The Makings Talks of ALL NEW Content and Playing Again!

Alternative rock band THE MAKINGS have a debut EP out and about, with even newer content coming within the next several months into 2022.The band has also been excited to be playing live again, just getting themselves along with their music back out there!

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Guitarist and lead songwriter Conor McParland and saxophonist Vanessa Humphreys initially played together in a function band who’s audience was mainly in London, with vocalist Abbey May also depping for the same group occasionally. As the three of them all lived in Bristol and were all craving more creative musical outlets, they decided in 2019 to start an originals project closer to home. With Bristol being the well-connected city it is, The Makings later came together with drummer Jackson Jeff, who had met Vanessa at a local jam night in Bedminster, followed by bassist Joe Bradley and trumpeter / trombonist Kiefer Wilton to complete the horn section. With the most recent addition of pianist Athenagoras Alexou, The Makings are now a complete alt-rock outfit, with overtones as diverse as jazz and blues, but rooted in soul and pop.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

We spent a lot of time deliberating over a name. Its difficult to encompass the band’s and all its members’ identity in a name. We came up with The Makings because we want this band to be ‘the making’ of us, and the reason we do what we do is because we love to make music, to be creative. We liked that the name sounds humble – our project, it’s not about us, it’s about the music we make, and the bond we have as a group from making it together, and with our listeners when they hear it.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We’re based in Bristol, and it’s a great city for music – it’s got to be one of the most exciting scenes in England right now. It’s great for reggae and for jazz in particular, but also for cross-genre bands like us. There are so many fantastic bands, Bin Bag Wisdom, Snazz Back, The Crinkle Cuts, Hexcut, The Suspicious Jazz Roll-Ups, The Rin Tins and Mr. Tea and The Minions, Ushti Baba, Mammoth Toe, Mama Jerk and The Ladyfingers, to name a few.

4. How would you describe your style?

An alternative rock band with influences of soul and pop.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

Pre-pandemic, we recorded and released our eponymous debut EP TMKS, consisting of two tracks, and this was the beginning of a trajectory towards a powerful new sound that we somehow managed to refine in between lockdowns. We even managed to release a further two tracks 'Black Water' and 'See Yourself' during Covid, which was a great help to all of us during the darkest days of quarantining. 

If someone were listening to us for the first time, they can expect big, brash sounds with messaging about the hard times we all experience in life.  Our tracks often tell their own unique perspective on the darker times of life, with the uplifting promise that it’s better if we live it together.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

With the pandemic now coming to a close, we have an additional two tracks to be released in Feb and March called ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Backwards’, with a second EP out in April / May time, and a further three tracks out later in 2022.

Heart attack is about the perpetual cycle of stress we experience in day to day life. It’s about how we constantly scroll with an unknown end in mind, an end that always seems to be just out of reach – and this is a distraction to the unnatural pace of modern day life that none of us can seem to keep up with. When we return from our distractions to hundreds of messages to reply to and a multitude of things to sort, it’s that common feeling of panic we wanted to write about. That moment of feeling so overwhelmed, we’re at breaking point. Heart Attack was written during lockdown, during a time when these behaviors were amplified for all of us.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

We’re excited to be out and about gigging again. We’re going to be playing at Small World festival, Farm Fest and Vann Fest as well as some more local nights in Bristol.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

We’re just so happy to be out playing to an audience again. Two years is a long time to be stuck inside without the form of creative expression you're used to. It’s felt so oppressive for a long time, so our plans for the future are to perform our new tracks to as many cities as possible. We’ve worked hard during the pandemic and used the time wisely, and now we’re ready to show everyone what we’ve done.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

All our releases can be found on all the usual platforms, on Spotify, YouTube, AppleMusic etc. You can also visit our website and our social channels to find out about our shows and new material. 

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

We’d love our listeners to get that feeling when you discover a new band that resonates with you. A lot of our songs are about shared or collective experiences and how we as humans can get through them by being honest with ourselves and each other.

We want people to remember our groove and huge horn lines, our singable lyrics, but if they have a memory of dancing with their mates to our tunes, or feeling like their experience was understood for a moment through our lyrics, then we’ve done what we set out to do.

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