Seemingly out of nowhere Make Do And Mend dropped the news that they will be releasing their third album on Feb 24 through their own Rise Records imprint, Stay Close Records. It's called "Don't Be Long" and was recorded by Nick Bellmore at Dexter’s Lab in Milford, Connecticut, and Jay Maas at Getaway Records in Haverhill, Massachusetts, as well as mixed by Maas, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Engineering in Portland, Oregon. We've already had a chance to listen to it and it's pretty damn good. It has everything you've come to love about Make Do And Mend plus a little bit extra. Here's an interview we did with vocalist James Carroll where he tells us a little bit more about the new album!
PRT: First of all… congrats on the new album! I love how it sounds rougher around the edges again… more “Bodies Of Water” than “Everything You Ever Loved”. Was that a conscious thing or just the way it came out?
James: No I wouldn’t say that it was a conscious move. We’ve always been really big on writing songs without being influenced in any way by outside pressure or perceptions. To us, music isn’t “supposed to sound” like anyhting. That being said. We’re the same band we’ve always been, so the fact that is sounds like us doesn’t surprise me.
PRT: You guys are a sneaky bunch… recording an album without anyone knowing about it! What’s the reasoning behind not announcing it the second you were heading for the studio? Was it a way to cut out all the hype-building that seems like the normal thing to do?
James: That’s definitely a huge part of it. We took a break a little over a year ago, because we were really feeling burnt out by the rat race that sometimes goes along with playing music for a living. So when we decided to get back in to in, we decided that we didn’t want to just jump back in to doing things the way that burnt us out. We wanted to take the blank slate as an oportunity to just do it our way.
PRT: Aren’t you worried that without building anticipation and just going ‘well, here is our new album!’, there is a risk of it passing under the radar?
James: Does it sound shitty to say no? I mean I understand that that is something that could happen, but I’m not in the business of trying to convince people to pay attention to our band.
PRT: I read that you are all living in different cities now whereas you were all living close to one another when you recorded “Everything You Ever Loved”. What kind of an impact, if any, did the distance have on the writing and recording process?
James: It was really interesting. It really forced us all to be completely on our individaul games. Every one of us had to be sure that we were taking care of our individual jobs when writing, because we didn’t have eachother in a room with us to pick up any slack. Like for example. 90% of the music on End Measured Mile was written before I got my act together writing lyrics for it. That never could have worked this time.
PRT: The centerpiece of the album are two songs that belong together, “Sin Miedo” and “Sin Amor”. Can you tell me a little bit more about them?
James: Yea. Those songs make for a really nice center piece because they sort of tell the story of two different sides of the coin when it comes to a relationship. Anyone who is or has been in a long term relationship knows that some days it feels like the sun is shining and the birds are chirping and everything is perfect and the next day it feels like the ship is sinking. Sin Miedo is spanish for Without Fear and Sin Amor is spanish for Without Love.
PRT: Another one that stands out is closing track “Begging For The Sun To Go Down”. Sonically, it’s one of the more expansive tracks you’ve done to date. Where did that one come from?
James: The Music came from something that Mike wrote really early on in the process, and I just remember loving it, because it had this churning quality to it. Like the music was this flowing body. I really wanted to make sure that the vocals were impactful, but never became the center of attention. The music is really the centerpiece there.
PRT: The album will be out on Stay Close, an imprint of Rise Records that you started. Why did you want to release “Don’t Be Long” on your own label rather than on Rise?
James: Just going back to talking about really wanting to make sure we made this record our way. Rise is a phenomenal label and they really made this whole thing possible. We have a control over our band that we haven’t had in quite some time.
PRT: Is Stay Close meant as something just for you guys or do you think that eventually you will want to release albums from other bands through the label as well?
James:Yea, definitely too early to tell there. I wouldn’t rule it out, but we’re pretty wrapped up in all things Don’t Be Long at the moment.
PRT: Next year will be your tenth year as a band… are you thinking about doing something special to celebrate the occasion?
James: Maybe something tasteful. I honestly couldn’t even begin to think of anything.
PRT: We are stoked to have you back at Groezrock next year. Where does this festival rank in your list of "best parties ever", and why isn't it number one?
James: Who says it isn’t number one? My idea of a party is Chinese Food and Netflix so Groez definitely blows that out of the water. The Lineup this year is unbelieveable. I’m wicked excited.