Indie Mixtape 20: String Machine Can’t Get Enough Of ‘Con Air’

There aren’t enough bands these days with an abundance of members. Lucky for us, Pittsburgh’s String Machine comes to us in full form with seven members that come together to reveal the depths of each of the songs, with a truly full and fleshed-out sound. The group’s forthcoming album Hallelujah Hell Yeah is due later this month, and boasts nine tracks that feel like they are continuing to evolve as you listen. With as many members in the mix as String Machine, the deeply personal songwriting allows listeners to really feel like a fly on the wall, melding into the group as another member.

Ahead of the album’s release many of the band’s members sat down to talk Neutral Milk Hotel, tight black jeans, and classic rock in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.

The best new indie music directly to your inbox.
Sign up for the Indie Mixtape newsletter for weekly recommendations and the latest indie news.
By submitting my information, I agree to receive personalized updates and marketing messages about Indie Mixtape based on my information, interests, activities, website visits and device data and in accordance with the Privacy Policy. I understand that I can opt-out at any time by emailing

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

David: Dense goosebump love music

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

David: I just hope it helps people the same way it helped me.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

David: Pittsburgh (of course) but also Cleveland or anywhere in NJ

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

David: My dad is building and fabricating a hot rod from scratch because of his love for it. Lately, I’ve been looking at his passion to understand mine.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

David: Champs Diner – Brooklyn NY

What album do you know every word to?

David: Flies In All Directions by Weatherbox.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

David: Neutral Milk Hotel at this beautiful theatre in Pittsburgh.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

Dylan: Black jeans so tight that they become one with your legs & a button-down shirt for optional levels of airflow.

Laurel: Dylan is wrong. A dress, the breeze.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

David: @slamcheddy

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

Ian: Last tour’s was “Calling All Angels” by Train.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

David: “My kittens are wild”

What album makes for the perfect gift?

Ian: Earth, Wind, & FireGreatest Hits.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

David: At a house venue in Louisville that was once a church. We played on a fully lit church stage for 3 people sitting on a couch where pews used to be. I slept on that couch.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

Dylan: My cig-smokin’ pigeon tattoo is inspired by a 2020 of listening to Blaze Foley daily as my cookie-cutter Judeo-Christian worldview crumbled around me.

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

Dylan: So many but first that come to mind are Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Boston, and Bob Seger.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Ian: At a Lem (Ian & Laurel’s project) show one time, a random stranger drew two beautiful drawings for us while we played and gave them to us after our set. We became fast friends with April and she came to another show after that. We’ve shared many wonderful conversations since.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Ian: Take a god damn year off between high school and college

David: Manifesting kinda works, you’re not just stoned

What’s the last show you went to?

David: Wednesday & feeble little horse at Roboto

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

Dylan: I cannot resist watching Con-Air when it’s on TV because Nic Cage’s Cameron Poe has all of these made up figures of speech such as “Ah, Christ in a cartoon.”

David: Forrest Gump.

What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?

Ian: I’m making roast chicken, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and honey carrots. Strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Hallelujah Hell Yeah is out February 25 via Know Hope Records. Pre-order it here.