EMQ’s with REFLEX MACHINE
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Columbus, Ohio based Avant-Garde/Post Metal duo Reflex Machine! Huge thanks to bassist James Garcia for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m James Garcia; I play Bass VI in the two-piece Reflex Machine with drummer Alex Oakley. We started nearly four years ago, with a mutual love for Mastodon. We were in another band together called Voted Down at the time. I’d been wanting to start a sludge metal two-piece and learned Alex shreds on the drums, so we gave it a shot. Fast forward four years and we have three smaller releases out and have our debut LP dropping in September called “Interzone”!
How did you come up with your band name?
It’s stolen from ‘A Scanner Darkly’ by Philip K. Dick. He’s literally describing a person that’s been zapped of their higher mental functions and it has left a shell of a human being.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
The USA! There’s a lot of good, weirdo metal here: Wizard Rifle, SUMAC, Mutoid Man, to name just a few. The list is honestly so long.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)?
We are dropped our first single/music video ‘Faulty Apparatus’ from our just released LP “Interzone” on Monday, July 14th. You can check it out on our YouTube channel or Facebook page!
Who have been your greatest influences?
We always cite early Mastodon, Melvins and Mars Volta/At the Drive-In as being our biggest influences. Alex loves Slint these days, for those brooding atmospheres and I’m really big on meandering, dark bangers by post-metal folks like Neurosis.
What first got you into music?
I’m not gonna lie. And I refuse to feel 100% guilty to admit it: Pop Punk. I started my path down this road doing street pranks and blasting Green Day and Blink 182. And I know a lot of you MetalHeads are in the same boat, so don’t try to front! But I also really enjoyed Led Zeppelin quite a bit, my intrigue with songs like ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ and ‘Trampled Under Foot’ I think were early indications I was headed for heavier stuff.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I’m a massive Aaron Turner (ISIS, SUMAC, Old Man Gloom) fan. But I think I’d be way too self-conscious to collaborate with him.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
‘Psycho Las Vegas’ would be awesome to play. Or ‘Muddy Roots’. They always have the best line-ups.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Someone spilled their beer all over our merch at Century Bar in Philly and instead of cleaning it up; they offered a drunken apology and a hit of acid. That was pretty funny.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC! Go see a band, any band, on the local level. Those folks are working really hard and just want someone to show up and appreciate what they’re doing. For a lot of us, our bands are our most important projects in our lives and we pour our stupid, doomed little souls into it.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Zombie Bowie would be pretty cool or Zombie Freddy Mercury. Queen rules!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love almost everything about it. I love getting together with my best bud and writing songs that make us think and work really hard, then building massive rigs and hauling em all over the country. It’s great! And every once in a while you make a new friend that really appreciates what you’re doing and “gets it.” But I hate booking gigs. Being ignored by venues, bands and promoters! I get that they can’t possibly answer every message, but it’s truly exhausting.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would flip the narrative of “working for exposure,” and make venue owners realize bands are their lifeblood, the entertainers and their main attraction (besides booze, of course). Pay your bands!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“The Downward Spiral” by Nine Inch Nails and Alex says “Houdini” by The Melvins.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl all day! Can’t ever pass up a good record! That big art, the tactile feel of the disc and the ritual of putting it on the player, lowering the arm! It’s the best.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
We played a 4/20 gig in Richmond at a rad house venue called Lucy Lane. We’ve been going there every year for four or five years now and have become great friends with the people who live there. But we played this show with our friends from Philly, the Kurt Russell band called The Russells, and it was just electric. The crowd was super engaged and we even got an organic encore, which has literally never happened.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Anthony Jeselnik, Vladimir Putin, the Coen Brothers and my mom. That would be an awkward dinner party.
What’s next for the band?
Later this month, we play the Ohio Doomed and Stoned festival in Canton, Ohio. Then we have a bunch of weekend runs in October to promote the new album. We’re really looking forward to seeing how people react to our debut LP! I think it’s something truly unique and unexpected.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
What in the ever-loving fuck is a Jaffa Cake? I’m gonna guess cake, cuz it says cake in the name. Uneducated guess!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I just wanna give a shout-out to all our friends who show up to our shows even though they already know our music backwards and forwards, and some admittedly don’t even like it, but they come any way because they’re awesome and supportive. We love all of you; we couldn’t do this without you!
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