FEST Feature Friday: Machinist!

Written by Kayla Albee

Photo by Matthew Zagorski (@MatthewZagorski)

This Friday, we’re happy to introduce you to Machinist!, a metal band from Valdosta, GA. They’re part of this year’s incredible lineup for FEST 18. If you’re unfamiliar with FEST, just know that it’s a weekend long music festival that takes place in Gainesville, FL that’s heavy on punk, rock, and everything alternative.

I chatted with Jeff, the vocalist for Machinist!, about touring the west coast, favorite FEST venues, and tips for attending a music festival solo. Continue reading down below to learn more!

Photo by Tommy Calderon (@tommyycalderon)

Q: You released a split with KillMePlease from PDX on July 14th, and are currently out on a west coast / PNW tour. How does the west coast and PNW’s music scene compare to where you’re from in Georgia? 

A: West coast is a different kinda of world. The folks out here always treat us so well. We don’t get to come out here nearly as often as we visit the east coast of Midwest so when we do get to tour out west it seems like the shows are stronger than back home where everyone sees us more frequently. 

Q: You’re set to play FEST this November. For people who have never seen Machinist! live before, what can they expect from your set?

A: All sorts of things have happened during Machinist! FEST sets. Glitter bombs, hopscotch matches, confetti cannons. Who knows? 

Q: Having played FEST in the past, what are your favorite memories from festival?

A: One of the craziest things for me was during our set at FEST 17 when I mentioned I had to leave right after our set to drive back home to take my daughter to a Halloween party. The room was slammed full and the crowd started chanting my little girl’s name and I was honestly gobsmacked. It was really surreal and honestly a little disconcerting. 

Q: What do you think sets FEST apart from other music festivals?

A: Organization. It runs so smooth! As an organizer and promoter myself I love to watch a well oiled machine like FEST work. It’s great!

Q: What is your favorite venue at FEST to perform at, and your favorite to catch a set at?

A: The Atlantic is kind of our home when we come through Gainesville so we love playing there during FEST.  We’ve also played Durty Nelly’s a few times and it’s super fun too. The small rooms are the ones I love. I want it to be packed in and hectic during the set. Watching wise I really love it all. I’m huge so I can see from most anywhere. 

Q: What artists are you looking forward to seeing at FEST 18?

A: GRAF ORLOCK!!! I am so pumped to see that band. I’ve been following them a long time and I’m excited to get to see them. I’m also excited to watch Torche crush!!! That band is just a whole force of it’s own. And finally I’d say I  can’t wait to see ZETA. They’re a special kind of magic and that magic is amplified by FEST.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who is attending the festival alone and may be feeling overwhelmed?

A: I would say that I’d check out some FEST groups online before hand. I feel like it might be a good way to find some FEST buddies to catch up with. But if you go alone and are feeling overwhelmed, my advice would be to make a physical list of the bands you absolutely must see and do that. Everything else is extra on top. Also, remember to drink water because it exponentially increases feelings of positivity! 

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