The Emperor Machine Q&A
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Questions by Niall (discopia)
The Emperor Machine is Andy Meecham, one half of the notorious Chicken Lips, who have been rocking discotheques under that name since the start of the decade, and before that had hits as Bizarre Inc. With an album out on DC Recrdings, I sent Andy some questions to find out what exactly sets Emperor Machine apart from his better known act. Readers, please note: no cats were hurt during the making of this interview.

Who or what is the Emperor Machine?
The Emperor Machine is a creature spawned from a desirous and dirty relationship between an EMS VCS3 and a Roland System 100... yeah I know it’s cribbed straight from myspace but I think it just sums it up.
You work under a few different monikers: what sets EM apart from the others?
The machine comes from my brain and my influences alone. It’s the first time I had the opportunity to be creative in the way that I want to. I have worked on a few solo projects before like Sir Drew but it’s the first time I’ve come across a label like DC that actually supports the weird shit that my brain likes to churn out.
Your album is out now: how did the LP come about?
The LP is basically a collection of the 12” series with some unreleased tracks and bonus bits. It’s not the second Emperor Machine Album, it’s just a compilation of the 12”s. I have already started work on the next album. Originally the idea was to re-release all the 12”s as a box set but then we decided to compile the tracks on an album, but CD only. We decided that there was no point in releasing them again on vinyl as they are already all on vinyl. Besides I wanted to hear how they sounded as a story.
Who is your favourite historical Emperor?
Ming the Merciless
What are your main musical influences as an artist in general?
Can, Adrian Wagner, Hawkwind, George Clinton, A Certain Ratio, John Fox, David Bowie, Kraftwerk – again check out myspace – it has the full list.
And your main influences for the Emperor Machine sound?
Can, Adrian Wagner, Hawkwind, Early Early Human League. My inspiration for the Emperor Machine comes from anything and everything. If you listen carefully you can hear my daughter’s heartbeat on one of the tracks. Sometimes I can get inspiration from a good night out, from something I read, from a piece of equipment, from a film… I tend to get an idea in my head which turns into a story. I then put music to the story. Like a soundtrack I suppose.
What’s your favourite bit of music kit, that you possibly couldn’t live without?
I go through stages of favourite equipment. At the moment I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to be without my EMS VCS3 purely because it was used all the way through the Vertical Tones series - as well as the Roland System 100. I think I may have abused it a bit now. Might be time to put it away for a while.
I am an alien just arrived on Planet Earth. Describe the Emperor Machine to me in ways I might understand…
Pringsla Chaaa ve din bur frindlsey ne ba quantak. Rough translation – like nothing you have heard on this god lovin earth.
How did you get hooked up with those crazy DC Recordings muthaz?
DC first signed Big 200, the dark side of Chicken Lips when Kingsize, now Adrift, didn’t want to pick it up because it was a bit too dark for them. Around this time I decided to do a track solely using a Roland SH3A. I played it to James at DC and he loved what I had done and was really into the noises I was making. He provokes me and encourages me and almost dares me to go further each time. He plays a really big part in the Emperor Machine sound.
Are you touring or doing any shows as Emperor Machine? If not any plans to?
I get asked this question so many times! Its really encouraging that I get asked this so much but also really frustrating. I’m in discussions with DC at the moment about getting a live band together. When I go on the road I want it to be a proper traditional rock lineup. Watch this space, I can’t wait.
What are the other Lips up to?
Dean and I are in the studio working on the next Big 200 album.
And when can we expect new Chicken Lips material?
Early next year hopefully. We hope to have finished Big 200 by later this year and to get something from CL out early next year.
Or even any new material under even more cryptic and obscure aliases by yourself?
Ah, a new Zeefungk 12” is nearly finished.
Britney’s breasts or Kylie’s arse?
Kylie’s arse and Britney’s breasts.
What does the future hold for the Emperor Machine?
Emperor Machine ‘Vertical Tones & Horizontal Noise’ album out now. Emperor Machine ‘Vertical Tones & Horizontal Noise parts 5 & 6’ singles released January 2007 The second Emperor Machine album is slowly being created. At the moment it is just a file on the MAC called EM LP 2.

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