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MAKER break down their new EP, discuss touring

MAKER‘s Mickey Lebiedz was so kind to answer our questions about  their new self-titled EP coming out November 13th. You can pre order the new album from Engineer Records digitally and in the UK, in the US through Asbestos Records and on vinyl via Black Numbers.

The Massachusetts indie/punk band will be touring with MAJOR LEAGUE (No Sleep Records) and TURNOVER (Run For Cover Records) from November 16th to December 23rd. Touring, as always, has been one of our favorite subjects, therefore you’ll definitely find in in the chat below. Check out this sweet update from MAKER and don’t forget to grab the new EP!

Hello, guys. Good to have you here. I guess you’re a bit busy preparing for the big day of the record release. How is everything going so far? [smiles]

Hey Karol thanks for your time! We have been insanely busy getting things in order for the November 13 release of our newest self titled EP “Maker.” We have 5 new songs freshly recorded at Zing Recording Studio in Westfield MA, produced, mixed and mastered by Jim Fogarty and Eric Arena. We just got back from the UK so we only have a couple weeks of time at home to prepare everything for the release before we hit the road again for 5 weeks up till Christmas with MAJOR LEAGUE and TURNOVER. It has been a lot of work but everything is falling into place nicely.

Sounds busy [smiles]. Tell us more about the decision to release these songs as an extended play, not a full length.

Well, when we originally demoed these songs out, we really were not sure how we were going to release them. We did realize this batch of songs was certainly different from all our previous material. We had 6 songs prior to hitting the studio, and decided that it would be cool to pick the strongest 5, take them into the studio, and see what comes of them. For awhile, we did debate saving them for a full length, but decided it would be better to put out an EP to let people get a feel for the newer sound, and casually introduce the new sounds and ideas of Maker. We are all really happy with how this EP came out and represents our band, so were excited for people hear it.

Yeah, and we are excited to finally have it [smiles].

Tell us about the artwork for the EP. Are you a matryoshka collector? [laughs]

While we were in the studio, the artwork topic came up and we all pretty much agreed we wanted something hand drawn, preferably by someone we knew. One day our friend, Dan Hutton, was hanging out at the studio and threw this idea together. The matryoshka doll is a cool metaphor to the band so it just sort of made sense. Most importantly its art, that’s what we were looking for.

Cool. What channels of distribution are you using this time? Why did you parted ways with 6131 Records? Tell us about your cooperation with Asbestos Records, Black Numbers and Engineer Records. What about the rest of the world? [smiles]

We wanted to spread the distro out for this release to coincide with overseas touring. Engineer from the UK is releasing it psychically and digitally. Basically, for the situation we were in, they were able to help us out the most, so it made the most sense to do it. So with them doing UK, we decided to have Asbestos handle distribution for the US, putting it in select stores around new England. Last but not least, our new friend Phil from Black Numbers will handle the Vinyl, worldwide. There will be 3 different colors of vinyl and well as a package that included a test press. We are also working on a Japan release as well. As for 6131 records, the original plan was to just do the one release with them. Were very grateful for all the help Joey has been able to give us but we just wanted to try something new this time around.

Cool. I’m very glad that loads of artists representing genres that I love still continue to release their albums on vinyl records. What does vinyl mean to you?

I could write a book on what vinyl means to me [laughs], I will try and sum it up though. In a world where physical CD sales are almost unheard of, it’s so good for music, to have artists releasing vinyl editions of their work. When I was a kid I remember the excitement I got from opening a new CD fresh from the store and checking out all the artwork and everything inside. Well I don’t think that even happens anymore. Right now, vinyl records are the only thing keeping that excitement alive. To be honest, we sell more vinyls than cd’s at shows in the US. Their collectors items. Even if they are not limited, they are still highly collectable. I started my vinyl collection young, snagging all the popular records my dad had such as THE BEATLES, THE EAGLES, JIMI HENDRIX, LED ZEPPELIN, etc. from his stash. I still didn’t appreciate them though until i started going to shows and touring and seeing how many bands still put out records. Now i have an awesome collection of all my friends bands, and all the classic rock records my dad had. Even if you don’t have a record player, take a vinyl home and see how you feel about it. You won’t regret it.

Yeah, same here, man.

Ok, but going back to your newest release, it’s nice to hear how you had progressed since “Mirrors”. How do you see it from your perspective? How has your music tastes changed over the time?

It’s actually pretty crazy to think about. I would like to reflect on our mind set during the writing and recording of “Mirrors”, but time flies to quick [laughs]. To me, some parts feel like yesterday, some feel like years ago. There has just been so much that has happened in life in general, in the short period of time. I personally, went from being 19 and a half then, to just turned 21 now (I’m the youngest). I would hate to give a cliche answer, but I really do feel that our music has grown with us. Over the past 5 years of our band, we’ve all grown and seen so many real life situations, that it would makes sense to see it come back out of us through our music.

As for music taste, it pretty much goes the same way. We’re just growing up. Everyday i notice myself becoming less biased towards a style of music that I normally wouldn’t be into or care for. Being a musician, you realize and learn to appreciate where the music comes from. It definitely does not happen overnight though. Touring helps with that a lot. You just get to see so many different types of people, approaching “music” from their own real life perspectives. When your a kid, its cool to be stick to your circle of bands you think are cool. But the sooner you open your eyes to the rest of the world, the broader your horizons will be. The sooner you break the circle you are in, the happier you will be.

Cool. So you’re not surprised when you see so much diversity in my tag cloud on Idioteq? [smiles] Sometimes people diss me for it, to be honest. DRI along with SAETIA? SUCH GOLD and TESTAMENT? RADIOHEAD, ENVY, HAVE HEART and WU-TANG?! [laughs]

Alright, by let’s move on with what’s up in MAKER’s universe this year. You’re hitting the road with MAJOR LEAGUE (No Sleep Records) and TURNOVER (Run For Cover Records) next month. What are you most looking forward to? Any special cities, venues you’re about to play?

This will definitely be a really fun tour. We met TURNOVER about a year and a half ago, i think in Long Island both on tour, and have been talking about wanting to dates together since, so it’s cool that it it worked out for a full US tour. I believe the tour actually kicks off in Long Island, which are always the best shows. Then we go down to Florida, where we actually haven’t been since January 2011, so it will be cool to have a few days there, especially this time of year. Lubbock and El Paso always treat us well. We have a Vegas date that I’m excited about. Last time we went i wasn’t 21 yet. The Cali shows look solid, as well as the whole stretch back. I’ve been hearing from a lot friends all over that are excited for the shows and to hang. We’re definitely going to be seeing a lot of familiar faces so that’s always good to look forward. 

How are you travelling? Do you have a private jet? [laughs]

We’ve been crusin in a chevy conversion van for the past 2 or 3 years and it has been a pretty comfy home on the road. We built a loft in the back so we have plenty of sleep space as well as room for all our stuff underneath. There is a TV with AV jacks, so we’ve brought the N64 a couple times. We also used to have shades on the windows. That was really nice, but they have been dismantled over time. They can become easy targets in heated situations [laughs]. That van has definitely taken a toll for us and we are lucky to have it. Although a jet would be nice too.

You bet [smiles]. Ok, so what have been one of your favorite shows you’ve gone by that van so far?

During September of last year (2011) we played in Sherman, TX while on tour with A LOSS FOR WORDS, CRUEL HAND, and THE GREENERY. It was easily one of the best shows of the tour, and ended with drunk trust falls off the roof of our van in the parking lot. I know there’s a few cell phone videos of it but I don’t think any are on the internet. We’ve taken our van to Canada as well. Last April we were in Toronto with STATE CHAMPS and UNDESIRABLE PEOPLE, I believe at Sneeky Dee’s? and after our show, the venue turned into a dance/club/party kind of thing. The promoter had a crazy amount of drink tickets for the us the whole night, so things definitely got a little wild. We actually lost a window of our van that night. But through the best of times, and through the worst of times, old vanny always comes through. I don’t know where we would be without it.

 What have you learned from your American tour mates? [smiles]

Where/where not to eat, where/where not to sleep, where/where not to shit, where to get wifi, what bands to check out, lots of funny jokes, things like that. It’s always cool touring with bands that have been around longer because they usually have a couple more tricks up their sleeves that their willing to pass along to us. Either way, every tour you come home a different person, usually for the better, just from the experience’s.

Ok, guys. Any plans to finally hit the mainland Europe?

Can’t quite reveal right now, but we will be there in 2013.

How do you like the new TITLE FIGHT album? [smiles]

To be honest i just got it a week or two ago, so I haven’t really had the chance to give it a full listen. I definitely dig where their taking their sound though. It’s cool to see them stretching their limits, especially because of their position in the scene their in. Specifically from touring, I’ve definitely seen a lot of younger TITLE FIGHT influenced bands, so I’m glad that they are going about things the way they are. One of MAKER’s first shows was with TITLE FIGHT back in 2007/08, and before they were anywhere near as popular as they are now, you could see their potential. It was pretty similar with TRANSIT and SUCH GOLD as well. It’s really cool having been able to witness our friends bands grow from the ground up to where they are now.

Great, thank you! Let’s finish with a piece of hot exclusive news you want to share with us [laughs]. Feel free to add anything you want. Thanks!

We are going to Canada again in the spring, but that’s all i can say for now. I’m sure we will get to announce something about that sooner than later though. I guess I might as well take the chance to shout out some bands from our area to check out: RECEIVERS, WESTOVER, THE STEREO STATE, PSYCHIC BLOOD, AVELY, REVENGE. Also check out the new CRUEL HAND songs.

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