INTERVIEW: Made Violent chats “Squeeze” and their ‘re-birth’!

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I broke out of my cabin fever last night to head out to Great Scott to talk to a band that’s made it a minute since they were last in Boston, Made Violent. With their latest EP, “Squeeze”, dropping today, it made it the perfect time to sit down with Justin Acee and Joe White of the band for a laid back chat in the van just minutes after they stepped off the stage. As the perfect partner to tourmates HUNNY, the tour that was only in their second night last night is sure to continue the buzz for both bands. Made Violent opened up the show to a packed room of dancing and rocking through each song of the short but sweet thirty minute set. Find my chat below with Acee and White and look for the band near you soon, tonight they find themselves in Queens, NY!

I spoke with HUNNY as well and I know this run is very fresh, it’s only the second show tonight.
Justin Acee: It’s fucking awesome though.
Maybe how have the shows been going?
JA: Pittsburgh was super fun and Boston tonight was awesome. I actually think that their fans have no idea who we are. The people that know us are there but I think for the most part anyone that’s there for HUNNY has no idea who we are. And I can see the transition from two songs in where it’s like ‘Okay I can vibe to this’. You can tell once the heads start bobbing that it’s all good. And our thing is we’re just reverting back, because for the past couple years, we’ve had to do forty five to hour sets. This is only a half hour so we just want to go back to boom, boom, boom, song, song, song. Just punk rock as fuck. Like that’s all we want to do.
Joe White: And because we only have so many minutes to play. Some of our songs are two minutes long. We could literally play a full headlining set within a half hour I guess.
JA: Yeah but it’s been fun. I think it’s going to be really cool. It’s always nice when you walk in to a venue for the first time. Not knowing the band and everyone in the room is just like, ‘What Up? What’s good?’ and it’s just like instant people being tight.

Then Made Violent has obviously already been around for several years. You have released music not too recently but you have the new EP coming out tomorrow.
JA: “Squeeze” comes out tomorrow, it’s an EP.

How long has it been in the making? When did you first start working on it?
JA: Oh those songs have been around. Two years?
JW: Since October two years ago. Or Summer two years ago we started writing them. Went to L.A., kind of screwed around.
JA: Our label screwed around.
JW: We were with Columbia Records, Sony Entertainment then we mutually dropped each other.
JA: To be honest, it’s funny, the dude that ran the label or the imprint that we were on, he was awesome. He did care about us, he gave us our music back when it all happened. No qualms but fuck the red tape, fuck the people at the top that we never met that made decisions about our life. And that was the shit that was messed up.

Columbia doesn’t seem like the place for you. It’s a lot of pop acts, like Made Violent doesn’t really fit with that.
JA: And I think our label did understand it and our A&R, he ended up going to Atlantic and then everything got weird. Needless to say, after that, the songs have been around for a little bit. We’re just happy that we can finally put them out. So last year was kind of a transition year for us. Just new management, new booking agent, just get back on our feet, work on recording. We have two albums’ worth of music but it’s like let’s just put something out to re-establish the band.
So it’s something where you have all this material kind of ready to go. I’m sure you had to deal with the contracts and all that stuff.
JA: That stuff is finally over. It honestly has just been how do we do it right? Is there a tour? We just need to get this whole thing flowing. It’s having a release. People don’t want to take you out on tour unless you have some sort of release. We were lucky! We put out an EP what three years ago, we got to tour on an EP for three years? We played with White Reaper in Buffalo, they’re fucking awesome, and we’re talking with them and they’re like you guys toured on an EP for three years? It was able to happen because the songs were there. So yeah that’s the long and short of it.

No that’s good! Then considering you have been waiting on these songs for so long, worked on “Squeeze” for so long and it’s finally coming out tomorrow, is it something where you’ve been road-testing new songs that are not on going to be on “Squeeze”?
JA: That’s the thing again, we’ve had two full lengths of songs, like I was telling you before, the forty five minutes or the hour that we’d play, we’d play all of these. It was hard for us to chop down these sets. It’s funny, because some of those songs we’d rather play then songs we have to play tonight just because they’re out there. That’s the kind of struggle. Some of them we’re like, whatever. It’s fun because at least people know them in certain places.
JO: The frustrating thing is having so many good songs that we couldn’t do anything with but there’s still good songs even though they’re what, four something years old? They are new songs because no one has ever heard them.

Speaking of that, you’ve been writing together for so long as Made Violent. Maybe something recently you tried that was really different or maybe something left field? Or do you think it’s fallen into a pretty steady rhythm of how you approach music for your band.
JA: Pittsburgh was fun as hell. We have a good friend from when we toured with Wolf Alice in the states. Their monitor guy, Jeremy, he lives in Pittsburgh so he took us in the other night and we put a song to tape that we’ve been working on for a minute. We were drunk as fuck but we worked on it for a couple hours and we were like wow we really are bad. But no, it was sick to hear something like that. So that was a cool new thing. I think now that we’re free of everything, we’ve just been trying our best to cruise but again like I said, last year was a total rebuild. I think the hardest part is just getting these songs that we’ve wanted out for so long out and then I think we can finally proceed and turn to writing again. They need to come out.

So with “Squeeze” coming out tomorrow, are you going to release that music pretty quickly or do you think you’re going to hold onto that material for a little?
JA: We’ll see! I’m curious to see what happens. It’s totally a second breathe, a re-birth if you will, I guess.
For Made Violent as a band?
JA: For sure! We haven’t put an actual release out and there’s songs that really establish our sound. Joe wrote this awesome song called, “Jealous King”, that’s on there and it’s a slower one.
JO: It’s our first ballad.
JA: It’s a really fucking slow tune. But it’s awesome. It’s really cool. It’s drone-y so we’re excited for people to hear that. That kind of thing. We’re just excited that people can finally hear a new song in an actual release format rather then just singles.
JO: We’ve all played them somewhere along the way.
JA: And that’s the thing!
JO: People might recognize them.
That’s what he’s saying, you’ve been playing all these songs because all your songs are these short ones.
JA: We tour a shit ton.
They just haven’t been physically released.
JA: Yeah, you can’t have them at your finger tips. You can only have them at a show.

You’re still really in 2018. You just started this run with HUNNY, what is maybe the focus or goals?
JA: We’re just going to see what’s going to happen with “Squeeze”.
JO: Swing votes.
Swing votes is the focus?
JA: Play as many shows as we can. Content, content, content. We live in the social media world now.
JO: That’s not true. People are phasing out of that.
JA: I hope so! Because I don’t want to do it anymore. I hate staring at my phone.
I feel like everyone has to say content.
JA: Yeah it sucks. It’s just the people that have to do it are literally so sick and tired of doing it. It’s so annoying. When you’re with friends and you’re like I’m going to put a phone in your face, you know how corny this is. And that’s what we do stuff like this, bring people into our weird home.
Well thank you for taking the time.
JA: Of course. Again the main thing is just we’re happy people get to hear our songs and that’s it. That’s all that matters. Anybody that’s come to a show. That’s heard something. “Baby Gold” is one that people will always tweet about or comment about it like when are you going to drop that. That’s going to be on there.
JO: My dad always told me, he said, ‘Keep the faith, behave yourself, and write that hit song’.
JA: That is the mantra.
JO: But you know, we’ll have some fun!

About Author


Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.