Get to know a Denver band: Mako1972

Next month is going to be busy for local post-hardcore quartet, Mako1972. With the release of a brand new 7” single, “Cannonball Lecture” and “Even Ghosts Perish,” on Snappy Little Numbers and performing at the Hi-Dive on January 15th, 2015 is already shaping up to be a banner year for Mako1972. The foursome sat down with AXS for this exclusive interview.

AXS: Are you Denver natives? If not, where is everyone originally from?
Mako1972: Luke Fairchild, our singer, was locally grown. Devon Rogers (drums) is originally from the Bay Area. Rachel Lujan (bass) is from ABQ. And Eric Bliss (guitar) is from Knoxville, Tennessee.

AXS: What brought Mako1972 together?
Mako1972: Devon and Eric have played in a number of bands since Eric moved to Colorado —Drunken Arrows, Shrines, and Fauxgazi (the Fugazi tribute), to name a few. Eric reached out to Rachel after consulting with Brian Fuschtinger, from Uneven Studios, about available bass players in Denver. He left a message on her phone that she didn’t check for several weeks since the number was unrecognized. As a result, she very nearly didn’t join the band. After the three of us wrote a few songs together, Devon suggested reaching out to Luke as a singer. The two had previously played in the band, Kingdom of Magic.

AXS: How long has Mako1972 been together? What have you learned during that time?
Mako1972: We’ve been together for about 2 years now. During that time, we have learned that we have to be willing to compromise in order to successfully incorporate everyone’s singular styles and ideas. We also have to be willing to communicate directly without getting our feelings hurt. Ultimately, the group comes before any one person’s agenda.

AXS: Where was your first show in Denver, and what was the experience like? Who else did you play with at the show?
Mako1972: Our first show as Mako1972 was at the Hi-Dive anniversary in 2013 with a bunch of other bands that happened to be reuniting. The gig was packed, probably sold out. We had a good time. Monofog destroyed that night. We’ve all been around and in bands for quite a while so there wasn’t a ton of glamour involved with playing our first time in Denver.

AXS: Have any Denver musicians inspired Mako1972?
Mako1972: Rachel says, “Hell yes!” Planes Mistaken for Stars and Only Thunder have been big influences for her. Devon and Luke have been in Colorado for a long time so there are an untold number of bands that have made an impression on them. ABRAMS, Accordion Crimes, and Muscle Beach are our favorite locals to play with.

AXS: What projects are Mako1972 currently working on?
Mako1972: We just finished a 7” on Snappy Little Numbers that will be out in January and the next big thing for us is a full length hopefully by this time next year.

AXS: What else is Mako1972 involved in locally, either as individuals or as a group?
Mako1972: Rachel is a human resources director for an industrial services company. She also plays bass in the band Fire Season. Luke tends bar and sings in Git Some. Devon plays with Munly and aside from being a drum teacher, owns several properties in the Baker area (he’s a slum lord!). Eric is heavily involved in social justice work in Denver, particularly in the area of human rights. He’s engaged, has a 10-year-old son, and occasionally moonlights with Fauxgazi, the Fugazi tribute band. They will be touring the West Coast in February of 2015.

AXS: Does Mako1972 have a goal in mind for the sound the band produces?
Mako1972: As typical as it may sound, we make the music that comes naturally to us. There wasn’t a moment where we sat down and decided on a “sound” or a genre. Our music is essentially representative of who we are and what we’ve been through. We all have different backgrounds and influences that adds to, what we would consider, a unique whole. Eric writes almost all of the music, and would definitely say that playing is a form of therapeutic expression.

AXS: Are there certain influences or themes the band tries to inject into its own music?
Mako1972: Mako1972 is heavily influenced by the post rock and hardcore groups of the early-mid 90’s including many Dischord and Touch and Go label products. There is a certain dissonance, aggression, and passion that that era of music produced which provides heavy fodder for Mako’s style and direction.

AXS: For someone who has never seen or heard Mako1972, what would you tell them to entice them to watch your set?
Mako1972: In our opinion, there is no one in Denver like Mako. The music is tight, polished, and experiments with time signatures and time changes. There are equal amounts of melody and aggression, which in our opinion makes for an effective musical balance.

AXS: What would your ideal live show look like?
Mako1972: Rachel is interested playing shows that have an air of dynamism and excitement, where the people present are there to see the bands and not just hang out at the bar. Eric likes performing where the band and audience are face to face and where there is an energy exchange and/or connection between the band members and those present. Our UMS show last July at Eslinger Art Gallery was like this. Electric. Given the choice, Dev would never leave Baker (Seriously, just ask him). And Luke is into playing with friends and with the bands he respects. We all enjoy gigging at the Hi-Dive (because we practice in the basement!) and also at 3 King’s Tavern because they treat local bands exceedingly well.

AXS: Would a specific band/musician share the bill with or open for Mako1972?
Mako1972: We really like sharing the bill with our friends, regardless of their musical genre. Our preference is to play with bands that are genuine and are in it for the rock and not to get laid.

AXS: What shows are you looking forward to over the next few months?
Mako1972: Rachel is pumped for Russian Circles at the Gothic on December 27th. Mako is playing the Hi-Dive on January 15th with some touring friends of Luke’s called Varma Cross. Our pals, Call of the Void, are at the Hi-Dive in February.

AXS: What do you enjoy most about Denver’s music scene, and why?
Mako1972: The people in the scene are uber-friendly and down to earth and there’s no shortage of opportunities to play. The vibe is light-hearted and folks tend to help one another out. In our mind, that’s essentially how a “scene” should be. The end.