Atlanta hard rock trio Like Machines want to challenge listeners’ belief systems and broaden their minds through music. The band just dropped its socially conscious second single, “Destitute,” about the emotional and physical impacts of homelessness with a supporting video about the need for attention and compassion on the issue. Vocalist-guitarist Andrew Evans says the band’s goal is less about telling listeners how to think and more about challenging them to think about it.
“The goal has always been to say something that’s not trying to get you to think in a certain way, but rather to observe, then think,” Evans said of Like Machines’ socially conscious lyricism.
It’s been a goal from the beginning going back to then band’s origins as The Stir, a name that came from Evans,’ drummer Cheney Brannon’s and bassist Tanner Hendon’s desire to stir the pot. The band began to make noise on tour with Fozzy then Collective Soul. There was just one problem: Some fans of Collective Soul got the band confused with another ’90s act called Stir.
“A lot of fans on the Collective Soul tour were expecting a different band,” Evans said. “And a lot of our online stuff and Spotify links would go to their page and vice versa.”
Collective Soul, one of Evans’ favorite bands growing up, also played a major role in influencing and shaping him as a musician. During Evan’s childhood, his mother had a chance encounter with the wife of Collective Soul lead singer Ed Roland at a local gym and became friends. Soon after, Evans was invited to one of the band’s studio sessions to see Collective Soul’s musical process in action.
“I learned to sing and play guitar at the same time by learning their songs,” Evans said. “They were such a big influence on me, so in that sense I was really lucky.”
After finding management the band re-branded as Like Machines and revitalized its classic-meets-modern hard rock sound. The band burst out of the gates with the politically charged Black-Sabbath-influenced “Kaiser,” a stark look at the motives for war. The band released a stunning accompanying visual for the song mixing animation and live action footage to bring home the message. Shaped by the sounds of Soundgarden and Guns N’ Roses, the trio’s sound is heavy guitar rock with a healthy dose of melody and ear-catching hooks.
The new video for “Desititute” is a fiery live action piece portraying the social and emotional ramifications of homelessness. Despite its serious message, Like Machines had fun with the shoot. Evans credits the actor playing the protagonist, a homeless man, for digging into his role, which fooled many passersby during the shoot.
“There were a lot of people who would stop and give him money while we were in the process of shooting the video,” Evans said. “We had to track them down and apologize to them and give them their money back.”
The band plans to continue releasing singles throughout the year, leading up to an album. Evans is most excited about the band’s upcoming fall shows.
“We want to bring as much as we possibly can and walk off the stage feeling like we gave it our all,” he said.
Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.