The last time The Machine was in State College was 2012 and Joe Pascarell was the lead singer. Later that year, the co-founder would announce his retirement from the band, leaving a hole where his spot-on Roger Waters/David Gilmour vocals helped to make The Machine one of the world’s best Pink Floyd tribute bands.
After a string of auditions, the band’s remaining members — keyboardist Scott Chasolen, bassist Ryan Ball, and drummer and co-founder Tahrah Cohen — found what they were looking for in Adam Minkoff. They positioned him at bass and lead vocals, moved Ball to guitar and continued on their way.
“Originally we were looking for two new members, two distinct voices to do David Gilmour and Roger Waters. Joe sang both personalities,” Chasolen said in a recent phone interview. “We were doing video auditions online to narrow it down that way. As it turned out, we never found the fifth person.”
“If we had someone who could sing like Waters and Gilmour, we would have more a split personality, so to speak,” Chasolen added. This was Minkoff.
With recent history established, Chasolen was free to discuss performing with The Machine.
I had not played much PF before joining, but I knew the songs from listening. ... It’s almost like I didn’t have to learn the songs. But it was challenging to create all the sounds.
As a keyboard player, the textures and sounds are very important and more challenging. It’s like having every instrument in an orchestra but on a keyboard, so you have to create them yourself. I also run all the sound samples.
I think the projects where I’m playing original music gives me a chance to be more creative. But the improvisational portions of The Machine performances are also being creative. For me personally, I need to have all those things happening to feel satisfied. It all works together.
We make the set list at the venue. We like to see what he venue feels like and what the stage is like and decide that night.
I understand what your friend is saying, there’s a darkness to it as well. But that’s life. Life isn’t always bright and shiny, and I think the music captures that.