Machinae Supremacy is an alternative metal band from Sweden, whose video game-inspired sounds and melodies, masterful guitar work and unique vocals have set them apart from mainstream generic rock and metal since their beginning in 2000. Metal Hammer names Machinae Supremacy as “one of the most interesting bands of the current era” in their 2011 review of The Beat of Our Decay.
Machinae Supremacy has performed the music from Final Fantasy with the Royal Philharmonics in Stockholm (“PLAY! A Video Game Symphony”), appeared in the official national Hockey World Series TV commercial, toured Europe with Children of Bodom and produced the original soundtrack to the video game Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams together with video game music legend Chris Hülsbeck.
Machinae Supremacy’s webography, a free archive of music on their website, has had over 10 million downloads and counting.
At a midsummer’s eve party in Luleå, 2000, Jonne was introduced to Robert and Kahl via a common acquiantance. Robert and Kahl had recently detached themselves from all prior projects and were planning on forming a new band (by that time already dubbed “MACHINAE SUPREMACY”), but were still uncertain of what direction the new project would take. Jonnes talents with the guitar turned out to be just what was needed to spark both inspiration and imagination. The first step towards what would become a truly unique sound had been taken. Andreas and Tobbe joined in early 2001 and the first couple of songs were recorded. To distribute to friends and families, the songs were uploaded into an empty web-directory (not a music community site or even a website, simply a directory listing of the songs available). Word spread and in no time at all some 20 000 people had downloaded the material. MACHINAE SUPREMACY was obviously popular by word of mouth on the Internet, and a temporary website was constructed.
In April 2002 Tobbe left the band and Tomas took his place one week before the festival FaceFront. Tomas and Robert had a history together in the skate punk band Garden of Concrete a few years earlier, so there was no doubt in his mind about Tomas’ skills behind the kit, and the rest of the band saw proof of that as Tomas performed exemplary at the gig.
MACHINAE SUPREMACY’s first concert abroad was in London, a Soho night club called Gossips, during the “Back In Time Live” festival event. A few months later followed the Helsinki major LAN event “Assembly”. The band’s performance at these two events sent shockwaves through the retro gaming scene and geek communities — the mix of metal and video game styles and sounds became the official signature of the band; something new and uniquely different, and definitely not lessened by the fact that Robert’s vocals were far from default few in the world of metal music.
In late 2002 two german fans built a new and impressive (and award-winning) website for MACHINAE SUPREMACY. This site was to be the band’s face outward for the coming 4 years.
Even though they’d not been in contact with any record label, the guys felt it was time for something different in 2003. Releasing a couple of songs now and then on the website was still fun, but it was getting old. MACHINAE SUPREMACY was ready for a larger project. They began writing their debut album, DEUS EX MACHINAE. Without a plan for how it was going to be released, the production continued on into 2004, when the band was timely contacted by MBD Records, UK, about releasing the album on a master deal. The label offered nothing but online retail, but it didn’t really matter to the band at this juncture. 50% of sales profit went directly to the band, and being independent is cool after all, so wtf.
DEUS EX MACHINAE was released in May 2004.
Later that year MACHINAE SUPREMACY was asked to produce the soundtrack to the PC Game “Jets’n'Guns” (by RAKE IN GRASS). A massive 28 track O.S.T. was created, a soundtrack which is still being highly praised in reviews and online communities. This was also the year when MACHINAE SUPREMACY began recording their second album, REDEEMER.
In September the coming year the album was completed, but the band again found themselves without a label affiliation. Disregarding this simple fact, a trailer for REDEEMER was released.
During summer 2005 Kahl left the band and moved down south with his future wife Erica, and Johan “Poe” Palovaara joined as his successor.
In late 2005 to early 2006 MACHINAE SUPREMACY was contacted by a number of various record labels. The band chose to remain independent though, because only one of the labels could offer any kind of real distribution, and in the end that label was turned down due to its poor communication with the band. MACHINAE SUPREMACY decided to go full D.I.Y. and press, sell and distribute the album themselves. The Underground Edition of REDEEMER was released in conjunction with the launch of the MACHINAE SUPREMACY webshop (a.k.a The MACHINAESHOP) on March 18th 2006, and the band broke even on the album production costs in only a few hours.
In May 2006 MACHINAE SUPREMACY was contacted by Label manager Hannu Lehtonen, Spinefarm Records. Spinefarm was just the thing the band had been waiting for, a means for solid distribution and market street cred. Shortly after Hannu and Sami Tenetz, also with Spinefarm, and Lee Raiti for Universal Music, came to see the band perform in Stockholm on August 19th, a 4 album record deal was signed.
By fall 2006 the website had seen over 3 million downloads.
In June 2007, MACHINAE SUPREMACY performed live with the Swedish Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a 60 piece choir in two sold-out concerts in the grand Stockholm Concert Hall, in the Video Game Symphony production called ‘PLAY!’
In October, they were asked back to the event, this time performing with Norway’s biggest symphony orchestra, KORK, in Oslo. On top of other priorities, Johan Palovaara was not interested in doing these kinds of shows, so he chose this time to leave MACHINAE SUPREMACY, and Johan Hedlund joined on bass 2 weeks before the event.
February 13 2008 the third album, Overworld, was released. The title track was used in the TV-ads for the upcoming Ice Hockey world championships and ran for 2 months leading up to the championships on national television.
In April 2009 MACHINAE SUPREMACY did their first “Winland tour”, a Finnish mini tour of 5 gigs during which a Tour Diary was filmed.
The fourth album, A View From The End of The World was released November 3rd 2010, closely followed by a second Winland tour in December. MACHINAE SUPREMACY was offered an opening slot on Children of Bodom’s upcoming “Ugly World Tour”. During the Helsinki gig, members from Children of Bodom and Ensiferum came to see the band they would be performing with the coming spring.
“The Ugly World Tour” spanned 43 cities and 23 countries during 2 months in March-May 2011. Fans all over Europe who had been waiting for ages finally got to see the band live, and do a real meet&great. And a lot of people who had never heard of MACHINAE SUPREMACY were brought into the know.
In June 2011, the band parted with bass player Johan Hedlund, and announced the return to Assembly, Finland. The band was going back to one of the key points in their history.
Robert 'Gazz' Stjärnström
Jonas 'Gibli' Rörling
Andreas 'Gordon' Gerdin
Niklas 'Nicky $' Karvonen