|Genres||Progressive metal, progressive rock|
|Associated acts||Ayreon, Stream of Passion, Porcupine Tree, Arid|
|Website||Arjen's Official website|
|Members||Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Guilt Machine is a musical project by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen, owner of other musical projects such as Star One, Ayreon and Ambeon. The project's debut release, On This Perfect Day, was released in August 2009.
In February 2009, Arjen announced in his website that he would be working on his new side project Guilt Machine. This project features a very limited line-up, comparing to other Arjen's side projects: Arjen Lucassen on the instruments and backing vocals, Jasper Steverlinck (Arid) on lead vocals, Chris Maitland (ex-Porcupine Tree) on drums and Lori Linstruth (ex-Stream of Passion) on lead guitar.
On March 9, Arjen announced that fans would be able to submit their own recorded material for a possible inclusion on the project. The material had to be sent in the form of a brief audio message containing the person's thoughts in his/her mother language, with a translation. The deadline for submission was on March 15.
Together with the announcement of the signing with Mascot Records at his official website, Arjen reported that more than 200 audio messages were sent, but only 19 would be included on the album. According to him, the languages range from Chinese to Tagalog and from French to Russian.
He informed that the album will include an eight-minute instrumental track filled with as many messages as he could have used (although many recordings would still remain unused).
On This Perfect Day
On June 23, 2009, Lucassen announced the release of Guilt Machine's first release, On This Perfect Day. It was released on August 28 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, on August 31 in the rest of Europe, September 29 in the US, and dates for Japan still pending. Most of the songs are relatively long, the shortest lasting 6:11. Limited and Special editions were released, the limited edition contained a 32-page digibook and a DVD and the special edition came with a Digipack 24-page booklet and a DVD.
Regarding a future album of the project, Arjen stated that "we definitely want to make another Guilt Machine album.".
According to Arjen, the music will range "from dark and heavy to atmospheric and melancholic". Regarding the concept, Arjen stated that instead of fantasy and science fiction themes, Guilt Machine will explore "the destructive psychology of guilt, regret and the darkest form of secret -- the secrets we hide from ourselves." In spite of the differences, the songs are expected to keep the dynamic contrasts, intricated harmonies, complex rhythms and soaring melodies of any Ayreon release.
"In the beginning, it was hard to convince Jasper to sing on this album, because he comes from a completely different musical background. He didn't even know what prog was, but we've made a believer out of him! What I admire about Jasper's voice, besides its beautiful clear timbre, is the emotion and credibility he puts into his performance and his enormous range. Because this project features just one singer I needed someone versatile enough to portray all of the different moods, and Jasper didn't disappoint. And he's a really nice and dedicated guy as well!"
Instead of working with Ed Warby, the drummer that performed in most of Ayreon albums, Arjen chose Chris Maitland, which, according to him, "was the ideal choice this time, having both the power for the heavy sections and the subtle touch needed in the more atmospheric parts".
Lori Linstruth, the lead guitarist and manager, pleased Arjen with her lyrics:
"At first I asked my partner and personal manager Lori to quickly write scratch lyrics for one of the songs so I could record some guide vocals. I was so impressed by what she produced that I asked her to write the lyrics for all the songs. I was unable myself to create the type of darkly enigmatic, open-ended lyrics I wanted for these songs, my specialty being sci-fi lyrics about sinister aliens. She definitely gave the songs an extra dimension with her lyrics, exorcising the demons we both had faced in the past few years. It's also no secret that I've always been a big fan of her melodic guitar style, so she also plays all the guitar solos on this album."
- Jasper Steverlinck (Arid) - lead vocals
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon/Ambeon/Star One/ex-Stream of Passion) - guitar, bass, keyboards, various instruments, backing vocals
- Lori Linstruth (ex-Stream of Passion) - lead guitar
- Chris Maitland (ex-Porcupine Tree) - Drums
- "Arjen unveils new project: Guilt Machine". Arjen A. Lucassen official website. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- "Ayreon Mastermind's Guilt Machine Signs With Mascot Records". blabbermouth.net. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Rouhana, Rami (22 October 2009). "Interview with Arjen Lucassen". LebMetal. Retrieved 14 December 2009.