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We had a chat with modern indie pop band Make Friends about: their latest single, lockdown, live shows and the plan for the rest of 2021. Make Friends received huge support from Radio X and BBC radio 6 on their fan favourite release ‘Ellie’; from this they created a formidable live show playing in the best independent venues across the country and seeing them support SHEAFS and Cassia. 

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This was a real pleasure to chat with them and we want to say congratulations on the massive success so far, a band we cannot wait to see live this year! 

 

Your latest single ‘Kung Fu’ was released towards the back end of 2020, how did you find releasing a song during a lockdown? 
We were worried that it might feel a little anti-climactic at first! But I think that everyone has been treasuring the simple pleasures in life at the moment, so the response has been really touching. Kung-Fu was one of three tracks we’ve released since the first lockdown (happy anniversary), and so it’s been a shame not to be able to play any of them live yet. We usually shape the songs over a period of touring, so this was the first time we had to write behind closed doors. It was an enlightening experience, without a doubt, and has somewhat altered our approach to songwriting going forward.

As a band how do you feel you’ve been effected by the pandemic? 
To say it’s been challenging would be an understatement, as the entire industry has been hung out to dry. We’d finished a tour in early March, and three weeks later, we were in lockdown. It was a bit mental to adjust from such a high to complete isolation, and to have to adapt from seeing each other in person to pixelation. Saying that, compared to a number of our peers, we’ve felt relatively fortunate with how things have turned out. We had a bank of tracks ready to drip-feed, but it also gave us opportunity to live the dream of fannying about on our instruments all day and write a load more. We were also over the moon to have been picked up by Marshall Live Agency, so when we’re able to get gigging again, we’re gonna be back with a bang.
With gigs been on hold on a year now, what are you most looking forward to about being back in the live scene?
Live music lovers have been absolutely starved for the past year. Cramped, sticky venue floors are a somewhat appealing prospect right now. Jokes aside, the energy of a room full of people vibing together over a shared passion is second to none. We also really miss the behind-the-scenes of touring. A 48-lap Mario Kart tournament is well overdue.
Where are you most looking forward to playing once we’re finally allowed out? 
We never thought it would be this long between shows, so beggars can’t be choosers. But we’ve got some dates to announce very soon featuring some of our favourites to play – watch this space!
What advice would you give yourselves if you could start out again as young musicians? 
No artist can get very far without a team of people backing them along the way. You never know who you might meet that can either help you or hinder you at any given opportunity, so make it your mantra not to take anyone for granted. Besides, it’s always nice to be nice. 
What’s one bit of advice you’d give new bands starting out this year? 
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen. Hope for the best, but expect the worst – always have a back up plan. And be prepared to work remotely!
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The song ‘Ellie’ is a fan favourite (& rightly so!), it got huge support from the likes of Radio X & BBC Radio 6, what does it feel like to hear a song you wrote being so well appreciated not only by fans but national radio as-well? 
It’s all quite surreal. We were so buzzed when Ellie was the first of our tracks to hit 100,000 plays, so for it to reach the half a million mark is mad. And to see so many people listening globally is really humbling.
The artwork for all the tracks are so incredible, what was the inspiration behind them? 
All of the artwork for our tracks we released in 2020 was designed by a phenomenal artist called Violet Carson (@whtevruthinkthisis on Instagram). There was a running theme of introspection at the time of recording back in December 2019, which seemed to align with Violet’s artwork, that evokes tension and trepidation.
You did a very successful tour in 2020 & I’m sure you’re keen to get back to it this year, so as a band what type of energy do you think you bring to a live show? 
Many of our tracks we’ve been writing recently are reflective of the fatigue and restlessness we’ve all been feeling, but also the optimism of life after lockdown. We’re itching to finally play these live, as they’ve been bottled up in rehearsal rooms and studios for so long. We can’t wait to let loose, and we’re sure there’ll be some ferocity going back and forth.
And finally, What does the future look like for Make Friends? 
We’re certainly gonna be making up for lost time. As it stands, we’ll have some music out by May, if all goes to plan, and some real life, in the flesh gigs as early as September if restrictions continue to ease and nothing else fancies giving the world a battering. Can’t get any worse can it?
New single ‘Kung Fu’ out now: http://funnel.ffm.to/kungfu

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Photos: Make Friends Social Media

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