Alex Machacek: Fat Beyond Belief
AM: We close the first set with that number. I enjoy ballads so why not close with a ballad?
AAJ: You've played with a lot of great musicians over the years but one we haven't talked about is drummer Virgil Donati; what's it like playing with him and in Planet X?
AM: I played in Virgil's band first and then he asked me to play in Planet X. It's interesting, Virgil's vocabulary, his rhythmical vocabulary is just a different one. It's very challenging playing with him because he's a very sophisticated drummer. Planet X was tough; the music is really tough to learn. The mai n goal for me was just to get through everything with no mistakes. It was like an obstacle course. I couldn't really relax during my solos because I knew what was coming after that. I think Virgil's a great drummer and sometimes we do have similar vocabulary. He's so good with metric modulation and the reinterpreting of it. Virgil represents a big challenge to everyone else [laughs]. He's rhythmically really advanced. He's a super nice guy.
AAJ: On your website it says that you're going to release a duo recording with singer Sumitra; can you tell us a bit more about this recording?
AM: it's not the typical duo that you might expect, let's put it like that. It's not like [guitarist] Joe Pass meets [singer] Ella Fitzgerald. We're shooting for a duo with a different sound. We've been playing in a duo setting for years and never really recorded. We're in the writing process right now and I hope it will be out soon.
AAJ: is there anything else in the pipeline?
AM: I'm already thinking of the next record. There are so many things on the list. I played a couple of gigs with Terry Bozzio and Jimmy Johnson on bass, and that proved to be really nice and we were talking about maybe recording something. I want to do a CD where I have all different drummers who send me drum solos and I recompose them, but I think that will have to wait a little bit. With FAT we're talking of a follow-up record, hopefully soon. Then there is another project which I can't tell you about because it's a secret, but if it happens I will be really happy. Right now I'm concentrating on the duo and getting gigs with FAT. There are so many possibilities.
Alex Machacek, FAT (Abstract Logix, 2012)
Alex Machacek/Marco Minnemann, 24 Tales (Abstract Logix, 2010)
Alex Machacek/Neal Fountain/Jeff Sipe, Official Triangle Sessions (Abstract Logix, 2009)
Alex Machacek, Jeff Sipe, Mathew Garrison, Improvision (Abstract Logix, 2007)
Alex Machacek, [sic] (Abstract Logix, 2006)
All Photos: Courtesy of Alex Machacek