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Make Do And Mend

Ben Patashnik
Ben Patashnik 24 January 2011 at 16.01

Honest, humble and hardworking punk rock never sounded so good…

Playing the sort of gruff-voiced and big-hearted punk rock that swells the chest and makes you feel like, dang, it's just great to be alive, Make Do And Mend have been one of our favourite discoveries of the last few months.

Hailing from a blue-collar nowheresville on the East Coast of the US, they've been caught up in what's affectionately called The Wave. It's a semi-serious name given to a semi-serious movement encompassing Make Do And Mend, La Dispute, Touche Amore, Defeater and Pianos Become The Teeth, and MDAM have nothing in common musically with the aforementioned bands other than writing staggeringly powerful songs and playing them with all their heart and soul. If it exists it's a 'genre' founded on ethics and like-mindedness rather than anything more trend-based and aesthetic, and suggests that if all new bands tried to be good dudes above all, the world would be a better place. And we'd have some ace music to listen to.

Check out 'Oak Square' from their debut 'End Measured Mile'. It's heroic.
Make Do And Mend - 'Oak Square' by RockSoundMagazine

And if you're not convinced, here's singer / guitarist James Carroll to argue why you should dedicate the rest of your life to his band.

Your debut album and passionate live shows have caught the attention of people around the world - why do you think that is?
“Something extremely important for all of us is intensity and passion, and we want to convey that. [And] we wrote this record while Matt (Carroll, drums), Mike (Poulin, bass) and I lived together. Our guitarist Mike (O’Toole) is still a student but we all work 40-hour jobs and support ourselves while touring. Balancing those things seeps into the lyrical content a great deal.”

So do you feel like you're still learning to be in a band?
“Absolutely. Learning how to be gracious and taking the opportunities afforded to you but never saying, ‘This is cool but we deserve this’ is maybe the most important part of playing in a touring band.”

Your attitude stands in quite sharp relief to a lot of other bands... is that intentional?
“Maybe. We’ve been lucky coming up in a genre of music where for the most part the ego is put aside and you understand you will probably never do anything with this outside playing in your friend’s basement or doing a couple tours and losing a ton of money. But every single thing is just a gift. I don’t believe we’re owed anything – we work extremely hard and we’re extremely passionate but you have to be that way if you want something to happen.”

....and here's nine minutes of sweaty goodness, filmed live at Sound And Fury 2010.

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