Here at The Lowdown, we love introducing our readers to new, up-and-coming talent that we highly recommend checking out. In this article, we introduce you to Bristol-based indie band Make Friends, who have recently released their fantastic new EP, titled 'Is This Real,' a five-track original collection that the band have been working on over a prolonged period of time.
Words & Interview: Rachel Dempster.
Their new EP sees the band embark on a continued fresh and energetic vibe that they have become renowned for over the past couple of years. With an ambitious sensibility, euphoric hooks and shimmering aesthetics, Make Friends are certainly making a great name for themselves on the music scene! The talented quartet are currently embarking on a headline tour around the UK throughout this month.
"Our new EP is a culmination of songs written during the tumultuous period of the last year and a half or so. The title 'Is This Real' is a statement that reflects the frantic and surreal nature of recent events that have become the norm in our day-to-day lives. These songs present a change in our thoughts and feelings, and the mental challenges we've experienced."
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Make Friends about their new EP, who they derive musical inspiration from, their plans for 2022 and more. Keep reading to check out what they had to say!
Please introduce yourselves to readers of The Lowdown.
"Make Friends are a four-piece indie/alternative rock band from Bristol. Our music is inspired by modern indie rock, but we don't shy away from our more classic influences too. We combine these influences to make a fresh, dynamic and exciting sound that also hearkens back to the roots of great British indie/alternative rock."
You have recently released your new EP. Were you looking forward to getting new music out into the world?
"We are absolutely buzzing to release our new EP! This is our first EP since our debut 'Hi' back in 2019. While we've enjoyed releasing singles since then, there's just something about releasing a body of work that feels like a huge accomplishment. We also think every track on this EP is so strong! We couldn't wait for people to experience it all in one go."
For anyone who hasn't heard the EP yet, can you sum it up in a couple of words?
"Our experiences of dealing with lockdown and isolation, told through lyrics and music!"
Going back to your roots, how was Make Friends formed?
"We met back at university in Bath a few years ago playing in different bands. When we graduated, the four of us moved to Bristol and started Make Friends, after we had grown close as mates and bonded over a love of the same music and performing live."
Who would you say are your musical influences?
"As a four-piece, we are massively inspired by bands like The Cure and Joy Division for their guitar tones, The Police and Talking Heads for their rhythm section, and more modern bands, such as Everything Everything, JAWS and Bombay Bicycle Club for their song-writing and their huge live sounds. Our music is essentially a melting pot of all these influences!"
Touching on the EP again, was it a lengthy process to come together, right from the initial writing stages up until the release?
"We started writing the first songs on this EP back in March 2020, and the final tweaks to mixing/mastering were made in July 2021, so it's been a fairly lengthy process from beginning to end, but absolutely worth it for the result!"
Do you have a stand-out memory from putting the EP together?
"Honestly, the days we spent recording the EP back in March this year were all amazing! At this point, we were towards the end of another lockdown. Two of our shows we had planned got cancelled due to COVID, so being back in a room working and bouncing ideas off each other again felt magical. The 'pizza night' was pretty great too!"
2021 is inevitably ending on a high for you guys as a band, but have you got any plans for 2022 that you can tell us about?
"While we can't say anything about our live plans yet, our plan for early 2022 is to get back in the studio with some new music. You have to keep the ball rolling with new tunes - we've got some exciting ones lined up!"
Is there anything in particular that you would most like to achieve?
"We want to release new music and play lots more shows, but we also want to do something a bit different. We're looking into putting some new material out that's different to what we've done before, but we're afraid we can't say anything more about that right now!"
Finally, do you have a message for all those who support you?
"Thank you so much to everyone who's ever supported us. We honestly can't ever say enough how much we appreciate it. To anyone who's coming to see us on tour, we‘ve been working hard on our new live set and you're in for a treat. We're also grateful to anyone who's ever done as much as listen to a couple of songs!"
'Is This Real' is out now.
The Lowdown is an online blog & print entertainment platform for music discovery featuring the very best in both established and upcoming talent. Find the latest news, reviews, interviews with your favourite artists and grab tickets to upcoming gigs & tours.