You, Me & The Make Three by The Make Three | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney

Hey, The Make Three! Congratulations on your first ever album, "You, Me, & The Make Three!" From what I understand, your band contains members of The Brixton Riot and The Anderson Council. How did you decide to work together?

Thanks! The Make Three is myself and Pete and Chris from The Anderson Council. The Brixton Riot and The Anderson Council have been playing shows together for more than a decade now. We became good friends after a few shows and whenever we had the opportunity, we'd put the bands together on a bill (usually with Miss Ohio, another band that we are good friends with).

Chris and Pete have also been involved in our annual Christmas single tradition, where we record a new original holiday song for Jon Solomon's 25 Hour Christmas Marathon on WPRB. We've done it every year for the last 8 years now. More than half of those songs were recorded at Chris' house with Pete engineering. There have also been a few Brixton Riot shows where (our drummer) Matt (Hourtz) was not available and Chris filled in. They're both outstanding musicians but even more importantly, they're great guys and great friends. I think that chemistry is an important part of what makes the band work.

As a musician, I was never really into modern music. Though the songs on this album sound modern, they sound nothing like the artists I've been hearing. What were some of the musical inspirations for the band?

There are a lot of bands and records that we were "sonically referencing" on this record. Some of them are more obvious than others - I think "Black Cloud" clearly (and intentionally) references Dinosaur Jr., for example. Pete mentioned that "Emily Strange" sounds like The Smithereens and even though I had not intentionally tried to write a song that sounds like The Smithereens, I can't unhear it now. "Sweet Carolina Blue" is very much a Bob Mould style song. Other influences aren't as obvious. "Parts Unknown" pulled inspiration from Chris Bell's "I Am The Cosmos" record but I'm not sure if anyone hears it the same way. "Against The Tide" was originally written as a fuzzed out Ty Segall style song, but also drew inspiration from Yuck and New Order. Pete tells me it doesn't sound like any of those bands. There are other bands that I've been a big fan of over the years - Spoon, Silkworm, Jets To Brazil, etc. - and while there's no doubt that those bands influenced the songs, they're not as "up front" as some of the other reference points.

When it comes to lyrics, Jerry does it really well. The way you form your melodies and chord progressions is simply incredible! What's your process when it comes to writing great songs like those on this album?

Wow, thank you very much. Writing lyrics is the most difficult part of the process for me - I find it hard to find words that don't make me cringe when I read them over. Usually I start writing chords and mumbling a melody over them, and that usually leads to some "word salad" lyrics that don't necessarily make sense. I'll continue to sing those nonsensical lyrics until I have no other option but to sit down and write the real words (something that irritates Pete to no end). The trouble is that I have a hard time "forgetting" the fake words after singing them for so long, and they creep in when we play the songs live sometimes.

"Sweet Carolina Blue" was one of my favorite songs on the album! What was the inspiration behind the lyrics of the song?

That song is about a number of road trips that happened after Covid. In the year following lock down, we drove from NJ to North Carolina, Georgia and Florida on three separate occasions. The "Carolina Blue" is the Carolina sky, but I couldn't say if it's North or South Carolina. Chris is trying to pitch the song to the UNC Tarheels, but has not had success as of yet.

Another song that caught my interest is called "Local Scene." What is the song about and what gave you the idea for the lyrics?

"Local Scene" is about the Asbury Park music scene and how the dynamics have changed over the last 10 years. We used to play there often - the old Asbury Lanes, The Wonder Bar, The Stone Pony, The Saint, Asbury Park Yacht Club - we played all of them. Now we can't seem to get a foot in the door. I made the lyric sort of a joke - we've been here for years so we must be "too local" now. In truth, I think the city has evolved and moved a little further away from its more punk rock/bohemian roots to more of a pop/singer songwriter type of town. There are still elements of the old Asbury Park in things like Bond St. Bar. Our friends Brian of The Extensions and Biff of Yawn Mower have restarted the excellent Happy Mondays live show series and Asbury Porchfest continues to be an excellent event. And if any of the clubs mentioned here are reading this, we still want to play your rooms, so call us back.

Overall, the guitar work on this album is fantastic! It's really nice to still hear fresh guitar oriented tunes! What is your process when coming up with such great parts like the ones on "Under My Skin," "Black Cloud," and "Emily Strange"?

You are very kind. Every song and every riff basically happens by accident. I always use my phone to record little bits of ideas while I am playing guitar and sometimes those ideas become songs. I always start with the guitar parts so they tend to be the focal point for a lot of my songs. I have hundreds of memos and over time some of the ideas will rise to the top and end up becoming songs.

Before the release of your new album, you released a single called "Emily Strange." From what I heard, it sounded very much in the vein of another NJ band called The Smithereens. Being a huge fan of their music, did they have any influence on you when writing the song or even your music as a whole?

I am a fan of the Smithereens, going all the way back to when I was in high school and while there are moments on the record where we were consciously going for "a sound", enough "Emily Strange" wasn't one of those songs. I actually thought I had ripped it off from The Anderson Council! Pete pointed out that it sounds like The Smithereens and now I can't unhear it! The Smithereens have such a specific sound, due in no small part to Pat DiNizio's iconic voice. Mark (of The Brixton Riot) and I got to open up for him once at Crossroads and it was a great time. He called us "young punks", which cracked us up. He was very friendly and very gracious. I'm so glad we got the opportunity to meet him and tell him how much The Smithereens meant to us.

Are there any shows coming up in the future for The Make Three?

Yes, the calendar is starting to fill up a bit, which is good - we're at John and Peter's on September 19th, followed by Asbury Porchfest on September 30th, Mapplewood on October 7th (tentative) and Jimmy's in Kearney on November 3rd.

Any plans on more original music from The Make Three in future?

Definitely - we already have. We have a cover of the Sugar song "Hoover Dam" coming out on an upcoming Mint 400 Records compilation. We're figuring out what comes next, but there will likely be an EP or another LP coming next.

Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers?

I guess I'd mention how much their support is appreciated by local bands. When you come to a show, or buy a record or share a song with your friends, it's something that is noticed and appreciated. Those transactions play a huge role in the small music economy and allow it to keep running. So thank you!

Artist Bio
Featuring members of longtime power pop and psych stalwarts The Brixton Riot and The Anderson Council, The Make Three have delivered a debut album that combines the guitar-forward, melody-first aspects of both bands into something different from either band, yet still very familiar. The 10 songs on You, Me & The Make Three draw heavily on 90's mainstays like Dinosaur Jr., The Lemonheads, Buffalo Tom and Superdrag as well as more recent offerings from bands like Guided By Voices, Yuck, Cloud Nothings and The Lees of Memory.

The origin of The Make Three goes back a few years to when the band members would take breaks from their primary projects to play shows together. Their sets were high energy and spontaneous, spanning everything from XTC to Replacements covers. With an extended volume of songs available post pandemic, Jerry Lardieri (vocals, guitar) petitioned Peter Horvath (bass, vocals) and Chris Ryan (drums) to make the group more of an official band, finding their name in the most obvious of ways by counting the number of pieces in the trio. The group convened in an empty beach house the week after Christmas 2022 to record the songs that would become You, Me & The Make Three The partnership yielded a solid debut album over a sparse 35 minute playing time. The songs are short explosions of melodic and guitar driven pop, never outstaying their welcome.

In contrast to the brisk tempos and bright vocal harmonies contained within, references to loss, fractured relationships and isolation present themselves throughout the album, alongside reoccurring themes of journey and exploration, both literal and metaphorical. Despite its DIY roots, the album has a clean and direct sound, thanks to Dan Coutant's (J. Robbins, Local H, Jawbox, Moving Targets) mastering work.



About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on all platforms.

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