Supersonic Blues Machine

Supersonic Blues Machine is a new powerful blues/rock band, which features Lance Lopez on guitars & vocals, Fabrizio Grossi on bass and Kenny Aronoff on drums. Their debut, “West of Flushing, South of Frisco”, surprised us nicely on Grande Rock so we had a chat with Lance to as to learn all things regarding this new super blues/rock band among other things…
Supersonic Blues Machine band pic
Hi Lance, I’m glad we’re given the chance to talk about your new music project/band Supersonic Blues Machine…
 
L: Absolutely, it’s my pleasure!
 
 
Do tell us, when did the idea to form Supersonic Blues Machine occur and what urged you to do so initially?
 
L: I had been urged by friends and fans over the years in Europe to contact Fabrizio Grossi, and that we should work together. After completing two albums with producer Jim Gaines in Memphis it was time to move forward and begin on working on something new, so I reached out to Fabrizio. I went out to Los Angeles and met with him at his studio and we began recording some ideas which turned into really great songs and we knew immediately that we had something. After I went back to Texas, Billy F. Gibbons called Fabrizio to work on some tracks and he asked what Fabrizio had been doing recently and that’s when Fabrizio told Gibbons that we had been working on some things and I had known Billy since I was 16 years old, Billy was very excited and told Fabrizio that he and I should form a band and the rest is history.
 
 
How did the cooperation with bassist/producer Fabrizio Grossi, and drummer Kenny Aronoff come about? Do you think SBM could be regarded as an ideal blues trio?
 
L: Well as I was saying, Fabrizio and I began working on tracks for him to produce for my next solo album. It was Billy Gibbons that suggested we form a band. Fab called me and said we need to put a band together, I said “well we need a great drummer” and Fab said “I think I have a guy” little did I know it would be the great Kenny Aronoff. Fab went over to Kenny’s studio in North Hollywood and played him some of the tracks we had been working on. Kenny wanted to be involved immediately! So we got together with Billy and the first song we recorded was “Running Whiskey”! We knew we would have something very special, but it just keeps getting better and better...
 
 
Which are those music secrets & new elements that SBM have and make them surpass the other bands of the blues-rock genre?
 
L: I think we have a very special band, with some of the world’s greatest guitarist contributing to the music. We wanted our album to have great, classic material... not just a big giant jam session... jamming is great for a concert, but for the recording we want to have really good songs. I think that’s what sets SBM apart.
 
 
Hence, what’s “West of Flushing, South of Frisco”… where does the album title refer to?
 
L: It’s coordinates! West of Flushing, Queens, New York... and South of Frisco is San Francisco... west of New York, and south of San Francisco... it’s all roads leading to Los Angeles which is where SBM was born...
 
 
How did you come up with the idea of putting the band’s logo at the back of a car (Cadillac?) – did you have in mind to make it somewhat “retro” in a way?
 
L: I love that album cover it’s really fantastic and a great artist who is a dear friend of ours designed that for us and we loved it!
 
 
Give us a hint about each track…
 
L: “Miracle Man”: Down home goodness!
 
“I Ain’t Fallin’ Again”: A story of overcoming and recovery…
 
“Running Whiskey (feat. Billy F. Gibbons)”: A tale of Hot Rods and Bootleggers told by my Uncle Billy…
 
“Remedy (feat. Warren Haynes)”: A song of hope and being yourself no matter what, with support from my dear friend, Warren...
 
“Bone Bucket Blues”: An odd tale of eating BBQ in New York City.
 
“Let It Be”: Trying to bring the world of hatred together no matter what your religion or race, trying to bring everyone together and tell them we are all part of the human race and we need to join together and stop hurting each other...
 
“That’s My Way (feat. Chris Duarte)”: Me and my brother Chris getting our groove on…
 
“Ain’t No Love (In The Heart of the City)”: Paying tribute to the great Bobby Blue Bland, someone who I was fortunate enough to work with and I miss him dearly…
 
“Nightmares and Dreams (feat. Eric Gales)”: My childhood friend Eric Gales and I and a tale of being trapped in a bad relationship.
 
“Can’t Take It No More (feat. Walter Trout)”: Walter Trout giving me inspiration and telling us that we can get through anything no matter what, never giving up.
 
“Whiskey Time (Running Whiskey's extended ending)”: BFG and SBM getting a little trippy.
 
“Let’s Call It A Day (feat. Robben Ford)”: Robben Ford lending his brilliance to a story of a marriage gone wrong.
 
“Watchagonnado”: Jesus coming back to Earth and seeing the state of the work, especially those who use him name in lies... basically a story told from Jesus’ perspective…
 
 
What was the songwriting procedure you followed for the tracks of the album?
 
L: We had great writers helping us with the album, Serge Simic, Joey Sykes, Fabrizio Grossi... some really great songwriters helping us...
 
 
Where did the recordings take place and who produced, mixed and mastered the album? Are you satisfied with the final outcome? I think that you managed to “mix” well both the traditional and the “modern” blues-rock sound… what’s your say?
 
L: It’s epic, I love it! Fabrizio Grossi produced and engineered the album, Universal Mastering mastered it... I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done...
 
 
How did the guest appearances by Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ Top), Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule/Allman Bros Band), Chris Duarte, Eric Gales, Walter Trout and Robben Ford occur and what do you believe they added to the album’s sound overall?
 
L: Billy Gibbons was involved from the beginning... everyone else came in later… we just asked all of our close friends and favorite players to join us. Their contributions made it a masterpiece...
 
 
Apart from “Remedy” do you plan to release any other concept or lyric video soon?
 
L: Maybe…
 
 
I see that you play on a Blues Festival in Norway in August. Other than that do you have any other touring plans?
 
L: Oh yeah... we are working on a lot of things for 2017... stay tuned.
 
 
What are your expectations from “West of Flushing, South of Frisco” and what are your long-term plans for Supersonic Blues Machine?
 
L: We are just getting SBM off the ground. We have plans to begin touring the world and we will begin making our second album very soon. SBM is just beginning a very long an epic journey.
 
Supersonic Blues Machine band pic
 
It’s time for our Weird Questions!!! How did you come up with the name Supersonic Blues Machine initially?
 
L: All of the great artist involved make up a great, supersonic, powerful machine powered by Blues…
 
 
What are those things that you do not like in the music industry nowadays?
 
L: That Blues Rock is not a more mainstream music in America... and free downloading of albums and music have destroyed so much.
 
 
Are “social media” a “compulsory part” of music biz these days or bands, artists & labels can do without them as well?
 
L: I love social media... it has helped me so much. However free downloading of music has really hurt us very badly and I hope that one day the laws will change and people will stop doing this.
 
 
What do you think about the “downloading & streaming issue” of our time?
 
L: As I said it’s horrible... it steals so much from all of us. Streaming is one thing but when you download my album without paying for it you are a thief...
 
 
If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?
 
L: I am a 16th Apache Indian and my Apache name is Eagle Claw... so I would be an Eagle according to the chief of the Choctaw-Apache Tribe that my family is from in Louisiana...
 
 
Which are the best 3 blues-rock albums of all time according to you?
 
L: ZZ Top’s First Album, Johnny Winter and “Live, Cream, Live Cream Vol. 1”…
 
 
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
 
L: Jimi Hendrix: “Band of Gypsys”... they would probably say oh yeah we’ve heard this before... it’s from our home! (laughs)
 
 
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
 
L: I would go to the Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York, Monday August 18th 1969 8:00am and stand on the side of the stage and watch Jimi Hendrix’s performance; or to Winterland in San Francisco March 10th 1968 and watch Cream’s performance…
 
 
Fill in the phrase… “Blues rock music wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
 
L: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons or Stevie Ray Vaughan…
 
 
Who do you consider to be the best vocalist in blues-rock history?
 
L: I don’t know about Blues Rock history but I think Stevie Wonder is the greatest vocalist of all time!
 
 
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
 
L: Guess I would have to go to the record shop...
 
 
Finally, we’ve come to an end Lance! Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. Take care dude!
 
L: Right on! Cheers amigo…