote our music, especially our new album and playing gigs. But for a band without hundreds of thousands views on YouTube it is really hard… Anyway even the most known bands had to start from stuff like that – I hope we will have the opportunity to play outside Poland also. By the way, you are helping us to promote our music with this interview, thank you for that!
Oskar: Nothing special for now. Promote Spiral and record new songs.
Paweł Z.: We’ll do our best to promote Spiral through our live activities. I’d also like us to release at least one more song this year, although I’m personally hoping for even more.