Tribute bands are plentiful these days, but The Machine was the pioneering tribute band. On Sunday, January 19, The Machine will bring the sounds of Pink Floyd to Birmingham with a performance at Workplay Theatre. Recently, we caught up with the band’s keyboardist Scott Chasolen by phone from Stuart, FL.
Brent Thompson: Scott, thanks for your time. How long has The Machine existed?
Scott Chasolen: I’m glad you asked that! This is the band’s 25th anniversary this year. I was not an original member of the band, but when the band first started there was no such thing as a tribute band. [Founding member] Tahrah [Cohen] was way ahead of the curve on this.
BT: You guys have taken the band globally as I understand.
SC: We love it that we are the U.S. ambassador to the Pink Floyd tribute bands. We’ve been to Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. The only place that we’ve missed is Australia. I’ve been in the band 15 years and it was a lot of fun at first researching all of the equipment. As the keyboard player, I had to find some very specialized equipment.
BT: Does your repertoire include both the Syd Barrett-led and Roger Waters-led eras of the band?
SC: We play everything – even the old Syd Barrett songs. A lot of times our manager sets up promotions with local radio stations and fans call to request their favorite Pink Floyd songs.
BT: One big advantage your band offers is the ability to bring this unique sound and light show to an intimate setting for fans.
SC: Tahrah and the rest of the people in the band started doing what they were doing when Pink Floyd was still together because it had gotten to the point where going to see Pink Floyd in a stadium wasn’t the same as going to see them in a theatre. We are able to present that experience from early in their career. We bring in the same kind of lights that they would have in a smaller place and we have a circular video screen. It’s an interesting show.
Tickets to the 18+ show are $16 – $18 day of the show – and can be purchased at www.workplay.com. Showtime is 8 p.m.