|Welcome to the Machine” is a documentary analysis of the functionality in music business. This automatically makes the film a 100% documentary with comedy and drama, as well as 100% semi-investigative. In 12 chapters we see a day in the life of a music star. The film looks at the core of the music business machine without looking at genre or categories. There are thousands of different music worlds but only one business. The Austrian micro cosmos is being explored, as well as the global music scene in New York or London, Helsinki or Tel Aviv. Not always serious but self-critical and above all ruthless – after all it is only about one thing: music.
It examines what is to be considered when starting a band? What does a manager actually do? How do music media, band contests and other promotion strategies work? Is there a formula for success? The film gives a clear answer to that, although that is to say that there are as many formulas for success as there are artists/bands. This is clearly shown in all the interviews, which have been taken with national and international stars during the production of “Welcome to the Machine”. From star soprano Natalia Ushakova to former Modern Talking singer Thomas Anders, from Cypress Hill and One Republic & MTV legend Ray Cokes to the rockers from Nazareth, more than 100 artists allow us be a part of their experiences which are not always good. In a pointed and amusing way they talk about their own mistakes that got them noticed in the music business. Out of their own experiences they explain why it worked out or why it can also not work out. Not just the artists get a say in “Welcome to the Machine”, but also music journalists, label operators, promoters, concert hosts and many more, all of these are active parts of that “machine”.
The young and ambitious band “The New Vitamin” tried putting all of these “tips & tricks” from the above stars into practice. The young Viennese electro rockers test the professionals experience for its compliancy of becoming a star. Doing that they’re filmed in the recording studio, while arguing during rehearsals and band contests.
The different chapters form an independent unity. The various topics are processed informative and humorously by using different methods. A diverse panorama of an omnipresent but mostly hidden working industry is the result. Diverting and understandably narrated.
Also because of that “Welcome to the Machine” definitely isn’t just a film for experts, but mainly great entertainment for everyone who is mad about music. Most of all though “Welcome to the Machine” is a must for prospective musicians, no matter what genre they intend to work in.
The questions considered include: Is there a secret recipe for success? How did the established bands make it to where they are, and how on earth does one get a record deal? There are a limited number of steps a young band will have to take in order to even get noticed.
The globally focused but truly Austrian documentation was conceived and produced by Andreas Steinkogler, who has worked for the music channel GOTV and is now working as a director and cinematographer for various production companies. Moreover he’s band manager and also DJ. He was supported by Hannes Höttl (music journalist, musician, author, former label manager, former A&R)
The interviews include: Adam Green (US), A.F.I. (US), The Album Leaf (US), Amorphis (FL), Asaf Avidan & The Mojos (IL), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (US), Bloodhound Gang (US), Blood Red Shoes (UK), Blumentopf (DE), Buckcherry (US), Bullet For My Valentine (UK), Bunny Lake (AT), Chilly Gonzalez (CA), Coldcut (UK), Combichrist (NO), Gabriella Cilmi (AU), Cypress Hill (US), Dälek (US), Danko Jones (CA), Disturbed (US), Donots (DE), Eight Legs (UK), Fatboy Slim (UK), Fehlfarben (DE), Fettes Brot (DE), Gentleman (DE), Die Goldenen Zitronen (DE), Halestorm (US), The Heavy (UK), Helloween (DE), The Hidden Cameras (CA), HIM (FL), Infected Mushrooms (IL), Jan Vogler (DE), Japanese Popstars (IE), Kim Wilde (UK), Kool And The Gang (US), Lacuna Coil (IT), Lordi (FI), Lydia Lunch (US), Marina and the Diamonds (UK), Maximilian Hecker (DE), Megadeth (US), Melissa auf der Maur (CA), Morcheeba (UK), Nada Surf (US), Natalia Ushakova (AT), Nazareth (UK), New Model Army (UK), New Young Pony Club (UK), One Republic (US), Oomph! (DE), Papa Roach (US), Paradise Lost (UK), The Parlotones (ZA), Peaches (CA), Helen Feng (CN), Das Pop (BE), Otis Taylor (US), Shantel (DE), Die Sterne (DE), Steve Aoki (US), Sunrise Avenue (FI), Suzie Quatro (US), Texas Terri Bomb (US), Thomas Anders (DE), Timid Tiger (DE), The Reverend Peyton´s´ Big Damn Band (US), TV Buddhas (IL), Uriah Heep (UK), You Love Her Coz She´s Dead (UK), Xiu Xiu (US), Yaron Herman (IL), The New Vitamin (AT) and others.
There are also interviews with music business professionals: Anton Corbijn (Director), Ray Cokes (MTV Legend), Marie Clausen (Senior Product Manager K7 Records NY), Rupert Hine (Producer), Thorsten Schliesche (Napster Vice President Sales & Marketing Europe), Jim Mahoney (Vice President American Association of Independent Music), Prof. Felix Oberholzer-Gee (Harvard Business School), Hannes Eder (General Manager Universal Music Austria), Joachim Hentschel (Rolling Stone), Mag. Thomas Böhm (Amadeus Awards), Prof. Stan J. Liebowitz (School of Management University of Texas), Georg Spatt (Head Of Radio Station Ö3), Jörg Timp (Manager Starkult Promotion Berlin), Sasha Saedi (Senior A&R Manager, Universal), Klaus Totzler (Musicjournalist, ORF), Thomas Rabitsch (Produzent), Walter Gröbchen (Monkey Music), Josef Schartner (PR), Anna Katzdobler (PR), Michael Gaissmeier (PR).