Q&A: Fun Machine
Canberran outfit Fun Machine are impossible to pigeonhole. If they were an xbox game, they’d be refused classification, such is the diversity of their sonic pallette. But at the core is a certain pop sensibility, and, as their name suggests, fun. We wanted to find out more about this unique crew, and to that end passed them our q&a….
Tell us in your own words what your sound is.
Rather than picking an aesthetic for its own sake, our sound is whatever it needs to be to best honour the song we’ve written. Three of us write and we all have different styles. So nothing’s really pre-ordained aesthetically so much as pre-determined through our interest in being honest, collaborative, and experimental with our own structures rather than pursue a specific sound as ‘right’ or ‘good’ in itself.
Who makes up your band?
Bec Taylor – singing, drums, piano
Ramsay Nuthall – singing, bass
Chris Endrey – singing, guitar, piano
Nick Peddle – drums, excessive appropriate percussion
What were your influences when you first started writing music? And what are your influences now?
With three writers it’s a tough question, but I’m White Stripes & Otis to Air and DFA.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re currently gearing up for a month on the road to share our ‘Naked Body’ single. But we’re always writing new stuff and tinkering at the edges to be as engaging and cutting as possible. There are always interesting new projects that come up when you put yourself out there and want to work.
Do you have a procedure for writing music?
No. We’ve never been good at scheduling rehearsals or songwriting sessions and it’s all very organic. Probably the bulk of our stuff has been drilled out through gigging, which is certainly a big priority of ours. Having people there waiting to see what you do and to hear what you play/say – it’s a very exciting palette and we sure respect the opportunity.
If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, who would you collaborate with, and why?
Kanye West. We’d be so rich, which is the main objective of art. Bjork. Jack White. Camille. There are a lot of good people out there, happy just getting the best out of each other and seeing where that goes for the moment.
What do you think about Canberra’s music scene? And if you could play anywhere, where would you love to perform?
Canberra’s music scene is beautiful for its limitations. It’s very vibrant, collaborative, educated and experimental; but for outsiders it’s dominated by a reputation seemingly incompatible with this reality. This means that while it’s easy to try new things, get interesting projects up and learn from others; it’s also difficult to cut through in a world that wants to know where you’re from and form a one-line opinion.
Here is an easy place to risk, fail and grow, but it’s a tenth of the size of Melbourne and never going to be all things to all people. Ultimately, there’s nothing but charm in the giving and DIY community that those pressures have built and though – like most Canberrans – we’re all from other cities, we’re happily shaped by the opportunities this town’s had to take.
Seen any good acts lately? Who are you digging?
I saw Bonaparte play at Sziget Festival and they blew my mind. Such a considered and engaging show. They must’ve had at least three dedicated non-musical performers on stage, dancing and interacting with the players and audience with costume changes, nudity, blood capsules, whatever. Great band.
Any interesting stories?
At Groovin’ the Moo, I was kicking a footy around with our drummer, Bec, when the Architecture in Helsinki guys coyly asked if they could join us. We missed hours of the festival but it was worth it, because they were really good at football.
It’s hard for us to have embarrassing incidents, as we’re ready for most things in life with our skin-heavy dress code and energetic ‘say yes’ mentality. Recently in Cootamundra I broke into our hotel room at 2am holding frozen hamburger patties and beer on the breath. Hardly crazy, but certainly a happening.
Where are you playing next?
Croatian Club, 10 August. With PROM, Readable Graffiti and Coolio Desgracias. Things are going to get sweaty. Jump on it.
We then also play Bateman’s Bay on August 17th at Captains at Mariners, Melbourne on August 22 at AFTR Dark at John Curtin and Mum in Sydney on August 30 and then Big Sound in Brisbane and then Rics on September 14th!