Bitter Beginnings

Mysterious new Oklahoma electronic/alternative duo releases debut single after █████ ██ with an ██████████ ██

Note: Bitter Machine’s debut single “Feel Right” dropped August 24. The press release Make Oklahoma Weirder received about the song was full of blacked-out text. Curious, we reached out to the Oklahoma City duo for clarification, and they confided that key facts had been redacted because █████ █████. Though we are committed to bringing you as much information as possible about our state’s weirdos, we had to agree that ███████ ███ ████ is important enough to omit some non-crucial details .

The following interview with Bitter Machine’s A██████ and B██████ has been edited for space and clarity. Some information has been redacted for ████ ██ ████ █ ███

Make Oklahoma Weirder: What are your roles in the band?

A██████: So with it just being the two of us, we kind of do everything. So, on the single that’s coming up first … we’re both touching keys and guitars and basses. A██████ probably does most of the vocals, but B██████’s voice is on there, too.

B██████: The way that work is just really back-and-forth and iterative. One of us might play a bass line for example, and the other one might come in and be, like, “Cool. What if after that ██ ██████ ████?” … So it’s kind of hard to really pinpoint who does exactly what.

A██████: That was a big impetus for this whole project.  We’re really close friends. We’ve had separate musical projects. We’ve done a few things together, but this was one where we were very much, like, total mindmeld. It’s not any of us pitching complete songs to the other person. It’s, it’s like B██████ said it’s down to the riff or like, “Here’s a drumbeat that I think is cool.” And the other person just starts building. It’s been ██████ ████. It’s a ████ ████ ███████.

Art by Rory Grimes

What was the process of discovering “Feel Right” and putting it together?

A██████: To give a little peek behind the curtain we put together a ██ ████ ████████ ██ ██ ███ █████ ████ EP, of totally different material. And it was all very serviceable material, and we could have put it out there and been like, “Yeah, this is a thing we made. But neither of us were really jazzed about it. … So we kind of scrapped all of that. … And then I think B██████ was like, “Alright, I’m going to put a playlist of influences together. And it was all, like, weird Depeche Mode deep cuts and—

B██████: Sisters of Mercy.

A██████: Love and Rockets. It was all this ’80s goth tape machine stuff with a little bit of ███ █████████ █ █████ ██ ███. And both of us were, like, “This is way more interesting and calls to me more than anything we just made. So let’s just start over.”

B██████: The mission statement was, “Let’s just get weird and not be afraid to try stuff we might not have done before.”

Did the lyrical content change dramatically when you started playing with different kinds of sounds?.

A██████: Yes and no. There were a couple of lyrical beats in a couple of those earlier songs that we liked. … This next string of singles that we’re putting together, it’s a little bit more focused on the modern hellscape of social media that we live in. … We’re not Luddites or anything. We use social media all the time.

B██████: Even to promote these songs.

A██████: Every new technological ████ ██ █████████ ██ ██ █████ ██ ██████ █████ ██ comes with shit we didn’t think about how it would affect us until we’re well into using it. I mean, it’s obviously not a new message for anybody, but I think everyone is kind of starting to get a bigger idea of █████ █████ █████ ██ █████ ██ ███. It just feels like talking about anything else or anything less than what I’m personally thinking about right now kind of seems like a waste. B██████ and I talked … and we were both kind of like, “█████ ██████ ██ ██████ ███ █████ ████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ████ ███ ███████ ████████” If you’re gonna go through the effort to make a song with words, they might as well be words you care somewhat about.

Jeremy Martin

Jeremy Martin writes about music and other stuff in OKC. He's also the less funny half of comedy duo The Martin Duprass and the proud father of two delightful baby turtles (pictured).

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