Bernard Pearce of One Man Machine began as the lone man. He was frustrated by his difficulty finding workable bandmates for the multimedia act he had in mind. Pearce wanted to experiment with what he calls “sound collage, not really songs,” but “when it got old and boring,” he says, it was on to the next step. He looked to collaborate with others, hoping to able to exchange ideas and make more music. He also wanted someone to help schlep the many instruments the One Man Machine used in performance.
Pearce reconnected with a couple of childhood friends and found current drummer, Bret Bohnet. Thus, began the transition to the current four-man One Man Machine. “Bret’s really good and sticks it without too much coaching,” Pearce says. Playing with Bohnet also elevates Pearce’s own playing. His work with Bohnet was sufficiently rewarding that Pearce also added Jason Ramirez and Jason Trahan, both of whom live in Athens, Georgia. The Jasons appear on Get My Sound, the new album from One Man Machine.
Still, because of their schedules, the One Man Machine’s size and composition varies. The four scarcely have rehearsals, and for the tour beginning in September, they’ll downsize to a duo with a trumpeter, and sometimes substitute Tess Brunet of Animal Electric (ex- of Deadboy and the Elephantmen) when Bohnet will have to miss some shows.
Pearce has yet to figure out how bands are able to juggle the time constraints, but he says, “I’m the kind of musician who needs to play with other musicians who are really good because I’m not that good.”