Brushing Off The Cobwebs; An Interview with Sam Boatright Of Hush Machine

Looking all around him, Sam Boatright began noticing that a chance of scenery was needed for him.  Leaving his post in the garage-psych band Psychic Heat to explore other opportunities, the twenty-one Lawrence, Kansas musician went back to music that he archived years ago.
Channeling the moniker that he kept dormant till just recently Hush Machine, Boatright’s self-titled debut album comprises youthful reflections and philosophies.  These traits can be easily traced as the songs were mainly written during the musician’s high school days.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Boatright and discussed why Hush Machine was given new life, if there was any regrets leaving his previous project, and what’s next.
You just began sharing music under the moniker Hush Machine.  Although you have been under the moniker for several years now, what finally convinced you to start releasing music?
I sent out these tunes to hundreds of people over the past few years. This past year, Chris Mac at Jigsaw responded and wanted to release them under his awesome indie label. I think his courage and enthusiasm in the songs gave me a kick in the butt that I needed and validated to me that these songs may actually be good.
Before Hush Machine, you were involved in another band Psychic Heat.  How difficult was it to leave that project to explore other things?
It was hard to leave Psychic Heat, especially because those dudes are so amazing. But sometimes life happens and it just makes sense to do your own creative things. We’re all still good friends, and it’s fun to keep up with what different projects we’re putting out.
On your self-titled album, a majority of the songs were written and recorded back in 2013.  What was the reasoning of going with these batch of songs instead of recording fresh material?
I wanted to put out these songs because I felt like they deserved a proper release. It was almost as if I couldn’t fully put myself into a new thing with these songs sitting and collecting dust. I’ve recorded a handful of odd songs from Beat Happening-esque rambles and Drums-wannabe tracks, haha, but the batch of songs on this debut release recalls a very certain time for me in my life. I see it as a photograph capturing my immaturity and angst and naivety and that I could only write those songs lyrically and musically at that point.
Lyrically, the album contain a mix of youthful angst and peaceful harmony.  What was your vision during the writing process?
These were all songs written over my junior high and high school years; it’s weird singing them now, but it definitely shows me, at least, that I have changed and transformed, which is good. I didn’t have any specific vision while writing the songs, but to just not second guess myself that much. Just create and if it’s decent keep working with it until I found it to be good.
When listening to the album, I can still hear some influence of Psychic Heat.  Did you purposefully seek out to set up Hush Machine to sound differently?
Psychic Heat is a band very aware and conscious of melody and pop sensibility. I think Hush Machine is similar in that way, but otherwise, I think of Hush Machine as much more skeletal and jangly, whereas Psychic Heat could be this loud, fuzzy beast.
What was the process like recording your self-titled debut album?
I booked two days at Weights and Measures studios in Kansas City with the ever wonderful Duane Trower. He helped me hone in on the sharpness of the songs and their rigidity and he was able to let me work at the quick pace that I like. I think we both work well that way.
Did you record all of the instrumentals yourself for the album?
Yeah, I recorded all the parts, just like Andre 3000 😉
I didn’t see any upcoming shows or tours lined up.  Does Hush Machine have anything coming up in the near future?
We’re in the process of booking a tour for late June/early July and we’ve been playing a few shows a month around Lawrence. We got 2nd in KU’s Battle of the Bands (Farmer’s Ball) which was great! It was like our second show as a band; the validation from the crowd that I wasn’t an idiot for playing these songs live was very warming.

Hush Machine’s self-titled debut is out now via Jigsaw Records
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