While it’ d be easy enough to play it safe and fall in line with the rest of the world of indie music, eager to follow the trend of predictable melodies and kitschy lyrics, Make Me emerges as a group willing to go much further than that. Falling somewhere in between the finer elements of indie-rock, post-hardcore, and riot grrrl, what they put across is a sound much larger than their seemingly tight knit unit, doing it all with an energy large enough to fill a room three times the size you’re reading this in. So what exactly does that all mean? For starters it means you need to go out and listen to their music this minute, and then once you’re done with that ask yourself why it took so damn long to finally do it.
A lot of bands have interesting back histories, but I know Wes had a pretty unique experience joining the group, anybody care to share that story?
Claire: We had just finished our third song at the Knockout when our drummer, Jesse, jumped out of the drum seat and ran out the front door. We kept playing for maybe a minute and when he didn’t come back Jeremy ran out to see where he went, he came back with no Jesse and no idea where he had gone. So we asked the crowd if there were any drummers. Lo and behold Wes climbs on stage, Zola gives him a basic drum beat for the next song.
Wes: I played a couple of songs that I’ve never heard before off-the-cuff. I almost felt as if I was back in high school band and doing some sort of sight reading contest.
Even before House Of Brakes came out you guys would still open shows with “Black Ants.” Was that one of those songs that you played and just ended up on the record?
Jeremy: We try to be pretty conscious of our set length and order. We tried starting the set with a few different songs, build-ups, jams, and there was something really clean and energizing about that song. Just four hi-hats and Bam!; the audience is with us. It buys us a lot of credibility early on that we then punish the audience for giving us for the rest of the set.
Claire: It also ended up being one of my favorite songs that we play too.
I noticed a definite progression from your first album, It Only Hurts The First Time, to this one. Are slower songs like “Youth Without Youth” a direction you’re looking to head towards?
Jeremy: Yeah, I think we’d like to just expand into everything. Slower songs, faster songs. That’s a good one in particular because we kind of just blazed it onto the record. It was kinda kicking around for a while with some other songs and we decided to just do it. It turned out different than we expected, but surprising, and interesting.
I’m just curious, was the song ru486 at all a reference to the East Bay band RU36?
Jeremy: I’ve never heard them but I’ve seen the sticker though. Ru486 is kind of about the rise and fall of a fucked up drunken night, and the effect and feeling of it from two sides. Ru486 is inspired by a Cursive song call A Gentleman Caller. Also, our ru486 it is sort of a combination of two songs, and that seemed to work well. Plus, ru486 is the prescription for the morning after pill. It’s just referencing the things you do that you can’t take back, the things you do that you know are wrong but do anyway.
What’s the story behind the “Whatever You Like” Cover? When? Why?
Claire: Jeremy had this idea and we all went along with it, well because it included Ranon. Make Me has love for Ranon.
Jeremy: For WYL I just thought the song was so perfect in so many ways, just a perfect pop song, and it had very few instrumental elements. Ranon’s a great friend of mine and is a fucking superstar and just needs a spotlight on him, I’ll introduce you two sometime and you’ll get it. He’s Bay-famous. I just envisioned him doing it with us and it happened.
Interview by Sean Logic
Photography by Matt Polito