After an incredible 2016, which saw them release their brilliant debut EP, WAR, South Yorkshire four-piece, Sweet Little Machine are feeling pretty hot right now. So much so they’ve recently been named Fireball Whiskey’s Hottest Band of 2017.
Ben caught up with the band; Alex Lantrua-Kissack (vocals/guitar), Adam Mintram (guitar), Lucie Patrick (bass), and Joel Elsome (drums), while they were on their recent UK tour with pop punk legends, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, to put some important and not so important questions to them…
How’s it going?
AL: Hello! It’s going well, currently driving down the M1 on tour with Me First & the Gimme Gimmes!
Where does the name come from?
AL: Rumours say that it comes from a certain kind of bullet shaped sex toy…others say this isn’t true!
Where do you take influence from?
AL: Musically, anything that is catchy and you can sing along to.
AM: I think it’s from a wide spectrum of influences, you can get inspiration from all kinds of art. I feel it’s just important to be open to anything!
UK pop punk is a growing scene at the moment – how does it feel to be part of it?
AL: It’s great! Both being a part of it and watching it grow again. It’s like our childhood is coming back round again.
AM: I think it’s really refreshing to hear a new take on the genre, appealing to a wider audience helping it to grow. The pop punk bands coming out at the moment are great, and it’s such a privilege to be a part of that scene.
In the past both pop punk and the music industry have a poor representation of women in general – as a band with members of both sexes what’s been your experience with gender equality?
LP: It sometimes is still really frustrating that in this day and age that you still need to break perception of being a female in a band.
JE: Yeah…Lucie is in the band because she is an amazing bassist, not because she is a girl!
LP: But it is really great to see more and more female musicians in bands because at the end of the day if the music is great it shouldn’t matter.
Tell me about your songwriting process?
AL: With writing songs, I’ll normally sit down and start getting the initial bones and lyrics of the song together, before taking it into practice where we go through everything rewriting parts and taking things out. Then we will end up with a song we are really proud of and can’t wait to share with you all! That’s when we head to the studio…
How do your live shows differ from your recordings?
AL: With our live shows we really like to keep them as energetic and unpredictable as possible. Anything from throwing sweets to crowdsurfers into the audience. It’s great getting to play the songs live after working on them for so long to watch people enjoying them and singing along.
JE: it shows them in a completely new light. You get to see live what these songs mean to us. And what’s better than playing them every night with your best friends.
How did you come to be Fireballs ‘Hottest Band In The World’?
AL: Fireball’s hottest band all started last summer when we got picked to support Less Than Jake on the Fuelled by Fireball 2016 tour at Sheffield’s O2 academy, our single ‘We Used To Own These Playgrounds’ won us the slot. After seeing us at the show, Fireball decided they wanted to work closely with us for the next 12 months along with the help of Academy Music Group. The brand are doing so much with alternative music at the moment, it’s exciting to be a part of what’s happening.
You are currently out on tour with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Masked Intruder how is that going?
AL: It’s been so much fun so far! We played Manchester last night and we are currently driving to Bristol for night two. Both Masked Intruder and the Gimme Gimmes are great, and the venues for this tour are the same. Playing venues like Manchester O2 Ritz and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire is amazing, we’ve seen some of our favorite bands grace these stages so it’s great to get to be on the other side of the barrier.
What do you enjoy outside of music?
JE: Well Alex is an avid coin collector and failed magician, Adam has gotten really into knitting on this tour and Lucie has taken up the task of counting every fibre of her bedroom carpet… she is currently around half way. And I’m a 3 times gold medallist in Netflix and Chill!
Do you have any venue/artist recommendations?
AL: The O2 Academy in Sheffield is definitely one of our favourites, however there is always a special place in our hearts for Corporation in Sheffield. We have had some amazing shows in there along with our first sold out headline shows, they are not one to be missed.
What are you listening to at the moment?
JE: Right now we are currently listening to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck on the way to the next show!
What does the rest of twenty seventeen have in store for you?
AL: It’s more what can we talk about! We have so much ready to drop over the next few weeks. We have just been announced as openers for the full Fireball – Fuelling The Fire tour 2017 tour which will be amazing! The rest of the line up will be announced in May. Along with that we will be looking at finishing the follow up EP to our last release WAR, which we can’t wait for you all to hear.
Their debut EP, WAR, is out now. Get it via their Bandcamp, here.