Photographer Anna Maria Lopez Stylists Anna Maria Lopez and Stevie Scott Talent Stevie Scott of machineheart Words and Interview Damaged / Goods
POST SHOOT INTERVIEW WITH SINGER-SONGWRITER STEVIE SCOTT
Damaged / Goods: Cruel World has dark references yet the sound of the entire album is very sanguine. What were you inspired by when you wrote the album?
Stevie: I always try to return to my most honest feeling in a situation, and write from there. So I think that’s where the sanguine comes out. But yes, I tend to dance around a motif lyrically before getting to the point. Sometimes I’m not sure I ever really make it to the point, but I like that because then there’s still something private and secret for me to know about the song that no one else may ever find out. It also leaves room for the listener to put their own situation into the song and hear what they are needing to hear. I always want there to be that kind of room in our music. We were at a turning point when writing Cruel World so it's a bookend to one era and the start of a new one. Its a turning of the proverbial page.
Damaged: There's an aspect of machineheart that reminds us of a CA based London Grammar. Do you see some similarities between you and Singer-songwriter Hannah Reid?
Stevie: We love those guys, so thank you! I mean, we always say that we are an American band with a strong British sentimentality so I’m glad you hear that. I’m very inspired by Kate Bush and I think Hannah must share that affinity too, listening to their music. I heard that she trained in opera and I did as well throughout my teens so I think maybe we both gravitate toward those darker, spacious places in music.
Damaged: How would you describe machineheart’s sound?
Stevie: Someone described us as in intergalactic Fleetwood Mac and I like that. We like to create lush landscapes of sound that give you room to breathe and dream but still maintaining that classic band approach. Lots of lovelorn lyrics too because I like the feeling those songs give. Broken hearts are always feeling something so I guess that’s the easiest place for me to write from.
Damaged: What were you inspired by when you wrote the lyrics to StoneCold?
Stevie: I wrote those lyrics in about 30 minutes I think. Maybe less than that. I was feeling deserted and hurt by someone I loved and it was the most honest sentiment I could express that day. The lyrics just poured out and it was one of those special moments where you get on the mic and record them and you end up releasing that demo as the finished recording because it captured such a true moment.
Damaged: How is the band's creative process like in your Echo Park space?
Stevie: We are such a tight-knit team and the longer we are a band, the better it gets. I can only imagine what it will be like in 10 years. We are learning nuances about each other and about ourselves that make creating together so effortless and exciting for us. This is definitely a season of going deeper into who we are as a band and our next batch of songs definitely show that.
Damaged: What is your take on our generation’s accessibility of Digital Audio Workstation?
Stevie: I think its incredible. So much can be done on your own nowadays. A simple idea can turn into a full song. Its very empowering. The boys and I are constantly demoing out our songs, trying ideas and new sounds. We wrote a few songs in hotel rooms while we were on tour and those are making the cut for the record. I mean, thats incredible that we can do that. If you have the desire to make music and put it out, you can just by watching a few youtube tutorials. I also think it raises the bar of creativity because so many people have the ability to create and release music that you really have to challenge yourself and make sure what you are doing is the best you can be.
Damaged: With your experience as a model, do you incorporate fashion elements in your performances?
Stevie: I love fashion. Music and fashion have always gone hand in hand and I love that. I want our fans to leave our shows feeling super inspired and we try to provide that sonically, as well as visually. I’m excited to headline so we can really have some fun with our visuals.
Damaged: What would be your ideal venue for the band to perform in L.A.?
Stevie: The Hollywood Bowl! Hands down. I Can't wait for that.
What’s your damage?
Stevie: Oh man, there are tons. Lots of little moments that can either shape you or break you, depending on what you let them do. The key for me was taking those damages, and climbing over them and beyond them into new places rather than being defined by them. Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others and use them to become better than before. So thankful for all the wild twists and turns I’ve experienced. When one door closes, another one opens.