simplemachine Introduce Themselves with Video Premiere, Dec. 2

In somewhat of a happy accident, my long-time best friend and local producer/musician David Tyo showed me a demo of a new song idea he was working on a few weeks ago.

Dave and I have been making music together under a variety of banners, and for a number of different purposes, for the better part of three decades at this point. Our work has run the gamut from commercial radio parodies to collaborations both as a pair and with other musicians to create original artistic content from the dead serious to the seriously irreverent. This has become normal life: listening to songs and demos my friends have made as a matter of course, what a privileged life indeed!

The band Bipolar (2001-2007), with Tyo (center) and Durden (2nd from right)

Except, something about this particular demo stayed with me. The song was upbeat, peppy, energetic – but without lyrics. Not without a melody, mind you. David had used the method of singing “nonsense words”, a mish-mash of syllabic what-have-you that means nothing at all, but is sufficient to indicate a melody. This particular melody was fast and furious in some parts, a tornado of mumbles – albeit very specific, rhythmic mumbles. At the time, Dave expressed he might ask John Popper (Blues Traveler) to write the lyrics, given his ability to write lyrics in this rapid-fire fashion (think about the song “Hook”). Now, I know Dave quite well and if anyone could get Mister Popper on board it would be him – this was not as pie-in-the-sky as it might sound. That said, I found over the coming days that David’s little “earworm” of a tune was running around in my skull, something made more impressive by the fact that there were not words with which to sing along just yet. Finally, I put it out there: “Dude, if you can’t get John Popper to write your lyrics, maybe I could take a shot at it”. Dave’s response: “Fuck John Popper dude, do it”.

John Popper of Blues Traveler
John Popper (photo by Stan Johnson)

(Hi, Dave Tyo here. Sorry to interrupt John Durden’s narrative, but I just wanna say, “Hey Mr. Popper, if you’re reading this, we’re good dude. I love you, man! I was just excited to find out my best friend wanted to write lyrics for my hip three-minute ditty. Please forgive me.” OK, thanks everyone!)

With that rather inelegant utterance, the seeds for simplemachine were sown. I took Dave’s demo to my basement with a word document open and over the next hour or so watched in amazement as I constructed, syllable by syllable, the lyrics that would become the song “Unbroken (I Remember Everything)” (A song which didn’t have a title in its fetal demo format). I realized quite quickly that I had an awful lot to say and the scaffolding of Dave’s melodic and syllabic insinuation made for the perfect canvas. Thus, “Unbroken (I Remember Everything)” came to life.

After realizing how enjoyable and smoothly the collaboration went, we decided to put the song under a banner – simplemachine – and to plan on continued collaborations under that name. I think David and I each get something satisfying from the experience. It is wonderful, at this point in my life, to have the desire and the ability to create music for the sake of creation itself. In the spirit of having a lot to say, it is our hope that “Unbroken (I Remember Everything),” and future simplemachine songs, will evoke emotions and resonate with parts of you that feel pain, joy, awe, and all the other emotions that make the human experience so… interesting. “Unbroken,” by simplemachine, comes out Friday, Dec. 2.

Tune in to the music video premiere on YouTube, Friday, Dec. 2 at noon by clicking above, or by following this link:

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