Makari: Sonic Art In A Hyperreal World
Makari present a world of vivid sonic artistry, and their latest manifesto entitled Hyperreal is wondrously stunning to experience. Jammed packed with a sense of adventure and intrigue, Hyperreal is now available worldwide via InVogue Records. Highwire Daze Online recently interview drummer Kevin Beljan to find out more about the auditory tapestries of Makari and their dynamic Hyperreal entreaty. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Makari, and how long the band has been together.
Hey there! I’m Kevin, and I play the drums for Makari. We’ve been together for roughly six years, though Andy has only been with us for about a year.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based out of Orlando, FL, and I’d say we have a pretty vibrant music scene here. We have several awesome venues that always have great artists coming through i.e., The Beacham, The Social, Soundbar, and of course Will’s Pub. We’ve got a cool little scene, and I think all the artists in the area are doing their best to make it even better.
How did you wind up signing to InVogue Records?
Well, we kind of did our Elegies EP on our own so to speak– though of course it was produced by our good friend Paul Hundeby at Philia Audio, and mastered by the brilliant Emily Lazar. We had a singer change at the time (enter Spencer Pearson) and we had a bunch of songs in the works so we just decided to do an EP and shop it around, and InVogue wanted to pick it up, so of course we said yes, and here we are.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Hyperreal title?
Yeah I think so. I think the album as a whole deals with some big topics: existential crisis, unrequited love, loss of loved ones, determinism. Hyperreal as an adjective, according to Webster’s dictionary, means something is “marked by extreme vividness“, normally traumatic events. I think a lot of this album is about events Andy and I have experienced vividly, and we in turn wanted to make them vivid for the listener. I am also very interested in hyperrealism with regards to semiotics/ post-modernism where the interest is in the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of it.
Select two songs from Hyperreal and what inspired the lyrics.
Sure, so two of the songs that I wrote lyrics for were “Better” and “Hyperreal“. In “Better” I mean it almost sarcastically. The song is ultimately about letting go of someone you love very deeply, because it’s not meant to be (maybe never was). It’s about how intended or not, we touch other people in irreparable ways, both good and bad. The song is about me trying to work through the crushing fact probably will never end up with this person, our names never “ x + x = lover forever” carved into a tree, or scrawled in fresh cement on a sidewalk. In “Hyperreal” my intention was to convey wanting a loved one back so much you’d settle for living in edited/ simulated version of it. I think when we lose someone we often replay memories over and over again until it becomes unclear what was reality and what was a fantasized version. Ultimately it’s about wanting to live in that fantasized/ simulated version of reality.
Who produced Hyperreal and what was it like working with them?
“Hyperreal” was produced by the very studly and cuddly Andrew Wade. No, but seriously, it was such a great experience and honor to work with such a talented and intelligent individual. He was very easy to get along with, funny, and he always had constructive ways of making our songs the best they could be. He wanted the album to be just as good as we did, which was extremely helpful. He truly cared, which was great. 10/10 would recommend.
What could one expect from a live Makari show?
Energy. Smiling. Hopefully great sounding music. I think for all of us playing music is a happy place; a place where everything stressful just falls away. I’d like to think we give off great energy to the crowd that they can feed off of and then throw back to us.
If Makari could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I think we’d all love to play with Circa Survive. As Cities Burn and Closure In Moscow are all up there for us as well. Paramore, Two Door Cinema Club. We have so many influences and it would be a great honor to play with any one of them.
What were your impressions when you discovered the Vans Warped Tour was coming to an end and how did your show at Warped go this year?
I think we all felt a little sad. Growing up a lot of our favorite bands either were discovered there, or just played there. At the same time I think we look at it as a door closing for a window to open. As for our show it went pretty well! There was a weather delay due to lightening– typical summer in Florida — but we ended up getting an “all clear” and we played our set with no issues in front of a lovely crowd.
Any strange or scary happenings on the road or at a show?
Just blowing the transmission (a couple of times). Once I was driving it when the transmission went and was kinda losing control of it on a mountainous highway near Pittsburgh. Kinda scary lol.
What’s up next for Makari – any touring in the works?
Yeah! We plan on touring as much as we can, we have one coming up this fall that we should be announcing here in the near future. We’re so excited to be able to share our new album with everyone!
Any final words of wisdom?
Be kind. Be thoughtful. Support the arts. Support live music. Build others up. Love. Love. Love.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Of course! It’s really my pleasure. Thanks for wanting to interview us!
Andy Cizek – Vocals
Eric Stewart – Guitar
Matt Beljan – Guitar
John Tomasso- Bass
Kevin Beljan – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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