Chicago-based up and comers Makena (FFO: Slaves, Mayday Parade, Emarosa) have recently revealed their new single, “Methane”. The guys were kind enough to answer a couple of questions linked to this new release, as well as the way they’ve handled the management of their band during a worldwide pandemic. Check out the full interview below!
Hello Makena, thanks for your time. Would it please be possible for you to introduce your band to our readers as well as your roles?
S: Steven, Bass.
J: Joey, Drums.
A: Andrei, Guitar.
R: Hi , this is Richard and I play the guitar.
D: I’m Dominic and I sing.
With a worldwide pandemic going on, how have you handled the management of your band over the past few months?
R: It’s been very tough. And I think even that is an understatement. It’s certainly been a challenge to manage this band with everything going on in our lives, but somehow, we’re managing and getting through it, dealing with things as they come and moving forward with it. Keeping occupied on the next task in front of us has been a detrimental part of keeping this ship afloat with the absence of shows due to Covid.
D: I think the recording experience was pretty crazy because we started recording Methane in addition to another song that is going to be on the record and then the shutdown happened. So, for the first few months of quarantine, we didn’t do much of anything as much as it sucks to say. Then we began recording the rest of the record when things in IL began to open up a bit more and we could take the proper precautions. But between those two points, we were able to really fine tune the songs for this record and bring the very best out of each track.
A: To add to that, if it wasn’t for the shutdown, we wouldn’t have had a 6th song for the EP. So that was one kind of benefit to it. But besides that, everything that we had planned for the year got pushed back.
You’ve recently announced your signing with Famined Records. How’s the collaboration going so far?
S: So far, awesome!
R: I think it’s going great. We seem to work really well together. There is really good communication from both ends that’s allowing us to be successful so far.
D: I think we’re learning a lot and I think that Famined is being very good to us and treating us well so we’re very happy to be collaborating with them for this release.
S: Yeah, we really enjoy our time with them.
You’ve also released your new single, “Methane”, along with a music video. What’s the story behind this song?
A: I was watching a documentary on the deep see and there were methane wells on the bottom of the ocean.
A cont: and I had riff in my head and I went into my room and started recording it… and that’s my story (laughs).
D: So, it’s just about a failed relationship after you’ve done all you could for them and sometimes it just doesn’t shake out the way you want it to. It comes from real life experiences from the band members. I’m sure we’ve all felt that way at one time or another. You just gotta move on and keep doing your own thing. We just put that feeling into music.
How was the shooting experience? Any funny stories to share with our readers?
R: The shoot experience was very positive. We worked with Arnley Sena and he was amazing at guiding us and taking us one piece at a time, and because of his directing skills, we ended up with a really really good video.
A: It was really cool to shoot in an empty house that someone was moving out of down the street from where we were filming (laughs).
D: So we crashed at Steven’s house (Bass) the night before the shoot since we were just gonna film there anyway the next morning. The next morning, Steven’s dad let us know that there was an empty house like 2 doors down from us that didn’t have an open house scheduled for a few hours and that we may be able to use it to film. He called the realtor, who then got in contact with the homeowner, and she graciously let us film a few solo shots of the band members in her home. He worked us hard though haha, we were all hurting the next morning. Definitely worth it once we saw the final draft of the video!
I’m sure you are, like a lot of people, missing live shows. Do you already have some dates planned for the end of the year or 2021?
A: We have no dates planned as of now. We want to put safety above everything else and we want to provide a safe environment for fans to enjoy our music without fear of catching this virus. As much as we miss it and want to return to everyday life we need to stop this pandemic first before we get back to that.
Out of all the live shows you’ve ever played, has there been one that has stood out to you? If yes, which one and why?
A: The one that always sticks out for me was our EP release show back in January 2019 at Snuz Fest at Schubas. The crowd was huge and with our EP being out for only 2 weeks at that point, it seemed like everyone already knew the words. Plus, there were a bunch of talented bands on the bill that were friends with. And the last one we played at Bottom Lounge.
R: The El Famous release show at Bottom Lounge for sure. High energy throughout the entire night, stacked lineup and we played one of our tightest sets that night. I even got a little emotional that night. I personally wanted to be part of something big like a release show with them since I heard about them and to be direct support really meant a lot.
D: I think we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the impromptu Wendy’s set that we had while we were on tour. Definitely our most bizarre. But out of our actual booked shows, I’d have to agree with Andrei and RIchard. It’s a tie for me.
S: The Wendy’s thing, Snuz Fest, and the show we played in Charlotte NC at the Skylark Social Club. Everyone had great energy and all the bands just gave off good vibes and had great sets. Just the community of the NC scene was really cool and embraced us like we’d played there regularly. Andrei wasn’t feeling too good during that set (laughs).
If you had to create a 5-song playlist that best represents your band, what songs would you choose and why?
D: It’s tough to judge based on what’s out right now. If we’re talking about songs that we wrote I think we can all agree on Apathy, Better Days and Methane. If we had to choose songs that weren’t written by us to represent our band, I think Cloud 9 by Emarosa is a good place to start.
R: I think ‘I AM’ by Hands Like Houses captures us pretty well too.
A: Momentary by Hands Like Houses.
S: Definitely something by Dance Gavin Dance haha, like Inspire the Liars, or Silver Tongues by I the Mighty.
R: Ocean of Another by Counterparts.
The last words are for you. If you have a message to convey or any other project in the making, here’s your chance to talk about it!
R: One thing that I wanna-
R: haha we open up a lot on this EP and we touch on some very dark topics. Being aware of mental illness, reaching out for help, talking about it. it’s one song specifically that talks about that I’m very excited about.
D: We want to thank everyone for the support they’ve shown us over these past few years. Those of you out there who have supported us from the beginning are the reason we’re standing here today so your support genuinely means more than you’ll ever know. we want people to be safe, be healthy, be kind to one another and uhhhh wear a mask.
A: Please for the love of god, wear a fucking mask.
D: I’m begging ya please wear a fucking mask and just take care of each other. be kind to one another. it’s not that hard I promise.
Makena: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. We really appreciate your questions and wish you happiness and health!
Thanks for your time!