Band Interview: MAKEOUT

Sometimes, the concept behind an idea evolves which can result in it inevitably being much different than what it was originally meant to be. Formerly known as Trophy WivesMAKEOUT is a new band in name and sound, but one with loads of experience as they decided to rebrand while in the studio for their upcoming “debut” album The Good Life. With a new direction in tow, it simply felt like the right thing to do and we got to chat with the band about not just the rebranding, but what their message and new album is all about, how the record came to be and much more.

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At the beginning of our interviews we normally like to start off with a small icebreaker. If you were to do anything else with your life other than making music, what would you be doing?

Wow, that’s actually a tough question, as I’ve never really given it serious thought.  I guess if I was doing anything, it would be building things, either electronics or like structures or something.  I’ve always enjoyed building and taking apart things to figure out how they work, so I guess I would be doing something in that realm.

To a lot of people, you are a new band who just got signed to Rise Records, but others may know you under your previous band name, Trophy Wives. Could you go into detail on why the name change and how Makeout came to be?

Well, the name change started as an idea while we were in the studio with Feldy.  We knew going into it that the sound of the band would be changing, and when we lost the last original member of Trophy Wives, it only made sense to start something new. It just felt like the right thing to do, it was a good time to transition to a new identity.

Being a newer band that essentially relaunched/rebranded, you have to continue to build a fanbase and to do that, word of mouth plays a huge role. What do you want people to take from Makeout and tell their peers so they’ll give you a chance, catch you on tour and support you in your endeavors?

I would like people to know that even though our music is a little different than when we were Trophy Wives, we still have the same, crazy, high-energy live show that we had become known for.  Before we had a very specific sound, but with the name change, and the new record, we like to think that we have a little something for everybody.  If you weren’t a fan of one of our songs, or our first single, give the rest of the record a chance, because there are a lot of surprises.

While everyone knows signing to a label is a big deal and can help artists out tremendously, what made you guys want to sign with Rise Records instead of remaining independent and potentially doing things yourself? Also, how did the initial deal with Rise come to fruition?

Well, the whole Rise deal came to fruition thanks to Feldy.  We spent a month at his studio last year and he introduced us to a bunch of managers and A&R reps from different labels.  After meeting Jon Cohen, the owner of BMG, Rise seemed like a great place for us because they understand what we’re trying to do and allowed us the freedom to do what we wanted.  For us, signing was a no-brainer because it puts you in this realm with all these other bands that we wouldn’t be able to reach on our own.  Not only that, but signing helps you gain exposure, and that’s what we really need as a new band with the name change.

MAKEOUT – Ride It Out (Official Music Video)

Purchase “The Good Life” here: FOLLOW MAKEOUT Break with you When we’re close there is no way to lose. Just a second I can listen through, Hear the truth. Dance with you Change the rhythm in the way we move.

Keeping on track with the signing, a lot of people in the comments are accepting and loving your debut single “Crazy” (ourselves included). However, there are those few people who are asking Rise Records questions like “who uploaded this pop on the channel?  c’mon, guyz!” & “#tbt to when this band was called Trophy Wives and they made easycore music”. While Trophy Wives had a different sound, what would you personally sell yourself as?

We’d like to sell ourselves as just a rock band.  Between the four of us, we have a lot of different influences, from Metal to Pop to Hip Hop, and you can hear all of those influences in our sound.  We like to think that “The Good Life” is a Rock record that includes some Pop-Punk songs and Pop Songs, but overall it’s just a good, old-fashioned Rock record.

Expanding on “Crazy” a bit more, it does have a slight pop punkish feel to it in comparison with material that fell under the Trophy Wives banner. Most band’s release a first single as a showcase or representation of what the band is about and how they sound. Do you believe “Crazy” is the perfect representation to show off Makeout and what The Good Life is all about or is it simply a piece to the whole puzzle?

This is kind of a cop-out of an answer, but “Crazy” is both. “Crazy” is the most experimental track on the record.  With all the samples in the verses and the adlibbed bridge, so there’s not really another track another track on the album that sounds anything like it.  However, “Crazy” does do a good job of showing off our personality as a band and you can expect the same type of high-energy hooks on the rest of the record.  We just wanted to make a record that would be fun to play, and “Crazy” and it’s music video, does a good job of showing this off.

Nearly every musician writes about subjects that they feel strongly about, whether it’s telling a story about something that happened to them personally or just singing about things to try and relate to other people. Could you tell us a little about the writing process you went through for “Crazy” and what the song is all about?

Well we had a little help from Travis Barker and Lil Aaron on this track and it’s really just about dealing with a poisonous relationship and not being able to quit it.  We’ve all been in that situation before and it was something that we felt a lot of other people could relate to as well.  It’s not just about a girl either, it can really go both ways, male or female!

When an artist or band announces a new album one of the first things some people (us included) do is try to piece the whole package together, from tracklisting to artwork. For The Good Life, the artwork is represented by a notebook that is littered with varied imagery that seems to correlate to someone’s days in highschool. What’s the influence behind the album art and does it tie in with the overall theme of the album?  

Well the first track on the record, “Childish” is about wanting to go back to that feeling you had when you were a child, the feeling of innocence and lack of responsibility, and a lot of our songs kind of tread on the subject of dealing with life.  When we came up with the idea for the album art, we kind of wanted it to represent a journal full of stories and lessons, that when combined, will help you get to this “Good Life” that we all strive to live.  This album represents our first steps into what we feel is our personal vision of “The Good Life”, and it’s a culmination of lessons we had to learn to get where we are today.

MAKEOUT – Crazy (Official Music Video)

Purchase “The Good Life” here: FOLLOW MAKEOUT I hate how much you love acting crazy Tell everyone we’re dating, then break up with me daily I hate how much you love acting crazy (Crazy) I hate how much you love acting crazy You’ll be out all night then ya sleep all day Gettin’ way too high, but I’m fuckin’ with it anyway Maxin’ out my cards when I just got paid Went and crashed my car, It’s the same shit just a different day!

Coming in at twelve tracks, The Good Life appears to defy the norm as many albums tend to log in at a standard 10 track affair filled with interludes. What drove the decision to make a slightly longer album and were there any tracks left on the cutting room floor that you felt could’ve been on the album?

We ended up writing and recording 18 songs total for the record and it was realllyyyyyy hard to narrow that down.  The decision to include 12 tracks was mostly because we didn’t want to get rid of any!  That and it’s been so long since we’ve released anything as a band, that we really wanted to provide a lot of content for people who have stuck it out with us over the last few years.  We wouldn’t be where we are today without any of them!  I would have loved to include the rest of the songs, but an 18-song album just isn’t realistic haha.

From a writing perspective, bands tend to fall into two camps; a struggle with writing and coming up with ideas for a full, cohesive album or that it was extremely easy and came naturally. Where do you feel you fell while creating The Good Life and were there any moments that stand out explicitly?

For us, it was definitely an easy process, and a lot of that was because of Feldy.  The man is an idea MACHINE!  We went into the studio with 30-something demos and only 3 of those made it to the final record.  The rest of the songs were made from scratch while we were there.  Admittedly, we had some help from people like Travis Barker and Lil Aaron, like I mentioned before, but also from Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, and Mitchy Collins.  When you have such a brilliant group of people brain-storming on song ideas, it definitely makes the process go smoother!

Since March, you guys have been tearing it up with some huge gigs, including support for Blink-182 and The Naked and Famous as well as playing Slam Dunk Festival. What’s been your favorite moment thus far and are there any more touring plans people need to be keeping an eye out for in the near future?

I think for me, my favorite moment so far was that first Blink 182 show.  It was our first show under the new name, Makeout, and it was also the biggest show we’ve ever played! It was at Austin 360 Amphitheater, which is this huge 13,000 or 14,000-person, outdoor amphitheater in Austin, TX and they had us up on big TV screens while we performed.  The stage was huge and the sound was even bigger.  It was our first time experiencing anything like that and it was unreal.  As far as future touring though, we don’t have any set plans, but be on the lookout for us in the fall, around the release of our album!

Before we wrap this up, we like to let the artists speak their mind freely, so this is your open floor to say anything you’d like to people who read this. Also, thanks for taking the time out of your day to do this with us!

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for taking the time to read this!  Be on the lookout for much more from us in the near future, we have a couple surprises up our sleeves still!  Hope to see you and meet you at our next show!

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