Latest release: End Measured Mile (3Wise)
Boston post-hardcore unit Make Do and Mend have had a pretty sharp ride upwards since forming in Connecticut five years ago. Two well-received EPs and a split release with good buddies Touché Amoré were followed up last year by their debut album, about to be given release in Australia by new label 3Wise. Originally part of the Soundwave Revolution line-up, the band has, since this interview was done, just been added to Counter Revolution. Loud caught up with drummer Matt Carroll who gave us his thoughts on post-hardcore and explained this “Wave” business.
Q: First of all, commisserations for not being able to play our Soundwave Revolution festival anymore.
A: Yeah. It’s definitely a bummer. It wasn’t the best news to get, but hopefully we’re still gonna be able to come down during the time period.
Q: So you do have plans to still come down, or are you waiting to hear if it’s going ahead?
A: We definitely still have the intention. It is just a matter of figuring out what’s the logical thing. I know that Soundwave is obviously getting all their ducks in a row and figuring out what they want to do, obivously it was a hard decision for them to make to cancel the tour. They’ve been giving the bands options whether they still want to come over at the time, so we’re kind of just waiting by to see what they to do, and what we can do. We’d really really like to come over and tour at the time, just because we’re gonna be so busy for the rest of the year. So we’ll see. If it’s right, we’ll come, if it’s not, we’ll definitely make it over as soon as we possibly can.
Q: It would be timely if you did, because your album is about to be released here on 3Wise Records. I believe it’s been out for a while everywhere else.
A: Totally… it’s an awesome thing. The record has been out since October in the States and we’ve just released it through Europe and now we’re releasing it in Australia. We’re stoked. The kids are really stoked on it in America and it’s nice for them for it to be readily available and for them to be able to buy it. And for kids who like the band and kids who want to check the band out, in different countries and different continents to not have to pay wild shipping prices. So being able to release the record in Australia through 3Wise has been a dream come true for us, because we want kids in Australia to hear our music and we want to tour. Because from what we hear, you live in a beautiful continent. And for kids to be able to get it from a local record company makes us very happy.
Q: And it must make a difference having the album out so kids can actually buy it and help fund things like tours, rather than being forced to steal it because it’s not available.
A: More than just being able to fund the tour, the music industry is really in a weird place where bands really aren’t making a ton of money off record sales. More than being able to make money off of the record sales, having kids getting our music and coming out to our shows when we play there, is the most important thing to us. Having our record readily available to kids. And downloading, from here on out, will unfortunately always be a problem, so you just have to deal with it and do the best you can to be able to stay being a band and, at the same time, let kids have your music.
Q: You guys are one of those bands that gets called post-hardcore, which to me just sounds like one of those terms people use when they can’t think of a name for something. What do you think of it about that, because all the bands seem so different?
A: [Laughter]. Yeah, I agree with you that the post-hardcore ‘genre’ is a bit of a mixed bag. Bands like Embrace, and Rival Schools, and bands like that, in the 90s, were kind of thrown into the category because they were bands [featuring] like Ian Mackaye and guys like that, who were in hardcore bands in the 80s, and then after that moved on musically and started other rock n roll type bands. And I think that’s where the genre ‘post-hardcore’ came from. And we get often thrown in with that because our musical scape has a wide range a little bit. So people give us the post-hardcore tag. We’re not put off by it. I personally hate genre classifications, because it kinda puts a little bit of a shell on a band. But I get it: when you are referring to a band, and when talking about a band, you have to classify them to tell people about them. So oftentimes we get the post-hardcore tag, which is a little ambiguous, but at the same time it gives people a little bit of an idea of what kind of music we are.
Q: So tell us about The Wave… these are all bands that you have worked and recorded with?
A: It started out as a little bit of a joke, but it’s kind of a group of five bands and we’re all really, really close friends, and it includes Touché Amoré, Defeater, La Dispute, Pianos Become the Teeth and ourselves. We were all sitting around with Jeremy, the singer from Touché Amoré one night, and we got to joking about how much we love each other’s music, and love each other as people as we should make a little group, like you would when you were a little kid, because we love each other so much. And we came up with it, and it was a bit of a joke, but it took off into something a little bit bigger than it was meant to be. But that’s totally fine. It’s just a group of musicians that we really, really respect and it’s our way to show our love for those bands. If someone listens to our band, we want them to listen to those bands
Q: Touché Amoré are about to tour and La Dispute were here earlier this year. Do they tell you what to expect when you get out here?
A: Kind of. We’ve overheard stories from bands who’ve toured Australia, and that’s another reason why we’re looking forward to coming. Because they say it’s the most beautiful continent in the world and it’s just incredible. The kids just love music there and they want to be a part of itl. That’s something we really want to experience. Since I was a young kid, Australia is the one place that I’ve always wanted to go to. So obviously the cancellation of Soundwave was a bit of a blow, but hopefully we’ll still be able to come over. Bands always come home from Australia and say ” This is the best place to tour in the world.” There’s a bit of folklore about Australia, so you guys have got something going on.
Q: So what are y ou listening to yourself at the moment? Is anything revving you up?
A:I’m in a bit of a lull, to be honest with you. For new records, Touché Amoré’s new record is something… a band called Balance and Composure – who I believe are in Australia right now, or will be very soon – just put out a record called Separation, which is incredible. Been listening to a lot of Oasis and The Police. I’ve always been into those bands. The Police is the band I’ve been listening to the most recently. I can’t get enough of them.