An Interview with Mike Laurino of Gizmachi

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Gizmachi is a Heavy Metal band out of Newburgh, NY, formed in 1998. While they were highly active within the Metalcore and Progressive Metal scene’s in the early 2000s, Gizmachi has been relatively dormant on the studio album front since 2005…until now.

Present-day, they are gearing up to release their first new record in sixteen years, which is called Omega Kaleid. The band’s guitarist, Mike Laurino, joins me as we discuss what the band has been up to all this time, the making of their new record, Mike’s opinions on the Metal scene today, and a whole lot more. If you would like to learn more about Gizmachi, head over to their Facebook page here.

Anthony:
Hey guys! Thanks a lot for doing this interview with us today; how have you been holding
up this past year? It looks like you’ve been busy with a new album. Can you tell us a bit
about that?


Mike:
We’re just so happy and proud to finally put this album out; it’s been a long time since we
started material for this album. It feels good to have people hear it.


Anthony:
So let’s step back a little bit; what are your musical beginnings before Gizmachi? Were
you all friends before the band; how did metal become your genre of choice?


Mike:
I’ve been listening to metal since the late 80s. My musical beginnings started as far back
as I remember; my parents always played music growing up; it’s always been a part of my
life. I actually was a fan of Gizmachi when I was in High School. Gizmachi was the older
bunch of dudes that my fellow bandmates in my first band looked up to. It wasn’t until
96/97 when Gizmachi recruited drummer Jimmie Hatcher and singer Sean Kane when
they started getting really heavy, they started as kind of a heavy alternative rock band.

Anthony:
So you guys had your debut album The Imbuing back in 2005; what have you been doing
for the past 16 years to fill that time?


Mike:
We’ve been trying to finish this album for a long time; almost all of this album was written
between ’06 – ’08 with sections from as early as ’00 – ’03. This album came out in 2021, but
the material is old, but with Bjorn’s contributions and most of Jay’s solo work coming in
recent years, it really has made it worth the wait.

Anthony:
I’m listening through The Imbuing as I write these, and you have a unique sound
while also sounding familiar, I can hear some Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying in
your music, who are some of your inspirations for your music?


Mike:
90s alternative music is in my soul, so it’s easy to hear Alice In Chains, Nirvana, and
so many other’s in my vocal influence more than anything, but the heavy influences are
definitely Metallica and Pantera, there are many others, but those are the two most
significant.

Photo courtesy of Adrenaline PR

Anthony:
Let’s talk about “Omega Kaleid.” What is the song about? Is this 9-minute masterpiece a
culmination of what to expect the new album to be? That 2 minutes and 10-second
instrumental segment about halfway through the song is killer!

Mike:
The song, for me, is like a struggle, the tense apprehension to see something to its end,
and then finally getting there and it being kinda somber and bittersweet. It really is the
story of everything we’ve been through to finally complete this album, to “See the Light.”
The song “Omega Kaleid” is definitely a culmination. The part you’re speaking of is one of my favorite parts of the song and one of the last additions to the song…if it’s the same part, we’re talking about. Ha!

Anthony:
This is your latest release since The Imbuing, and is the title track for your new album
correct? Is there a release date set for it?

Mike:
Yes, Omega Kaleid is the title track; the album release date is 3/12/21.

Anthony:
What are some of your passions outside of music? Do they influence your music at all? I
see a lot of metal bands use horror in their music, lyrics,
or videos, especially Slipknot
which you’ve actually worked with under Shawn Crahan’s label. Are you guys into horror
at all?

Mike:
I’ve always been a huge fan of horror, I grew up watching a lot of horror, mainly 70s, 80s,
and 90s horror, then it got too watered down, too much CGI. Jimmie, our drummer is also
a huge horror fan, you can see some of the influence in our new video for “Look What
I’ve Become” which he directed.

Anthony:
So, here’s one of my favorite questions to ask, what equipment do you use to play with,
is it separate for live shows vs.
recording, or is it all the same?

Mike:
I used to use a Marshall JMP- 1 preamp during the touring cycle of the Imbuing. I’ve used
a Boss GT3 preamp pedalboard for years before that and then after. I use Ibanez 7
strings, Mesa amplification 4×12 standard cabinet powered by Simul-class 2:90 stereo
power amp. We used a Marshall stereo power amp in the studio for the Imbuing with A
JMP-1 preamp, that’s how we got turned onto the Marshall preamp. On Omega Kaleid,
we used a Mesa dual rectifier Rev.F head with an Engl 4×12 cab with 75W Creamback
speakers.

Anthony:
Here’s one we ask everyone, do any of you collect any physical forms of music? Vinyl,
cassettes, CDs, tapes, or are you all digital?


Mike:
I have quite the CD collection, although most of it is packed away in inboxes. I’ve also
gotten quite a few stolen from me…I mainly listen off of Apple Music nowadays. Well, I suppose now wasn’t the best time to come back into the industry after such a long
wait.

Anthony:
I bet you can’t wait to get back out on the stage when things start to finally calm down, so let’s talk about past shows. Do you have any favorite venues? Do you have any places that you guys would like to take the band when live shows start to open back up?


Mike:
Well, it’s gonna be very hard for us to tour, considering our vocalist on Omega Kaleid is
busy doing double duty with Soilwork and The Night Flight Orchestra already. The stars
would have to align for us to do some touring. Half of us have families now and other
careers. We’re old now. Haha

Anthony:
Speaking of live shows, you actually got to play in Ozzfest; what was the experience like?


Mike:
Ozzfest was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. It was like a metal summer camp.
Really cool playing with all those bands. I’ll never forget that tour, a definite high point.

Anthony:
As an established metal band, I’ve always wondered if you see the toxicity of snobby
metalheads, the gatekeeping and entitlement to really be as big of a deal to you guys as it
seems to be on the listener’s side?


Mike:
Shit, I wish we had some of that attention, but the four of us are pretty drama-free. If
people have something positive or negative to say; it’s all good.

Anthony:
Let’s talk about the state of the music industry. Between live shows being expensive to
go to because of what seems to be a monopolization of Live Nation, countless music
streaming services that don’t really pay too well, how do you feel about the current state
of the industry, what changes would you like to see?


Mike:
I feel like anything that I would consider listenable is really not part of the mainstream; I
like a couple of newer bands, mainly New York-based indie music. When I was growing up
in the mid-90s, the music I loved was mainstream; it was good times.

Anthony:
Here’s an easy one for you guys; where can we find your music?


Mike:
On all streaming platforms, Apple Music, Spotify, etc. it will soon be available on CD,
we’ll let everyone know when it becomes available.

Anthony:
Guys, thanks again for doing this with us, is there anything else you’d like to add that we
may have missed or didn’t get to cover?


Mike:
No, I think a lot was covered. Have a good one

Photo courtesy of Adrenaline PR

Interested in learning more about the music of Gizmachi? Check out the link below:

Dig this? Check out the full archives of A.M. Radio, by Anthony Montalbano, here: https://vinylwritermusic.com/a-m-radio-archives/

About Post Author

Anthony Montalbano

Anthony Montalbano grew up in New York and North Carolina. Anthony is a baker by day and a contributor to the Vinyl Writer cause by night. With a passion for podcasts, Pop Punk, video games, and more, Anthony brings a unique and fresh perspective to the team. Anthony's column is a catch-all for the things he loves most, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
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