NC (No Country): How did you choose your band name?
MRP2: When the band first started, it was me (Bryan Sylvester) and JJ Clark. We were playing some dance parties and DJ shows as a two-piece project. We didn’t have a name, a friend of ours suggested “Machines Are People Too” because we played electronic music. We write all of our music on the program Logic. It’s easy to lose feeling when you use electronic instruments and programs. We try to invoke as much feeling as we can. The name made more sense and grew on us the more we used it.
NC: What is the song “Freaks” about?
MPR2: Being ok with the fact that everyone is different, and being happy with the person you are. I (Bryan Sylvester) have been through crazy relationships and dropping out of college. But acceptance and maturity opens you up to feeling ok about it. Everyone has the their own personal struggle, the way you were raised, adulthood, figuring out who you are.
NC: Do you have any interesting stories, or had any weird experiences while on your two-week tour? Any highlights or lowlights?
MPR2: We have so much love for Moon Taxi. The first four days of our tour with them were awesome. We got to be a part of selling out the Georgia Dome in Athens, Georgia. The whole vibe that night was great. We did MRP2 DJ sets in the green room. Every Nashville band we have played with, we have gotten along with. Cherub are great. Hanging out with people who love music is awesome. These bands are showing us the ropes. We’ve also been recording our own live shows. We’ve learned a lot. Playing live and being on tour is a learning curve, but being around awesome and kind people helps.
NC: What are your goals as a band?
MPR2: We have folders and folders of ideas. Recording is our next focus. People expect and want to hear new music all the time. We know we can always write something better than the last time. We have picked 5-6 songs to record as an EP to release by the Spring of 2013 before festival season. We also want to record another music video. We just want to get as much content to people as we can.
NC: When you hear the term “Nashville Music Scene,” what do you think of?
MPR2: Some of us grew up in Franklin, TN, but we met each other in Chattanooga. At first, Nashville was definitely more of a country music scene. But, you can find a great band in each genre of music in Nashville. People are open to change. We actually haven’t told anyone yet, but we plan to move to Nashville soon. We just feel that we need to be in Music City to be able to do what we want to do. Many of our fans and friends in Chattanooga are supportive of us for this decision.
NC: What should people in Nashville know about the Chattanooga music scene, or what do you care to share?
MPR2: JJ’s Bohemia is the best club to play. You should go to a show there with an open mind. It’s a good small club that out-of-town bands can play. It’s a cheap cover, a dive bar, and a fun time. There’s not a lot of all ages venues.The art scene in Chattanooga is thriving.
The Show In Review:
There’s always a certain skepticism that audience members have when they see a band playing electronic tracks over live instruments. They’re sort of waiting for the band to fall out of sync, even if its a slight gaffe. But no such thing happened at MRP2‘s set at The High Watt. Ivan Garcia and JJ Clark were perfectly aligned like constellations as far as drums and bass go (respectively), and they were both on point with the Logic tracks. This provided keyboardist Cain Lassiter and lead vocalist Bryan Sylvester the fortified rhythmic backbone they needed for their parts to soar. And soar they did. Ivan Garcia’s half-time pick-up beat about halfway through “Freaks” was even cooler to see live than on the recording and I looked back 2-3 times at my friends in awe after some of his jaw-dropping fills.
It took a little time for the audience to get into it. There was the typical empty space in front of the stage at first, although The High Watt was certainly packed. When MRP2 was about two songs in, certain brave souls in the audience began to fill in the empty space and showcase their electro-pop dance moves that they either made up on the spot or had saved for music like this. Then, other people began to fill in the rest of the remaining empty space. My favorite highlight was MRP2‘s cover of Haddaway‘s 1993 club hit “What is Love,” which had me bobbing my head robotically to the left like Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan from A Night At the Roxbury for about twenty seconds.
I look forward to welcoming MRP2 to Nashville when they make the move and to many more exciting shows to come.