Joe Pascarell of The Machine

Joe Pascarell of The Machine 

 

The Machine (Joe Pascarell, guitar, lead vocals; Tahrah Cohen, drums; Ryan Ball, bass, lap steel guitar, effects, vocals; Scott Chasolen, keyboard, vocals) is one of the oldest U.S. Pink Floyd tribute bands. In the nearly three decades since their formation, they have played Floyd shows around the world. Last year, The Machine played a show at the State Theatre with the centerpiece being a live performance of The Dark Side of the Moon.

Guitarist and lead vocalist Joe Pascarell spoke to the Ithaca Times about the band’s ambitious plans for their 30th anniversary show at the State Theatre on December 1.

Ithaca Times: The last time you played at the State, you played Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon live, from top to bottom. What are you going to be doing for the Machine’s 30th anniversary?

Joe Pascarell: For the 30th anniversary, we’re playing all of Wish You Were Here, all of Animals and all of Dark Side of the Moon. That’s the way we’ll be playing it, in order. Wish You Were Here is such a good one to start with.

IT: What’s the process of deciding the order of a show?

JP: We knew we wanted to do the three albums. And I initially thought we’d just do it in chronological order. But then I thought, “You know what? Dark Side is so iconic. And it’s the album that – obviously, a Pink Floyd fan’s gonna know intimately all three of those records. But the peripheral fan’s gonna know Dark Side the best. That’s the smash hit of the three.” So why not put that last? It ends really with a bang, with “Eclipse.” And the way Wish You Were here starts is just perfect to begin a show. And Animals is the most difficult one to play. So put that in the middle.

IT: Wish You Were Here is so dreamy and ethereal.

JP: Yeah, it’s a perfect opener. It’s a song we open with, anyway. We’ll play a record, take a 10-15 minute break, play Animals, which is technically the most difficult music to play.

IT: True. “Dogs” has an acoustic guitar tuned down a whole step and then all those triple guitar lines. How do you comp all that as a four-piece band?

JP: That’s right. It has six different guitars on it. So I’ve some up with a way to play it on one guitar. [laughs] It’s tricky. That’s probably one of the toughest songs to play.

IT: With Dark Side, even casual fans have heard the hits like “Money” and “Time.” Is there a lesser-known section that’s especially fun to play?

JP: It’s funny you say that, it’s a great question, because the only time we play “On the Run” [an instrumental piece performed on an EMS synthesizer] is when we play the album. We would never put that in a regular set. So that’s always fun to do. It’s like, we start to play the album and five minutes later, it’s over. It’s amazing how quick it goes when you’re playing it. I mean, I know the album is 45 minutes long, but it feels like you just played a song. It just zips like a ball rolling down a hill when it gets going. And of course we have a female singer to sing “Great Gig In The Sky”, and a saxophone player to play all the [Dick Parry] parts on “Us and Them” and “Money.” People usually clap, and if they do that, we’ll come out and play “Comfortably Numb.”

The Machine (Joe Pascarell, guitar, lead vocals; Tahrah Cohen, drums; Ryan Ball, bass, lap steel guitar, effects, vocals; Scott Chasolen, keyboard, vocals) is one of the oldest U.S. Pink Floyd tribute bands. In the nearly three decades since their formation, they have played Floyd shows around the world. Last year, The Machine played a show at the State Theatre with the centerpiece being a live performance of The Dark Side of the Moon.

Guitarist and lead vocalist Joe Pascarell spoke to the Ithaca Times about the band’s ambitious plans for their 30th anniversary show at the State Theatre on December 1.

Ithaca Times: The last time you played at the State, you played Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon live, from top to bottom. What are you going to be doing for the Machine’s 30th anniversary?

Joe Pascarell: For the 30th anniversary, we’re playing all of Wish You Were Here, all of Animals and all of Dark Side of the Moon. That’s the way we’ll be playing it, in order. Wish You Were Here is such a good one to start with.

IT: What’s the process of deciding the order of a show?

JP: We knew we wanted to do the three albums. And I initially thought we’d just do it in chronological order. But then I thought, “You know what? Dark Side is so iconic. And it’s the album that – obviously, a Pink Floyd fan’s gonna know intimately all three of those records. But the peripheral fan’s gonna know Dark Side the best. That’s the smash hit of the three.” So why not put that last? It ends really with a bang, with “Eclipse.” And the way Wish You Were here starts is just perfect to begin a show. And Animals is the most difficult one to play. So put that in the middle.

IT: Wish You Were Here is so dreamy and ethereal.

JP: Yeah, it’s a perfect opener. It’s a song we open with, anyway. We’ll play a record, take a 10-15 minute break, play Animals, which is technically the most difficult music to play.

IT: True. “Dogs” has an acoustic guitar tuned down a whole step and then all those triple guitar lines. How do you comp all that as a four-piece band?

JP: That’s right. It has six different guitars on it. So I’ve some up with a way to play it on one guitar. [laughs] It’s tricky. That’s probably one of the toughest songs to play.

IT: With Dark Side, even casual fans have heard the hits like “Money” and “Time.” Is there a lesser-known section that’s especially fun to play?

JP: It’s funny you say that, it’s a great question, because the only time we play “On the Run” [an instrumental piece performed on an EMS synthesizer] is when we play the album. We would never put that in a regular set. So that’s always fun to do. It’s like, we start to play the album and five minutes later, it’s over. It’s amazing how quick it goes when you’re playing it. I mean, I know the album is 45 minutes long, but it feels like you just played a song. It just zips like a ball rolling down a hill when it gets going. And of course we have a female singer to sing “Great Gig In The Sky”, and a saxophone player to play all the [Dick Parry] parts on “Us and Them” and “Money.” People usually clap, and if they do that, we’ll come out and play “Comfortably Numb.”

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