INTERVIEW: Up Down Go Machine


 Up Down Go Machine


THE London band Up Down Go Machine; in addition to that…

intriguing name, boast some terrific and unexpected sounds. I ask about new single, Gambler, and the sonic influences that go into it. The band weaves punchy, yet delicate, Folk melodies and stripped-back guitar sounds together. In terms of theme; Gambler explores a man whose addiction takes him to the dark side – inspired by the gangster films of the 1980 and '90s.

A killer chorus and fascinating set of lyrics is not an easy thing to get right – Up Down Go Machine seem to achieve it with ease. I ask about the band’s roots and the sort of music they grew up listening to; how they managed to secure (forthcoming) gigs in New York and their fondest memories to date.


For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?

A big hello from Up Down Go Machine. 

We are made up of moi (Sam) on the drums; Stephen on the bass and the powerhouse vocals of Stephen - who also plays the guitar.

Can you reveal the origin of that band name, ‘Up Down Go Machine’?

Our singer, Stephen, on his travels, found out that the name ‘Up Down Go Machine’ is a direct translation of 'a lift' in Japanese...apparently.

At the time, he thought, "That would make a great band name!".

We decided Up Down Go Machine was a fantastic name and felt it had relevance to our music so we swiped it, branded it and gave it a logo.

Talk to me about the single, Gambler. What was the inspiration for that song?

The inspiration actually came from when Stephen was watching the movie, Casino.

The individual characters took his attention and he wanted to write lyrics that delved into the darker aspects of the gambling scene. From here, we wanted to create a sound that was ambient and deep but at the same time; had space to allow the track to build - as it moves along from chorus to chorus.

A recent review said that the track has pace, restraint and understatement - and it's this that makes it stand out. We couldn't actually agree more!


It is the lead-off single from your eponymous E.P. What has it been like putting the songs together? What sort of stories and tales compelled the songs?

The stories all vary: telling a different tale each time! 

We have songs about a damn bursting back In the 1700s; another based on a mermaid that falls in love with a man - and one of the tracks is focused around one of Louis Theroux documentaries about alcoholism - taking one person's stories and perspective of his/her world. 

Your music takes in many different genres and sounds. How would you describe your sound?

One of the hardest questions to answer, really!

I suppose we fall under the combination of Folk, Indie & Rock.

Our music had an overall finished sound - which is explored and polished when in the studio. We all bring our own talents and music tastes to the table. This is what makes the music so interesting to create.

How did the band get together in the first place? Take me back to those early days.

The band first came about when I (drummer, Sam) met Stephen working for Oakley.

We got onto the conversation about music and he told me played the guitar and sang. I checked him out, heard his vocals and immediately replied with....LET'S START A BAND! 

I notice Celtic Folk is evident in your music. What kind of music did you all grow up listening to?

We've all grown up listening to all sorts of music - which is what it's about!

Our singer, Stephen, comes from Wales so holds his Celtic roots close to his heart. This is a fantastic attribute to have in a band - with such a powerful vocal - as you can hear it, not only in the music, but in the raw talent of his voice.

When writing our music; all of our own personal musical backgrounds and musical tastes are brought to the table - in the hope to create something exciting and unique.

You have performed at a range of venues and locations over the years. What has been the fondest memory so far?

We have been fortunate enough to play at some amazing venues along our musical journey thus far.

For me, the fondest memories were coming off the Big Top Stage - after a stomping set at the Isle of Wight Festival...BUZZING!

Swifty followed by Shepherds Bush Empire.

I believe, among other duties, the band will tour New York very soon. How did that offer come about? How excited are you to head over there?

We have a few contacts over in N.Y. who, gratefully, are loving our music right now - so they have kindly asked us to go over there and perform at some great venues across the city!

Due to the bands overall sound, we personally feel that our music style will be well-received over stateside - so can’t wait to get over there and smash the pants off it!

Future gigs include a spot at Music Makers Festival. What was it like getting the call for that?

Very pleased!

The Music Makers Festival has a great line-up of some of the best artists around at the moment. So, it's always a pleasure to be asked to perform these sorts of shows.

The likes of BBC Radio 1 have supported your music – it seems there is a lot of love for the Up Down Go Machine brand. How did that make you feel? Does it give you the confidence to keep striding and dreaming?


We are SO grateful to all of the support we receive for the band. We all have such a passion for the band and the music so there's no better feeling than to hear your music and hard work being praised by the likes of the BBC.

We're most certainly going to be striding well ahead with the music - so we only hope the price continues and we get out music out to new ears and picked up by new fans!

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

Get your ears around a bit of CAMP CODE: awesome Ozzie-ness!

Also, D.D Dumbo: Delightful grooves!

If you're in a chilled mood or working in a sweaty office: may I suggest Maribou State?

What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?

It's not always (just) about writing great music: it's just as important to create a solid brand identity for yourself/band and pushing forward with consistency.

This will make it easier for people to recognise you and your music moving forward.

Pick me some songs to finish on, guys...

We Are Augustines - Chapel Song

D.D Dumbo Walrus

Stereophonics - More Life in a Tramp's Vest


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