Mister E. Machine
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Mister E. Machine

Chicago, IL | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Chicago, IL | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"Review of Mister E. Machine's 'Shooting Stars'"

By: Melissa DeGott

Mister E Machine took me right back to the 90’s with bands I loved from that era such as the Wallflowers and Goo Goo Dolls. The problem with a lot of acoustic rock acts of this current generation is the “acoustic” part is typically lost and covered with electric guitars and synth sounds. Mister E Machine is the first group I have heard to get the acoustic guitar thing right since the 90s. The act’s latest effort, “Shooting Stars”, has the acoustic sound front and center.

I listened to all of the songs on this album many times in the search for my favorite. From the beginning, the cover of “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” was a strong contender. I’m usually not a fan of cover songs unless they are exceptional. I was blown away by Mister E Machine’s interpretation of this Kylie Minogue tune.

I finally settled upon my favorite when I discovered the history of “Rosa Marie.” Rosa Marie is the older sister of Mister E Machine’s front man and acoustic guitarist, Manny Capozzi. The song is about Rose saving Manny from the bullying he endured throughout his childhood. The track zeroes in on a specific incident where a classmate had physically hurt Manny. Rosa rallied her friends, along with Manny, and they chased the school bus carrying Manny’s bully. One of the reasons I really enjoyed this song (other than how catchy the hook is) is because of how relatable it is. I think it is safe to say that a handful of us can relate to Manny’s lyrics about being tormented. There have been quite a few anti-bullying songs surfacing on the internet over the last few years. Most of them I have found to be ineffectual or down right cheesy. However, Mister E Machine knocked this one out of the park. The band is in the process of creating a video to go along with “Rosa Marie.” The premise is described on the Kickstarter page that was created to help fund the video. The band have come very far with this campaign but could still use your help. Go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1390875895/mister-e-machine-anti-bullying-music-video-for-ros before February 27th to make your contribution in order to make this anti-bullying video happen.

All in all, “Shooting Stars” by Mister E Machine is one of the best acoustic rock albums of the last several years. They are great musicians with a positive message to share.

Mister E Machine will be at Uncommon Ground on Devon March 6th as a part of the 4th annual Tori Amos tribute show. Manny Capozzi will also be the host of this event. - Rock in Chicago Magazine

"Interview with Manny Capozzi"

Interview - Feast of Fun Podcast

"Mister E Machine sings against anti-LGBTQ bullying"

Live it, learn it, perform it. Chicago-based indie group Mister E Machine rocks out with a gay perspective.

In summer 2014, lead vocalist, primary songwriter and LGBTQ activist Manny Capozzi and producer/drummer Chuck Harling teamed up and established the band. Now as a quartet that also includes David Ladon on bass and backing vocals and Perry Simmons on backing vocals, the band combines acoustic rock with indie/pop elements while creating a layered sound filled with harmonies.

"It's got some punk, it's got some rock, some rockabilly, it's got folk and acoustic and harmonies," said Capozzi of the band's music. "We always do three-part harmonies. For me the vocals are the most important thing because if you don't have good vocals you don't have anything."

The band's debut EP, entitled Shooting Stars, features the band's anti-bullying single "Rosa Marie," which will soon have a music video.

Growing up in Chicago's Northwest suburbs and then moving to Arlington Heights, Capozzi was bullied as a kid for being overweight and gay. His older sister Rosa stood up for him and helped during what he described as dark times. It was at that young age his sister taught him how to play guitar. He eventually learned the drums and joined her all girl punk band.

"So the song is just a thank-you to her and it happens to be an anti-bullying song that I think could speak to a lot of people," Capozzi said. "My hope is people like my sister, [who] are allies or people witnessing it going on, it'll empower them to step forward or step in and create an environment where it's not okay to do that to somebody. My goal of the song was not to just make a song about bullying. It was a song about gratitude."

Capozzi recalled developing confidence during his high school years and standing as the only openly gay student. Aside from winning prom king, he said he started the first gay-straight alliance ( GSA ) at Prospect High School.

Since being the man—or teenage boy—in the all-girl band, Capozzi has explored various musical genres with different bands and has had a solo career. He even made the move from a corporate COO position to pursue his musical passion further. Classifying himself as a rocker, his musical tastes and inspirations range from artists such as Tori Amos, to Nora Jones, to Bastille.

Mister E Machine is now taking on another project partnering with Illinois Safe Schools Alliance ( "the Alliance" ). Both entities work together to promote the anti-bullying agenda. The band will be performing at Illinois Safe Schools Alliance's Day of Silence/Night of Noise Rally on April 17 at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.

"I really wanted people to know what our band stood for and I thought this song was really the core of what we stand for," Capozzi said of the new GSA theme song. "It's a cool song—it merges genres, but it has a really cool message and it's very personal. That's one of the reasons we partnered with the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance."

LGBTQ Youth Engagement Manager Lawrence Carter said this year the Alliance is focusing on pumping more life into the Day of Silence Rally. Carter explained there is a need to continue to focus on issues such as youth getting into fights due to bullying and as a result getting pushed out of school, the use of anti-trans language in the schools and schools not recognizing trans youth and their needs.

"This year we're putting a lot more effort and focus on some of those issues and I think the Day of Silence and partnering up with this band is really going to help us to do that," said Carter. "Young people can rally around music. They love music, so this is a perfect partnership and I think it's going to help us out a lot."

By way of the music scene, Carter knew Capozzi and the story of his childhood years being bullied and having his family rally around him. Carter believed it would be a good partnership and has shared the song "Rosa" with some GSAs, while sharing the story behind it.

"They've gotten really energized and pumped around it," Carter said of the GSA youth.

The band also launched a Kickstarter campaign for the "Rosa Marie" music video this past January. For the video they will be casting junior high and high school kids, some from the School of Rock, to play the band's younger selves at key moments of the video.

"I think the theme of the event is going to be allies," said Capozzi of the Day of Silence Rally. "The event is about empowering people to step in when there is somebody that's being picked on or bullied and that they're not alone and there's a community of people that are stepping in. So, what this reality is is putting that community into a physical form so you can actually see there is a group of people that are there and that they're always there and everywhere. It's really putting a face to the name."

For more information, visit www.themistere.com/ and www.illinoissafeschools.org/. - Windy City Times

"Night of Noise puts LGBTQ Youth Issues on Blast"

Unzipping the lip, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance ended the Day of Silence with the 14th annual Night of Noise on April 17 at the Thompson Center.
The Day of Silence is a day at school when students, teachers, school administrators and other supporters across the country protest with silence to bring awareness of the effects of LGBTQA bullying.

The Alliance Youth Committee organized the loud event and invited GSAs across Illinois. The activist celebration was open to the public and about 200 people gathered in the open outdoor space to turn up the Night of Noise volume.

The mission of the event, said Alliance Executive Director Anthony Papini, is always "to ensure youth have a safe and affirming space to celebrate their identities and call to attention the issues that young LGBTQ youth face in their schools."

"This is 110 percent for and by the young people and that's incredible and the way it should be," said Papini of the evening's event. "Things are getting better, but there's still a lot of violence and harassment LGBTQ youth face and to see an evening like this where there's positive energy, that's my favorite part."

On stage, Chicagoland teen musicians Nick and Annabelle played their acoustic songs, Oregon-based singer/songwriter James Panther performed his piano-driven original pop, and Chicago indie-band Mister E Machine brought its rainbow twist as the act premiered its frst music video for the original anti-bullying theme song "Rosa Marie." Technical difficulties muted the music video's sound, but the band took the challenge head on and played along with it, anyway. U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-Ill. ) spoke on issues impacting LGBTQA youth. Alliance Youth Committee member and Lincoln Park High School's Sexuality and Gender Alliance ( SAGA ) Vice President Reed Essex also addressed the crowd with a passionate speech about LGBTQA rights.

"The LGBTQ community is a really huge target of bullying and that's not to say other people don't get bullied, but they're a huge target of it," said Mister E Machine lead vocalist, guitarist and founder Manny Capozzi. "Our main idea was to partner with them and raise awareness for both the organization and the band and what we're doing."

"For me, as an alli and an activist, I was really impressed that the kids were able to make connections about how the mainstream gay rights movement marginalizes people of color and transgender people," said Mister E Machine bassist and backup vocalist David Ladon. "They were very articulate and they gave an honest representation of the struggles people are dealing with more than just some of the nice slogans and stickers we see on people's cars."

Various LGBTQ organizations set up booths to provide even more of an educational component. The evening concluded with a giant dance party to the DJ's set of hits.

"I hope this year everybody felt like their identity was affirmed and recognized regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity, race, socioeconomic status, ability or disability, etc.," said Papini. "I think the most pressing [concern] for us right now, what young people are telling us, is that there really needs to be transformation of the schools to support gender expansive and transgender youth. We have so many young people who have GSAs at their schools and that recognize gay and lesbian youth have are fairly accepted and recognized, but when we think about trans youth, there's still a lot of unknowns and if we can bring education and transformation in terms of school policy, that's really key to what we want to do."

For more information, visit: http://www.illinoissafeschools.org/. - Windy City Times

"Chicago Breaks the Silence with Night of Noise Rally"

Night of Noise Rally at the Thompson Center featured Chicago indie band Mister E. Machine, James Panther and Congressman Mike Quigley

Chicago, IL — Hundreds of Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) students from schools across Chicago gathered Friday to conclude the Day of Silence, which protests the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth, as the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance hosted their annual Night of Noise rally in downtown Chicago.

James Panther, a Portland-based artist recently named an artist to watch by Out magazine, performed his song "Desirable" and Chicago indie band Mister E. Machine debuted their music video titled "Rosa Marie," which is appropriately an anti-bullying anthem inspired by front man Manny Capozzi's older sister, who helped him through the bullying he faced as a student.

"With the song's uplifting message, we all thought it would be a great tool to use while rallying young people for the day of silence," Lawrence Carter, Youth Engagement Manager at the Illinois Safe School Alliance, told ChicagoPride.com. "We were able to get the song out and have Gay Straight Alliances use the song and its message to help organize their Day Of Silence activities."

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill), a known LGBT rights supporter, shared an inspirational message with the youth gathered on the plaza of the Thompson Center.

"You matter. We are proud of you," said Rep. Quigley, who also spoke on the importance of #BornPerfect, a nationwide campaign that was started by the National Center for Lesbian Rights to ban conversion therapy.

Rep. Quigley also posted on Facebook, "Adolescence isn't easy for anyone. But for our LGBT youth, the stories and statistics are daunting. Negative attitudes towards them puts these youth at increased risk for experiences with violence, compared with other students. They are also at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This must stop. That's why I'm proud to attend Illinois Safe Schools Alliance 'Night of Noise,' breaking the silence these kids face on a daily basis."

The Night of Noise event also featured a resource fair with a selection of community partners designed to provide young people with the resources available to them, including Northwestern University's Impact program. The rally finished off with a DJ Dance Party set.

On the web: http://gopride.com/Zbep - Chicago PrideCom

"Shooting Stars Take Aim at Bullying on Recovery Now with Kim Justus"

Manny Capozzi is Guitar/Singer/Songwriter for the Chicago based band Mister E. Machine. They recently mounted a successful Kickstarter campaign to highlight and raise awareness on anti bullying by producing a video. He and producer Chuck Harling have combined forces to complete the band's debut EP Shooting Stars, featuring the single RosaMarie, the anthem for their anti bullying, Indie rock album. Tonight Manny will share his experience, strength and hope as he discusses his own personal challenges with bullying, and the person he credits from bringing him back from the brink. This is a hot, compassionate acoustic rock band with a postive message, and activism designed to pay it forward. Find out more at misteremachine.com & on FB at misteremachinemusic

This show is a gathering place for anyone seeking recovery from the challenges of life on life's terms. Guests share their experience, strength and hope. We discuss useful tools that have helped us lighten the load, of our journey through recovery.

More will be revealed! Tune in, and call in. This is a "we" recovery program, because it is in the "we," that we find the new "me."

We focus on the four A's of Recovery: Awareness, Acceptance, Action and Adaptation. This is a place for survivor's striving to become thrivers. Front half of the show is a featured guest, the back half is Open Mic and some great Indy Music sure to inspire!

Host is Kim Justus, author of In a Flash: Miracles Here and Beyond found at www.inaflash.org & "Like" us at www.facebook.com/inaflash.org & /braininjuryradionetwork - Brain Injury Radio


Manny Petty (Capozzi)_ (Lead Vocals, Guitar) burst onto the local music scene with his 2012 release of Sometimes It’s Funny featuring the viral music video for Let’s Get Fat Together. ‘Let’s Get Fat Together’ debut at #40 on the A/C 200 charts in 2012 and was featured on Gay Chicago TV as well as Feast of Fun, one of the most famous gay centered podcasts in the world. The new project ‘Mister E. Machine’ is a pivot for Capozzi from a solo comedic guitarist, to indie rock introspection.
Chuck Harling (Drums and Production) I has played with over 200 artists and recorded over 40 cds in his 25 year career. Over that time he has toured extensively though the United States and to Europe.  Chuck has also produced 9 records, the latest being Shooting Stars by Mister E Machine and Scotch, by Ripley Caine And The Full Moon 
Perry Simmons (backing vocals) has been singing professionally in the Chicago-land area for over 20 years. Perry has made television appearances on ABC Channel 7's Oprah Winfrey Show, Rosie O’Donnell Show, Windy City Live Morning Talk show, WGN Morning Show, and local cable television’s; The Pat Shaffer Show. 



MISTER E MACHINE is an  Indie Band from Chicago that combines acoustic rock with indie/pop elements to create a layered rock sound. A key element of the sound is its textured vocal harmonies and personal lyrics that delve into the emotional, mental, and spiritual journeys of the human experience. Songwriter Manny Capozzi and Producer Chuck Harling have joined forces to complete the band’s debut SHOOTING STARS, a 7 song EP recorded at KingSize Studios. The band is currently working on it's sophomore album with singer/keyboardist/jazz vocalist Perry Simmons. 

Band Members