Thursday, May 8, 2014

One On One With Programmable Animal

“...we are programmed by our surroundings...”

Want to experience an ambient yet insightful combination of industrial/alternative sound in your music, blogspot readers? Then, SouthSide highly suggests checking out her new friends, Programmable Animal. This tongue-twister name of a band incorporates a variety of styles with a progressive music element and a bit of distortion that’s sometimes based on the result of depression or societal structure. “...what we feel are wrongs done to innocent people...” according to Programmable’s Facebook bio. Wanting to go more in depth about the band and its music, this reviewer had the opportunity to chat with Programmable’s bassist Kristen and vocalist (as well as keyboardist, guitarist, bassist and programming) Anthony.

The band’s name is more of a statement to described that we as humans are programmed by our surroundings. It’s derived from a theory by John Locke which stuck accord with Anthony while studying psychology. So why would Programmable Animal consider their music to be “...ambient insightful industrial alternative...”, blogspot readers? Well, according to Anthony, “...[it’s] just how we write the music...” that contains a strong message in the lyrics. Whether you notice it (or not), this band hides a bit of ambient sound within their songs “...where it [music] takes you to a different world...”. When creating their songs, the band likes to use unnatural sounds ...never heard before so they can take our subconscious to a whole new level. And while taking us to that new level, Programmable Animal is still evolving with their music, blogspot readers. He equated evolving like progressing inside the little chapters of life. Who knows what this band might have in store next for their fans as Programmable Animal constantly continues working on new material between its dark industrial ambient metal to something lighter.

After a couple of demos, the band recently released a self-titled album to which Anthony told SouthSide it was self-recorded ...meaning the band recorded and produced it without physically having to go into a studio. Both Kristen and Anthony recommend fans listening to the song “Please” “...because it has several sounds [besides] metal and industrial...” Yet, if you listen closely to the lyrics and the music itself, you will get the sense of Anthony’s vocals begging for the pain to go away. “’s on the topic of depression can’t [always] depend on others or prescription drugs...” advising “ have to overcome it yourself...” Not trying to be negative here, blogspot readers, Programmable Animal is helping to take that aggression and turn it into something more positive. The band believes everyone has a choice to do good or bad and it’s their hope a song (or two) can at least help someone change their own negativity for the better. “...what our music touches on are the commonalities and societal structures by trying to be insightful...” before mentioning “...that’s the beauty about art and music ...can take you to other places...” and help solve problems. SouthSide liked Programmable’s other song “Together” for its melodic yet edgy metallic sound ...full of chaotic anger and musical noise. Both songs have that concrete sense though sounding it’s “out there” kind of vibe. Each member of Programmable Animal brings in a bit of different music influence within their songs. For example, blogspot readers might be surprised to know that the drummer (Ty) might add a little jazz or funk to the mix.

SouthSide is all about Chicago’s local scene, blogspot readers, but what about other IL towns/cities like Joliet where Programmable Animal is from? According to Anthony, there is a music scene in the IL downstate town where bands rock venues like Mojoe’s and Drunken Donut (it’s described as a bakery by day and a bar by night). “...It’s kinda new here in Joliet ...[and] it’s starting to branch out...” He also mentioned the band has played there a couple of times and have supported other musicians/bands during Drunken’s open mic showcases. “’s [also] a gathering spot for those not even in bands...” However, Programmable Animal would like the chance to perform in Chicago to broaden their fanbase but it’s hard for the band to travel there as well as vice versa for Chicago fans to travel downstate. So in the meantime, the band resorts to using social media to promote their music to which they have received some positive feedback from far away as Denmark, blogspot readers. Along with future plans to perform in Chicago, Programmable would like to tour to meet people but like most bands know “’s how you plan...” that makes your tour successful. “...there’s no guarantee you’ll make the money back...” says Anthony. That’s when they mentioned a familiar name to SouthSide. “...Jim Rose has reached out to us...” who advised the band to do more music promotion, gather a growing fanbase and play shows “...[he] might help us with a tour...” Now that would be an interesting tour, blogspot readers. Circus freaks and Programmable Animal ...this reviewer would definitely review if that ever happened. She asked the band if they have any summer plans such as performing a weekend festival to which Anthony said they were talking to another local band about performing a weekend fest with them and considering the possibility of doing I AM Fest in August. Programmable Animal will be rockin’ the stage during their album release show on May 10.

SouthSide would like to thank Kristen and Anthony of Programmable Animal for taking out of their busy schedule to do this interview with her. For more information, visit Programmable Animal at

Until next time, support your local scene,

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