Formed in the Near Southside of Fort Worth, Texas, The Diabolical Machines bring a refreshing new perspective to the indie rock scene. Drawing on a diverse range of influences (among them bands such as The Long Winters, Harvey Danger, Dressy Bessy, and The Apples in Stereo), the band crafts original songs with lit-rock lyricism layered atop a blend of instruments and sounds inspired by both loose ‘60s garage rock and polished modern indie rock. Electric guitar, crazy vintage combo organ, and chiming ukulele sit atop a bed of melodic bass and driving drums while four-part vocal harmonies ring out above.
Steph co-founded the group along with Kevin, and handles a lot of lead vocals as well as plays guitar (plus occasional stints on the baritone uke, accordion, and stylophone). She is also a major songwriting component of the group. Her sense of humor and melodic talent are key to the band’s essence, and her copy editing skills keep our public persona in line. When not playing rock music or copy editing, she is also a damned fine vegan chef who keeps the band well-fed.
Co-founder of The Diabolical Machines, Kevin decided to start a rock band while taking a break from ranting about architecture on the Internet, as you do. He is one of the primary songwriters of the group, as well as the provider of that crazy ’60s combo organ sound that all the kids like so much – not to mention playing other keyboard instruments, occasionally picking up a trombone, strumming an overdriven electric ukulele, or playing some bass on recordings, as well as providing an ever-increasing amount of vocals (much to the horror of the other members). Besides his musical duties, he still rants about architecture on the Internet, as well as takes photos of things.
Mandy joined the Diabolical Machines as bass player beginning with our 2013 live shows. After quickly meshing with the core trio and coming up with basslines far better than anything we’d come up with on our own, we removed the “touring member” modifier from her role and welcomed her into the collective. Besides blowing us away with her bass talents, she’s also a talented guitar player who teaches music. Prior to joining up with us, she has performed with bands like Lindby and The More You Know. Her flair on bass has added a lot to the sound (especially compared to Kevin’s banging out root notes for three and a half minutes at a time).
Swooping in during our stressful DrummerQuest 2013, Aubrey impressed us by being the first drummer to immediately nail the ending to “Mr. Grave.” Since he did not seem unduly terrified of us and played the drums especially well, we quickly decided to bring him onboard before he had a chance to reconsider. The fact that he’s a fan of the TV program “Archer” sealed the deal.
Quotes and Kindnesses:
Shimmering with groovy Farfisa organ and the chime-like sounds of tenor ukulele, Drag You Away overflows with clever, observant wordplay married to maddeningly hummable hooks.
- Jimmy Fowler, Fort Worth Weekly
Working with co-producer Britt Robisheaux, the Machines, billing its sound as “boutique indie pop,” capture that infectious exuberance on this four-track, 10-minute EP. The title track feels like a cartwheel in the sunshine…
- Preston Jones, DFW.com/Star-Telegram
Spending much of the past year calibrating their sound and lineup, the Machines have engineered an extremely listenable sound adding girl group glory to the fuzz of 90s pop…Subtle and driving, the songs are sharp, gaining richness with each listen.
- Lyle Brooks, Keep Texas Live
One listen to The Diabolical Machines, and you are pulled into their melodic dream world. A unique but accessible sound of layered guitars, ukelele and smooth, clever lyrics will pull you in and have you hitting repeat. They are the next indie darlings of DFW!
- April Wenzel, Lead Singer, The Chloes
The Diabolical Machines use melodic pop hooks spread over a bed of ukuleles to create a style of indie music that is truly their own.
- Robby Rux, Dreamy Soundz Records and drummer of Year of the Bear
Our great Texas bands series continues with a band who now makes their home in Fort Worth, but I’m pretty sure is originally from Weirdsville. Talking, of course, about The Diabolical Machines. Electric Ukelele, bass & guitar plucking away like crazy, new school meets very old school jams, everybody singing, “thrilling mysteries of sound” indeed. I assume that everyone knows that “weird” is one of my bigger compliments – The Diabolical Machines has a really original sound.
- Chas Cook, Ft. Worth-O-Plex Music Page
Members Emeritus & Honorary
Jackie Hollon – Drums, Fall/Winter 2012
Rachel Gollay – Guitar/vocals, Fall/Winter 2012
Logan Bowers – Drums, Spring 2013
Laurel Dagger – Drums, Spring 2013
Robby Rux – Drums, Spring 2013
Harley Dear – Guitar/vocals, Winter 2012-Summer 2013