When recently asked for my opinion on which artist has "defined my summer", the answer was quick to come to mind. Undoubtedly, it's belonged to Peaches, her "album of the year" contender with I Feel Cream, and her extensive supporting tour that has since been extended throughout the remainder of 2009. While the dutchess of dirty electroclash is a force in and of herself, no leading lady can wow the crowds without the aid of a solid backing band. Enter Sweet Machine.

Back in June, Peaches came through NYC for a second stop [the first in May...review here], and I decided that it was time to feature the dynamic trio who have been raging behind, alongside and on the forefront of this massive tour.

Berlin, Germany's Sweet Machine is Saskia Hahn (backing vocals, keytar, guitar, keyboard), Conner Rapp (backing vocals, keytar, bass, keyboard) and Mathias Brendel (drums). Playing together since 2005, this rock/punk outfit released an unofficial EP in 2007, and to date still remain unsigned.

So how does a nearly unknown troupe like this get hooked up with a most rad opportunity to work with Ms. Merrill Nisker?

Bassist Conner Rapp met Peaches back during the Father Fucker era, ended up on the tour and solidified a friendship with her. At a party one night, Rapp met Saskia Hahn, and, finding a common bond in the fact they there were both sound engineers and skilled musicians, began to combine talents. Drummer Mathias Brendel joined the pair shortly thereafter, and Sweet Machine was revved and ready to rock.

During production and mastering of Peaches' album, I Feel Cream, plans for a worldwide tour began to emerge. For this circuit, she decided to go with a live backing band, and reached out to Rapp. While the band was currently focusing on their own album and touring efforts, the only logical thought was voiced...

"Ok, I'll put it on ice for Peaches..."

Being that the album heavily relies on skillfully intricate electronic productions, the question of "how do you transform that into a live show" was an obvious point of concern. The now-merged foursome spent 2 months prior to the tour learning who would play what instruments, examining each midi controller, and perfecting the sound that has emerged as seamless from record to stage.

Sweet Machine has now been on tour with Peaches' since early summer 2007, when they were asked by Peaches to join her as her backing band for one show at the Berlin Festival. After this successful collaboration, Sweet Machine became her new full-time backing band, continuing to shred through the entire catalogue of riffheavy fist pumpers, while aiding in the transformation of a most theatrically wowing stage show.

The I Feel Cream Tour continues to roll on through the end of 2009. You can find tour dates here.

Many thanks to Saskia, Conner and Mathias for taking the time to chat!

mp3: Peaches - Mud