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, Wild Flag, The Coathangers, and Sleater-Kinney), 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.
Harley joined the Diabolical Machines not long after the band’s creation, and has proven to be a crucial part of the proceedings. Originally the band’s keyboard player, Harley is in fact a versatile multi-instrumentalist who has found herself playing guitar more often than not. On top of her instrumental talents, she has a killer voice that is equally important taking leads or providing harmonies. Since joining, she has also become an important songwriter in the band. Harley is also an accomplished solo performer as well as a former member of various other groups throughout the years, including the punk group The Preemies. Her musical abilities are joined to a brutally funny sense of humor. When not playing music, she is a bicycle advocate and noted cat enthusiast.
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:
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.
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
Logan Bowers – Drums, Spring 2013
Laurel Dagger – Drums, Spring 2013
Robby Rux – Drums, Spring 2013