INTERVIEW: Sam Boxold of Makeout chats Warped Tour, the writing process and what’s to come!
Warped Tour has a band for everybody. And a band that may be perfect for someone, you may detest. But that’s the joy of Warped Tour. If you don’t like something, find something that you do like. It’s a chance for you to possibly find your new favorite band that hooks you after one song. One band that has been experiencing a lot of success because of fans taking a chance is the next band we interviewed, Makeout. The band was also one of the bands that day that we made a solid effort to catch what we could of the set. When there’s around 55 bands playing each date of the tour, it’s a hard feat to see all the bands you interview every day but Makeout was one we couldn’t miss!
Makeout has had a pretty wild journey so far. With their debut album ‘Good Life’ only dropping last year, the band has been touring steadily and winning over the masses. With their earliest single, ‘Secrets’, tripping up people who stopped listening to the band after that song, there are some who got past that first single. And those people? The ones who truly fell for the band. In talking to lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Sam Boxold, I got an inside look into the writing process and how the band views the album as a human journey .While the band wrote some of the songs years ago, they also got some help working with John Feldmann as well as Ashton Irwin and Calum Hood of 5 Seconds of Summer (who our main photog shot photos of last night find those here! ) who cowrote ‘Ride it Out’ with the band.
Keep your eyes peeled for the band over these next few months and check out our interview below, which was my last chat of the day and a sweet note to end off my final year covering the tour!
Makeout has been a band for a pretty crazy year and a half.
Yeah our record came out last September so that was when it really became real for us. That’s when we started touring with stuff. It’s been crazy.
How has it been then, doing this final Warped tour? You did play fairly early today but there were clearly kids that were singing every word. I got to the set right at, “Ride it Out”.
Okay cool so that was like our fourth song.
I think I got there like halfway through the set, I was trying to catch what I could between interview blocks.
Yeah no you have a lot to catch!
But yeah the kids were really into it, they were singing the words. How was today, how have the shows been so far for Makeout?
So last time we were in Connecticut, it was no where near that and you would have seen it today. We do a little part where we ask who’s seen us before and there will maybe one row of people who have heard of us before. But Warped Tour brings those people out because there is so much more that they want to see. Those people wouldn’t go to a regular show and so Warped Tour has been really crazy for that, because that’s the same reaction that we’ve had every day. That people are coming and just checking us out because Warped Tour’s here and they love Warped Tour. Then we get that love kind of shared with us and you can’t get that anywhere else. It’s cool!
It’s good to see! Then ‘Good Life’, like you said, has only been out since like fall of last year.
Yeah, September 29th!
But you’ve been so steadily touring, you guys have been keeping so busy.
For the most part, yeah!
For the most part, with little breaks in between. But considering how new the band is, are you even considering writing new music or are you still riding the wave of ‘Good Life?’
One thing we have is that we have a lot of B side tracks that we ended up recording for our last record, there just wasn’t room. So we ended up having to pick favorites but we didn’t really succeed at picking favorites. We still play them all the time, like on the bus and stuff, we’re just always talking about them and what we want to do next. But there’s also always new material being written. So I would expect something by at least the spring next year. Well, to start seeing things come out. Know what I mean?
No exactly, I interviewed Andy of Crown the Empire today but I also interviewed him in February when they were out with Asking Alexandria and it was the first day of them writing for the new album. And he was like, ‘I can’t remember did I tell you it was going to be 2018 because it’s not going to be.’ I think you’re always so excited to work on a new record so you’re like I want it out right away but that’s not how it happens.
The process is usually really long. For our last record, we wrote it like a year and a half for the most part before anybody even knew it existed. And it was just a super long process for years before that. Some of the songs that you hear from that album are just super old. Like ‘Salt Lake City’, I wrote probably three years ago now. So yeah it’s crazy. It’s a long process. That’s the way it should be I feel because then you get better content for people. It’s cool. You work hard on it, it shows.
Then for the writing process, like you said, some of the songs are much older but you worked with John Feldmann on the first record so I’m sure he was able to help the band kind of mold the songs together.
He really helped create more of a focus point. Kind of what intrigued him about us, because we got connected with him kind of through Warped Tour, the Ernie Ball tent, people say us play and we got to do the Battle of the Bands at the end of the year. We didn’t win or anything but he just liked our band. Started a conversation. He brought us to his house, started getting us to think about things and over the years of just being in contact with him, we sent him maybe 30, 40 demos or something like that. And he would just brush it off, brush it off and then when we sent him ‘Salt Lake City’, he was like ‘ooh…what is this?’ And from that moment, he wanted to bring us out to his house and was like let’s do a record. So the whole thing was is that he really liked that we were starting to find a focus point and then when we finally got to him, it was just even further of a focus point. Let’s really nail this, find what you guys can do best. We spent a whole month at his house just really trying to get the record right and then we even came back a few months later when we did ‘Crazy’, ‘ You Can’t Blame Me’ and ‘Secrets’. I feel like that that just made the whole record feel human and he was really good at finding energy. Creating a imprint that’s it’s own thing and can save people. Really good lyrics for people that are in hard times. I was just super about it because that’s what I always look for in music. It’s cool to be on the other end.
And it seems like it’s been working out really well. I know there is a little craziness for people that have only heard ‘Secrets’.
And were super mad about it.
But after you get past it, and listen to the rest of the music you guys make, you realize there’s more to the music.
Yeah in full context, you see that there’s a human journey. There’s ups and downs, there are hardships and there are always times where I can be sweet. But I’m also a person.
I think when you watch the video, you can see that.
Yeah and people understand where I’m coming from. Whether they’re a guy or a girl, there are so many people that are like this song helped me so much to get over my last breakup. It made me feel like it wasn’t important anymore and I can just move on. And that’s what it’s there for. It’s so people can let go of those things. Not so they can hold onto a song and be upset. So I at least like seeing that reaction from people. It’s positive and it just keeps things moving, it’s cool.
If people take the chance and listen to it.
The right people, when it’s for them, it’s really for them. It helps, I like that. A lot.
Then like you said, you still have well over half the Warped Tour to go. You’re almost there!
Almost half way!
I know you have a very, very long stretch that you are on until you have a day off so I’m sure that’s super fun. The band is still so new, maybe some hopes or focuses for these months after Warped Tour?
So right now, we are working on a music video for a song called ‘Open Minded’, and part of what we’re doing for that is that we’re making it so that the fans can send us videos. Where they’re talking about ways that our music has helped them and they’re singing parts and stuff. We want it to be a way that they can express themselves and everybody can be involved. And we kind of want to bring the fans into what we’re doing a lot over these next few months. Especially after Warped Tour.