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Thursday 26 May 2022

Metal To The Masses 2022 Interviews: Z Machine (Heat #8 28.05.22)

Interview With Z Machine By Matt Bladen

MoM: Introduce yourselves/remind everyone who you guys are. Band name, members, style etc?

Z Machine: We're Z Machine. Named after a type of nuclear reactor and potential source of clean energy, we're a 5 piece prog rock/jazz fusion band with the twin guitars of Gareth Piper and Owen Rosser, Kristian Rees on bass, Lester Greenhalgh on drums, and Rob Harrison on alto saxophone.
From a diverse range of esoteric influences like King Crimson, Rush, Gentle Giant, Gong, Meshuggah and Mahavishnu Orchestra, we're trying to make fun and interesting music which pushes the envelope, that hopefully other people enjoy too.

MoM: How have the last year(s) been for the band? What have you been up too?

Z Machine: In March 2020 we were right on the cusp of booking gigs before the whole world ground to a halt. What followed was 18 months of practicing and writing at home, waiting to be able to get back in the rehearsal room together and pick up where we left off.
Thankfully it didn't take us long to get back to the standard we left the last time we rehearsed and were able to finally start gigging in December 2021.

MoM: What experience have you had with Bloodstock/M2TM in the past?

Z Machine: Myself (Owen), Gareth and Rob have all entered M2TM in previous bands back in 2010 when it was in (the now closed) Vice in Swansea. Gareth's and my bands progressed to the final, with my band Burn The Hive winning and playing at Bloodstock 2010. It was a pretty surreal experience as a 21 year old who to have just been given a slot at a major UK festival!

MoM: How are you feeling entering the M2TM format back as it should be? Playing in front of a crowd again?

Z Machine: From what we've read the format seems as fair as it possibly could be, not just a contest of "who can bring the most friends", which is always a risk with battles of the bands. That being said we're mostly looking forward to playing in front of a crowd that would have otherwise never have come to see us. As a metal fan myself with fairly diverse tastes, there's bound to be more of us out there who like weird music as much as we like fast and heavy.

MoM: What would it mean to you to play Bloodstock?

Z Machine: Same as the above really. Playing a major UK festival would be great as it would give us the opportunity to play to so many more ears. Which is what it's all about really isn't it? Playing whenever and wherever they'll let you, to as many people as you can. Hopefully some of them will actually like you. Gareth and I have been going to Bloodstock every year more or less since about 2012, we've always had a great time there. We've seen other friends bands play the New Blood Stage over the years (including Gareth seeing my band in 2010), it would be really exciting to join their ranks and probably bring the first saxophone to Bloodstock.

MoM: Tell us two truths and a lie about the band?

Z Machine: 

1. Gareth has represented Wales at the Commonwealth Judo Championships.

2. Rob has a podcast called "Gamma Radio" that is set in a post apocalyptic wasteland.

3. We're banned from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre in Llanelli after Rob's saxophone caused confusion to some nearby geese at hearing the opening bars to Donna Lee.

MoM: Finally give us a four word rundown of what to expect?

Z Machine: Jazz rock seventh chords

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