Flying Machine is the brainchild of the Northern Rivers-based Wright Brothers. We’ve been following Chris and Gory's musical endeavors for many years and tracked them through various projects to their current creative ship, Flying Machine. The powerhouse duo has just released their second album ‘Angels'. The self-written and recorded Angels is a 60s laden psych journey totaling 10 new tracks full of yearning, nostalgia, a sprinkle of social rhetoric, and a whole lotta love. With a recently expanded line up, an upcoming stint in the US, and another record in the chamber Flying Machine have the kind of DIY drive and spirit you can only sit back and admire.
So the record's out! How’s the reception?
Yeah it’s been good, haven’t seen many people face-to-face, but the ones we have seem to like it. I feel like different people have liked different songs so there’s something for everyone on there but it’s always funny when someone comes up and says their favourite song is your least favourite song when you’re just thinking “Really? I honestly would skip it”.
I think sometimes the songs you wanted to scrap end up being everyone elses favourites, that’s the beauty of having a full album though right there’s room for everything?
Yeah you get to explore and put some different flavours in there, it’s got 10 completely different tracks that are all held together somehow with an underlying string.
I think how we recorded it with Rudy (Alex Markwell of the Delta Riggs) really helped keep the sound together. There’s definitely a style and flavour of 60s and 70s production on the drums that really holds it together through the album.
I picked up on thatl 60s rock n roll vibe in the title track “Angels” that alerted me to that feel on the album – especially on some of the more psych tracks. It felt pretty different to the last album. Was it a conscious move?
It was a bit of a conscious decision, we were aware of what we were listening to at the time which inevitably snuck in there. We got really obsessed with The Beatles for like a good 6 months, to the point that people were telling me not to put them on at parties anymore.
But it’s nice, when you learn to play guitar you learn to play rock n roll tunes and 60s blues tunes and a lot of just jangling upbeat stuff and it’s just fun. My first guitar was a Fender Stratocaster and it’s just that perfect sound so I brought the old guitar back out and the 12 string we have and it just gives it that jangle.
Yeah nice, I guess that’s the next part really is how did it all come together? What was your process?
It was kind of just this tour bus recording to start because we couldn’t have bass or synth, so it was just that jangling guitar and drums so we decided to demo it all then we could add layers later. So we’d just be playing around and go “it’d be sick with some Tamborine, let’s add some maracas, let’s whip this old organ out!”
Did you guys record the album yourselves too or was it just the demos?
Yeah we demoed and recorded the whole thing ourselves. I think because we demoed everything this time and because we were just recording it all ourselves, we had no time constraints. We were just doing it down in the basement of our parents place and then Covid hit so we were hardly working too which helped.
It took us about a month to write, demoing the tracks as we went. Then maybe 6 weeks of recording, roughly 6-7 hours a day, 4 days a week, but some days we’d go out there and within an hour we’d both be asleep on the couch or someone would go upstairs and just not come back down.
That’s a huge amount of work to put in, did many tracks get cut?
There was maybe 2 [tracks] that didn’t make it at all, but then a couple of the demo recordings made it on. Track 10 “Death Cult” we wrote and recorded the same day, we nailed the 4th take then tried to re-record it later but in the end we went back to the demo version.
It’s hard to recapture the vibe sometimes and once you feel like you’ve lost it it’s really hard to get that energy back, and you start to look at each other like “Dude what’s going on? you’re playing something different”.
You wrote and recorded as a two piece and have been playing as a two piece the last few years but there’s 4 of you on the album cover, are you a 4 piece now?
Yeah playing as a 4 piece now, Tom and Zaccy are in! Tom’s been there the whole time but hadn’t really joined the band properly and Zac’s a new addition. We’re booked in to record another album with Sam Joseph in March and we’ve all written for that album, going to do it all in live takes with Tom and Zac which is cool cause it’ll be our first actual album together.
You’re both multi instrumental and seem to share a brain, do you see your roles as Chris writes drum parts and Gory writes Guitar or do you both write everything and just overlay it? Do you ever get protective over your parts?
We write our own parts but we’re always telling each other what we think is good or bad, I think sometimes when your too close to your instrument you might miss things so the other one of us might have a better perspective and be able to say when something sucks.
Chris: “We can get a little bit protective sometimes”
Chris: “Both of us haha”
I know you’re pretty passionate about your guitar tones Gory how many different guitars got pulled in for the album?
Ohhh guitar tones were big on this one I was definitely chasing some sounds. I think I used my Strat, a double cutaway Epiphone, double cutaway Gibson and my 12 string fender - so just the four I think.
Four’s a few considering you were running a basement studio setup. You’ve got two new members, a new album out and a new album ready to record, what’s the plan from here?
We’re gonna get this other album recorded while we can afford a studio out here and while we’ve got the guys too then the plan is to head over to the states.
Ah yeah true, you guys spent some time over there a few years back hey? Is the main drive music or just a bit of a holiday?
Yeah we spent 6 months over there in 2019. The main drive is music, but also seeing our mates for sure. We felt we were getting some traction over there, it was good, we were playing plenty of shows, the crowds were good and the venues were lively. We kind of have a bit of an American sound to us, probably more a West Coast sound and this record even points further that way.
What’s the plan when you land?
We bought a van when we there last time, we left it with a friend then it got stolen but we’ve got it back and now it’s now with another mate - well not a mate, we actually don’t even know him. We lent it to our cousin who then lent it to another guy so we’ve gotta track him down in San Diego somewhere.
But we’ll pick the van up then we’ll go buy some new music gear which is always exciting tracking down nice American guitars. Tom’s coming over for a stint (at least 3 months) and we plan to play heaps of shows locally in the OC, head up to Oregon and Washington and just chase shows try and play as much we can - at least a couple of times a week. There’s just so many venues and so many bands, it’s crazy. Just one step below all the big bands there’s all these local bands that are just ripping.
Give us your top 3 OC bands:
Blanco Nino I’d say were the OC’s best band, they’ve split up though they’ve got a new band “Pop Club”, they’re the Blanco Nino brothers back at it.
Then Kevlar, yeah Kevlar are sick I think they’ve just started working with a big producer?
But yeah Blanco Nino, Pop Club, Kevlar…. We kind of need one more hey
Yeah sort of… but it’s all good we’ll leave it at that you did give 3 technically - thanks Fellas!