“Welcome to the Machine“ reveals the core of the music business machine. By Doing that, the film doesn’t care about genres or categorization. There are thousands of different music worlds but only one business. The Austrian micro cosmos is being explored, as well as the global music scene in New York or London, Helsinki or Tel Aviv. Not always serious but self-critical and above all ruthless – after all it is only about one thing: music. Although …

“Welcome to the Machine“ is a documentary analysis of the functionality in music business. This automatically makes the film a 100% documentary with comedy and drama, as well as 100% semi-investigative. In 12 chapters we're trying to answer the question what the every day work life of a music star looks like.

What do you have to consider when starting a band? What is a manager actually doing? How do music media, band contests and other promotion strategies work? But most of all: Is there a formula for success? The film gives a clear answer to that, although that is to say that there are as many formulas for success as there are artists/bands. This is clearly shown in all the interviews, which have been taken with national and international stars during the production of “Welcome to the Machine”.

From star sopranist Natalia Ushakova to former Modern Talking singer Thomas Anders, from Cypress Hill and One Republic & MTV legend Ray Cokes to the rockers from Nazareth, more than 100 artists let us be part of their - not always pleasant - experiences. In a pointed and amusing way they talk about their own mistakes that got them noticed in the music business. Out of their own experiences they explain why it worked out or why, according to them, it can also not work out. Not just the artists get a say in “Welcome to the Machine”, but also music journalists, label operators, promoters, concert hosts and many more, all who are active parts of that “machine”.

But that is not enough. The young and ambitious band “The New Vitamin” tried putting all of these "tips & tricks" from the above stars into practise. The young viennese electro rockers test the professionals experience for its compliancy of becoming a star. Doing that they’re filmed in the recording studio, while arguing during rehearsals and band contests.

The different chapters form an independent unity, held by it's own line of action. The various topics are processed informative and humorously by using different methods. A diverse panorama of an omnipresent but mostly hidden working industry is the result. Diverting and understandably narrated.
Also because of that “Welcome to the Machine” definitely isn't just a film for experts, but mainly great entertainment for everyone who is mad about music. Most of all though “Welcome to the Machine” is a must for prospective musicians, no matter what genre they intend to work in.

Is there a secret recipe for success? How did the established bands make it to where they are, and how on earth does one get a record deal? There are a limited number of steps a young band will have to take in order to even get noticed. First off - start a band! Easiest thing in the world, or is it? Do you have to be able to play an instrument or is it sufficient to be an asshole in front of the camera in order to make it into the next Hall of Fame? What are the other bands doing differently and why does it work better? These and many more questions are usually what aspiring musicians ask themselves on their way to stardom. Not always dead serious, but most definitely pitiless - after all it’s just about this one big question: Is there one right way to Fame?

The globally focused but truly Austrian documentation was conceived and produced by Andreas Steinkogler, who has worked for the music channel GOTV and is now working as a director and cinematographer for various production companies. Moreover he’s band manager and also DJ. He was supported by Hannes Höttl (music journalist, musician, author, former label manager, former A&R).