Eureka Machines

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Eureka Machines
Origin Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Genres Pop-rock
Pop-punk
Years active 2007–present
Labels Wrath
Website www.eurekamachines.com
Members Chris Catalyst
Davros
Pete Human
Wayne Insane
Past members Steven Morricone

Eureka Machines are a British pop-rock band based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, who formed in 2007.[1] The band consists of Chris Catalyst (also of The Sisters of Mercy[2] and The God Damn Whores) on lead vocals & guitar, Davros (aka Dave) on guitar & backing vocals, Pete Human on bass guitar & backing vocals and Wayne Insane on drums.[3] Described as "power pop" by The Sun[4] and Classic Rock magazine,[5] they are something of a cottage industry, putting out their own records and being self-managing and self-promoting[6] while also touring and gaining press coverage and airplay at a national level.[7]

Formation and origins[edit]

Eureka Machines began with Chris asking Wayne to join but since Wayne was still committed to his previous band,[1] Chris had to wait for him to become available before they could start working together in 2007 on early tracks.[8] Some of these tracks then appeared on MySpace in August 2007.[9] Dave/Davros and then Steve Morricone (also of The Scaramanga Six) were invited to join the band.[10]

All 4 members had previously been in other local, and in some cases more well-known acts. Chris Catalyst is a current member of The Sisters of Mercy,[11] The God Damn Whores and was previously in AntiProduct, The Scaramanga Six, The Dead Pets, Catylyst (with 2 'y's)[1] and used to do a solo act as Robochrist which he has described as being currently on indefinite hold.[12] Steve Morricone is a founding member of The Scaramanga Six and also plays with Kava Kava and Being 747. Wayne Insane had previously been in Vatican Jet and Orka.[13] Dave had previously played alongside Chris in Catylyst[1] but had then taken a break from music before being invited back to join Eureka Machines.

The band played their debut gig supporting Forward Russia at the Brudenell Social Club on 14 December 2007 (a line-up which also included The Scaramanga Six).[14] Further local gigs followed, with 3-track demo CDs being sold at the shows.[15]

From the start they had a uniform appearance onstage, wearing black suits with white ties and matching T.U.K. shoes. Chris has described this as being part of the act: "so many bands nowadays look the same. I wanted to stand out from that."[10]

Early momentum[edit]

In February 2008 the band were asked to appear as support on a UK tour with Ginger of The Wildhearts, this was an acoustic tour with Chris and Dave playing acoustic as support.[16] During the tour they sold their original demo CD and a limited edition 6-track live acoustic session CD,[17] selling almost 500 CDs over the 13 date tour.[18]

In March the band appeared on the Raw Talent show on BBC Radio Humberside to do a live session, again acoustic (9 March). Regular airplay followed on both BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio Leeds[19] with another full band live session being broadcast on 5 October 2008.

In April a planned UK tour supporting AntiProduct was cancelled due to health problems within the AntiProduct camp.[20] Instead they quickly organised their own local dates instead, and amongst other gigs they played Live at Leeds, a local weekend-long festival which saw Eureka Machines play twice on Saturday 3 May, once during the afternoon as part of Live at Leeds[21] and again in the evening at local rock night 'Rock of Ages'.

In July the band recorded their first videos with Ash TV, one was a promo for the track Everyone Loves You,[22] the other was a spoof version of MTV Cribs which appeared on YouTube in early August.[23] More live videos were recorded at another local festival, Leeds Unity Day on 16 August.

Their largest live date for the summer was being asked to appear on the BBC Introducing Stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.[24]

Debut album: Do or Die[edit]

"Eureka Machines make their festival debut at Reading and Leeds next weekend and, judging by this dazzling debut, it's going to be well worth catching their slot on the BBC Introducing stage. Led by Chris Catalyst (Sisters of Mercy, AntiProduct, The Dead Pets) this four-piece peddle some mighty big tunes which often lead the listener down unexpected paths. And it's all lovingly smothered with gorgeous multi-layered harmonies, bringing to mind Silver Sun, The Beach Boys or even Queen. Do or Die is hard-rocking while often hitting the heights of power pop perfection. A hugely impressive first album."

The Sun, August 2008[4]

The debut album 'Do or Die' was released on local label Wrath Records (run by Steve and Paul Morricone) on 1 September 2008 both digitally and physically,[22] with an album launch party taking place the same day in local Leeds curry house The Bengal Brasserie.[13] The album was both self-released and self-produced, and grew out of recordings Chris had started with additional tracks being added on in stages.[8] The album was mastered by Jase Edwards (of Wolfsbane and The God Damn Whores)[25] and as well as guitar, bass and drums it included Chris playing piano, trombone and xylophone and Steve playing saxophone.[26]

Describing the album, Chris said 'it's basically like rock and roll cabaret - a big heap of rock music that makes people smile'.[27] 'Do or Die' gained positive reviews from The Sun, Kerrang!, Classic Rock, Rock Sound, Leeds Guide, Sandman magazine, No Title magazine and Black Velvet Fanzine,[6] as well as airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, Xfm, Channel Five, MTV2, Scuzz and various local stations.[28]

Touring and further releases 2008 to 2010[edit]

Following the album release the band toured throughout September 2008,[29] including supporting The Wildhearts at their sold out show at Shepherd's Bush Empire on 20 September.[30] More touring followed throughout January and February 2009.

Increasing workload led to a parting of the ways as Chris Catalyst left The Scaramanga Six in October 2008[31] to concentrate on Eureka Machines (although he remains a member of The Sisters of Mercy) and Steve Morricone left Eureka Machines in February 2009 to focus more on The Scaramanga Six and the educational Being 747 show 'Amoeba to Zebra'. Both parties have been quoted as saying they still remain friends.[32] Steve was replaced on bass by Pete Human, previously from Leeds band The Gushers.[6]

In May they released the single 'Everyone Loves You'[33] and album title track 'Do Or Die' was made Classic Rock magazine's track of the day.[5] The single was supported with further live dates both headlining and supporting other artists such as Ginger of The Wildhearts, Laika Dog (featuring Tony from Terrorvision), The Stranglers and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.[29]

In the Summer of 2009 they played festivals including Guilfest,[34] Moor Music Festival, Wickerman Festival[35] and Trashstock in Nottingham.

Single 'Being Good Is Okay, But Being Better's Better' was released as a free download on 2 September through their website, with a video to accompany it made by Paul Morricone of Poison Pen Films.[36]

Classic Rock Magazine featured the band again in November 2009 by putting ‘The Story of My Life’ on a cover mounted CD[37]

In December the band completed their biggest UK tour to date, supporting Electric Six for 14 dates throughout the UK in Academy venues.[28]

At the end of the year they were featured in a piece in American Spin magazine where the album 'Do or Die' was reviewed as a 'gem you may have missed'.[38]

In January 2010 Eureka Machines were included on a charity download album called The Haiti Project[39] put together by Round Records.[40]

On 2 December 2010, Eureka Machines released the first single from the second album, These Are The People Who Live In My House, as a free download on their website, premiering the video at the same time.[41]

Second album: Champion The Underdog[edit]

Work started on recording album two, entitled 'Champion The Underdog' at the start of February 2010.[42] The follow up to 2008’s debut ‘Do or Die’ was recorded throughout 2010 and early 2011 in a variety of studios [43] before being released on 3 May 2011 on Wrath Records.[44] The album was produced by Jase Edwards and Chris Catalyst, and features guest artists including Steve and Paul Morricone (from The Scaramanga Six) on saxophone and vocals and Willie Dowling (Honeycrack, Jackdaw4) on strings & piano.[45]

The Sun gave the new album 4.5 out of 5 when they reviewed it in April 2011, saying that “title track Champion... sums up the band nicely – catchy, quirky, huge harmonies and a tendency to veer into superb and unexpected territories.... it’s ridiculous that Eureka Machines could still be the best band you’ve never heard. You owe it to yourself to put that right.” [46]

Other reviews from local and national press were also positive:

  • “It retains all that was good about the first album and, adds a depth of song writing and performance that make this an excellent follow-up... 4 out of 5” – Leeds Guide.[47]
  • “One of the most entertaining and special bands the UK has to offer right now” – Uber Rock.[48]
  • “Brilliant slices of catchy pop rock” – Contact Music.[49]
  • “If there’s any justice, this should be the album that finally breaks down the walls and makes the world sit up and take notice of the Eureka Machines.” – Pure Rawk.[50]
  • “This band, without question possess the most “fun” rock ‘n’ roll sound (and best dress-sense) in all of Yorkshire’s rock scene. 4 out of 5” – Soundsphere.[51]
  • “Eureka Machines have a winning formula that they want to bring to the table, the fun, bop and bounce ricochets through this album. 8.5 out of 10” - This is not a scene.[52]

To support the release the band toured extensively in May and June 2011. [53] The track made available via the website upon the album's release, ‘(I’m) Wasting My Time (Yet Again)’ was featured in Classic Rock’s Heavy Rotation section in June 2011: “With one of those monster ‘woah-oh’ choruses, this new song from the Eureka Machines proves that their debut album of sparkling power pop wasn’t a fluke.” [54]

Awards[edit]

In 2010 Eureka Machines won both Frontperson of the Year and Band of the Year at the Pure Rawk Awards. The annual awards held in London are voted on by the readers of Pure Rawk webzine. [55]

The 2011 Pure Rawk awards received over 11,000 votes,[56] from which the band were awarded Best Video (for ‘These Are The People Who Live In My House’, produced by AshTV[57]) and received a nomination for Best Drummer.[58] To celebrate the win, AshTV released a bloopers video of behind the scenes footage which was also featured on the Pure Rawk website.[59]

At the 2012 Pure Rawk Awards the band were nominated for five awards and came home with two: Bassist of the Year for Pete and Album of the Year for Champion The Underdog.[60]

In 2014 the band were nominated for 4 Pure Rawk Awards and won 3: Album of the Year for Remain in Hope, Band of the Year and Frontperson of the Year.[61]

2012 and the future[edit]

In early 2012 the band flew to Poland for a couple of dates in April,[62] and played some one-off shows in the UK at events like the 'Kill your idols' all dayer in Manchester and a Mick Ronson Legacy show in Hull.[63]

On 11 October 2012, Eureka Machines appeared in the British soap opera Emmerdale playing at a fictional music festival.[64] The festival 'HomeFields 2012' was filmed as part of the soap’s 40th ­birthday celebrations. The full festival line up was Scouting for Girls, The Proclaimers, DeLorean Drivers, Eureka Machines and folk singer Brendan Croker.[65]

In October 2012 the band launched a PledgeMusic campaign for their third album. The pledge page went live on 25 October, and had reached the target amount within 2.5 hours. [66]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Vibrations Magazine Interview, March 2008
  2. ^ Sisters of Mercy Website official biography
  3. ^ Leeds Music Scene review, January 2008
  4. ^ a b The Sun, album review 16 August 2008
  5. ^ a b Classic Rock Website Track of the day
  6. ^ a b c Screaming Tarts interview, 8 May 2009
  7. ^ BBC artist profile
  8. ^ a b Leeds Guide, August 2008
  9. ^ Eureka Machines Myspace, first blog entry regarding demos 12 August 2007
  10. ^ a b Sandman Magazine, May 2008
  11. ^ The Sun, album review of Do or Die, August 2008
  12. ^ Sphere Magazine Interview, 15 January 2010
  13. ^ a b No Title Magazine, March 2009
  14. ^ Leeds Music Scene Gig listing for 14/12/07
  15. ^ Leeds Music Scene demo review, 6 January 2008
  16. ^ Kerrang Magazine review, 26 March 2008
  17. ^ Eureka Machines Myspace blog, 5 February 2008
  18. ^ Eureka Machines Myspace blog, 6 March 2008
  19. ^ Raw Talent Playlist
  20. ^ www.eurekamachines.com news article 6 April 2008
  21. ^ Yorkshire Evening Post article, 30 April 2008
  22. ^ a b Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 18 August 2008
  23. ^ "AshTV". AshTV. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  24. ^ BBC Reading and Leeds 2008 Eureka Machines profile
  25. ^ Sandman Magazine, September 2008
  26. ^ Croydon Guardian 8 September 2008
  27. ^ Croydon Guardian, 8 September 2008
  28. ^ a b Giltzine Interview 10 February 2010
  29. ^ a b www.eurkeamachines.com previous gig listings
  30. ^ Kerrang! magazine review, 11 October 2008
  31. ^ Scaramanga Six mailing list newsletter, 17 October 2008
  32. ^ Vibrations Magazine, March 2009
  33. ^ Screaming Tarts magazine, 8 May 2009
  34. ^ Guifest Website band profile
  35. ^ Wickerman Festival Website 2009 Line up
  36. ^ "Poison Pen Films". Poison Pen Films. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  37. ^ www.eurekamachines.com news item 1 November 2009
  38. ^ Spin Magazine, published December 2009
  39. ^ www.discogs.com album listing
  40. ^ Alt Sounds news article 26 January 2010
  41. ^ Eureka Machines website news page
  42. ^ Classic Rock magazine 'Ones To Watch 2010' feature, January 2010
  43. ^ Eureka Machines website news page article 24 February 2011
  44. ^ Wrath records website
  45. ^ Credits on album liner notes
  46. ^ The Sun album review of Champion the Underdog, printed 15 April 2011
  47. ^ Leeds Guide review 19 April 2011
  48. ^ Uber Rock Review 25 April 2011
  49. ^ Contact Music Review 29 March 2011
  50. ^ Pure Rock Review 19 April 2011
  51. ^ Soundsphere review 2 April 2011
  52. ^ This is not a scene review 21 April 2011
  53. ^ Sinister Angels Realm 16 March 2011
  54. ^ Classic Rock Heavy Rotation section, page 18 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
  55. ^ Pure Rawk 2010 Awards Winners
  56. ^ Pure Rawk Awards about page
  57. ^ AshTV website
  58. ^ Pure Rawk 2011 Awards Winners
  59. ^ Pure Rawk News article 27 February 2011
  60. ^ Pure Rawk 2012 Awards Winners
  61. ^ Pure Rawk 2014 Awards Winners
  62. ^ Eureka Machines gig list 2012
  63. ^ Mick Ronson Event info page
  64. ^ The Emmerdaily news page
  65. ^ ITV media website article
  66. ^ Pledge Music campaign page

External links[edit]