Cristian Machado, former lead singer of Latin hard rock band Ill Niño, has just premiered his brand new single “Die Alone” at American Songwriter.
Ignite was lucky to get Christian to tell us a little bit about him and what is new in these crazy times…. Check out the interview below~
Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
The band that performed the songs on the album was comprised of Conrado Pesinato and Stephen Brewer, two very good friends of mine who played guitar on the album. On percussion we had Oscar Santiago, another good friend of mine who also played in my former band. And finally Yunior Cabrera who played bass on the album and Ali Bello, who played violin on the album, also two very talented musicians. Not all the songs have all the musicians on them though. The instrumentation is very spread out throughout the album, some songs are very stripped-down just like what you hear on die alone, And some songs have actual drum beats guitar solos, acoustic guitar solos of course, and violin overlays.
What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?
I came from a very musical family. I think that helps perpetuate my hard headed “fuck you this is what I like to do” mentality. But in a night after night basis, it’s really the fans, they give you the fuel and help you find the energy to continue to perform despite what may be going on in your life, or how exhausted you may feel from the travel. But I think this musical thing perhaps is both a good thing, but also one could argue it’s a very tunnel vision way to live, feeling like music is all you have. Although that claim may not be true, some musicians can feel like that. But again, I do come from a musical family and I’m very grateful for that. Perhaps it’s allowed me to view life a little bit differently, I don’t really know. I’ve always wanted to perceive reality through the lenses of a creative filter, Whether it’s with tears or with laughter. Maybe it matters that my grandmother was an opera singer who had an incredibly beautiful voice, she had the falsetto of an angel. Also my mother played acoustic guitar when she was younger, she is the one that taught me how to play guitar. And lastly my father who was a famous musician in Brazil and came to be a producer who had much success producing a band called Raza Negra in Brazil.
So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?
The band is really just an acoustic solo project that I put together with some very good friends and a couple of very talented players from NYC, who were brought in by Chesky Records. I have a lyric video coming out for the song die alone next week. We will be shooting an official music video for the song die alone early in July and releasing it in late July. We hope to have a couple more singles released before the actual album drops in September 2020. Unfortunately because of Covid related closures most of the studios and showcase rooms in Los Angeles have been closed. We have not been able to shoot an official music video as of yet but we look forward to doing that in June.
If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
I don’t know maybe a chef or a general contractor or a therapist. But most likely I would’ve gone into something media related, I majored in mass media arts and minored in psychology.
What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?
Well this question you’re asking me is definitely a weird funny question. Like if somebody else ever asked me what is the weirdest funniest question you’ve ever been asked, maybe I could answer with the weirdest funniest question I’ve ever been asked was what is the weirdest funniest question that you’ve ever been asked. HAHAHAHA! Got ya! OK fine I’ll take it serious, The weirdest funniest questions I’m always asked always has to do with my hair. I don’t know why I get asked so much about my hair but it’s probably my fault for having it.
If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?
I don’t know, that in itself is a weird thing to think about. I’d be happy is I was remembered for making genuine music. I’ll hopefully be remembered as someone who learned from their mistakes. I surely am not perfect and don’t have the answers. I am still learning and figuring out how to cope with so many doubts. But it is the fans who may or may not remember me. I don’t expect to make everyone happy and I’m very grateful that I have extremely open minded fans. As long as they remember me being a decent person, that’s all that matters. The rest is simply materialistic most likely.
On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
Well I’m gonna stick to the standard scale of 1 to 10 and I’m gonna go ahead and say that I alone is at least an 8, possibly a 9.
What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?
Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?
Absolutely I can get better as a musician and as a singer. I think that being a creative person never allows you to say you’ve learned at all. Inherently within the creative mind you are always searching for something new, something more challenging, something unknown. How can I become a better singer and a better musician? That’s simple, practice. Writing more songs, singing every day, singing with headphones on every day, singing with a piano, writing with simple means, and training the muscles that are used in song writing and singing, the mind, the soul, and the vocal chords.
If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
I don’t like politicians. I’ve hardly ever met an honest one. Surely if they exist it’s probably less than 10%. I have a lot of faith in humans, and in the human evolution of the mind, but I don’t have much faith in politics.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
I’d be camouflage color. The hardest crayon to find in the box. The introvert crayon.
Who are you inspired by?
Both of my daughters. My mother. My grandmother. She passed many years ago but I think she still keeping an eye out, making sure I don’t slip. Perhaps it’s just my way to keep myself in line but I’d like to think her soul forever. Musically I can say I’m inspired by a lot of different acts, a lot of different bands, and surely I’m not here inventing new music genres, I am just a musician who is inspired by many great artists. I don’t listen to just one type of music. I really am a lover of the craft of the song above and beyond all. But if I’m gonna name one band it’s gonna be Tool.
What’s an average day like for you?
It really depends, I’m in a separated relationship with a child involved so it really depends if it’s a day that I get to spend with my daughter or not. I would say that my days are consistently filled with some type of music related activity, wether with my kids or not. My daughters both have great voices. One is 15 and has perfect pitch. The other is 6, has an amazing range, and already writes her own songs. For me this is terrible because I don’t want either of them to become a musician, the lifestyle and opportunities are just too unfair for developing artists. Other than that I love to sleep and eat, but I don’t think that makes me any different than everybody else in the world. If I have it my way and it’s a perfect day I’d sleep aid hours every day. And if I had a perfect physique that never gained weight, I would eat pizza every day.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
I have a very personal attachment the fans. Many of them have become very close friends of mine and have helped me get through personal obstacles in my life. It wasn’t always like that and there was a time where I would much rather seclude myself, be a complete introvert, and not have much communication with the fans. But as we all do I’ve grown past whatever was making me feel disconnected. I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and believe it or not some fans have become an inspiration to me through having defeated their own demons, having conquered their own obstacles. I don’t take them for granted at all and they have helped me learn about myself.
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
I’m not sure what performance anxiety means, I don’t know if you refer to it after a show or before a show. But I’m gonna guess you’re asking if I’ve ever gotten nervous before playing a show, and yes of course I have. Within the musician mind there’s always this survival mechanism that pushes your mind into focus for any performance, some people don’t need much preparation for a show, some people need a lot of preparation for a show. My level of focus and nervousness has always shifted back and forth.
Tell me about your favorite performance venues?
There’s some venues that I like a lot. That all bands like a lot I think. The house of blues is always very accommodating and very beautiful venue, not just to perform in, but to also spend the day in, and to eat in, they have great food there and cater to bands very well. Other great venues I remember liking was the Norva in Virginia a lot. Holland has a lot of beautiful venues with very modern sound and very beautiful artist lounges. The Effenar in one. In NYC the Gramercy. In Jersey Starland. The Machine Shop in Michigan. Circo Volador in Mexico City. Canocao in Rio. Tree’s in Dallas. Chapter Club in Moscow is rad too. The nestle theater in Tokyo. Too many, I can keep going.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Work on your craft as much as you can and also make sure that you have all your business corners covered. If you are in a band with other people, make sure that you guys have an agreement and know what to expect from each other. Beyond that it’s really just about the music make great music find the right people to be in a creative situation with and don’t ever feel like you can’t be successful.
HOLLYWOOD Y SYCAMORE TRACK LISTING:
“Say Hello Again”
“Better You Know”
“Blame It On Me”
“Bring You Home”
“Pase Lo Que Pase”
“How Can I Live”
“Welcome to the Machine”
“Corazon en un Cajon”