Catching Up with Kyle Dee of Makeout
Catching Up with Kyle Dee of Makeout
Makeout has returned complete with two brand new members and a dynamic pop punk rocking single entitled Home. Included within the revamped lineup is vocalist Kyle Dee, best known as the wildly charismatic front man for The Frantic. Since the breakup of The Frantic and before joining Makeout, Kyle appeared in competition on the famed TV show American Idol. In this interview with Highwire Daze, Kyle Dee discusses working with the likes of Travis Barker and Jayden Seeley on new Makeout music, adventures on the Vans Warped Tour, looking back on The Frantic, participating on American Idol, and more…
How did you wind up joining Makeout after such a long audition process on YouTube?
Call it fate or destiny..who knows? I was a fan of the band, originally. Funny story: I went and saw them play in Chicago, and at the time they didn’t have a permanent bassist. After the show I messaged them and asked if I could audition for the spot. Two weeks later they announced that their singer Sam had quit the band. I couldn’t have imagined that I would be where I’m at now.
Another new member in Makeout is AJ Khah from Sleep On It. How did he become involved with the band?
AJ has met the guys when they were on Warped Tour together in 2018. They became friends and when he parted ways with Sleep On It, it just so happened that MAKEOUT needed a new bassist.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the lyrics for Home?
The lyrics for Home came from past experiences and past relationships. In this day and age, it’s a tough thing to let your guard down and give your all to somebody, especially when it ends up not being reciprocated. The song is about that feeling of heart ache and loss.
What was it like working with Travis Barker on Home? Were you a little starstruck at all by the experience?
We were all stoked to have Travis be a part of it. I grew up idolizing Blink and he’s incredibly talented, as we all know. We’re very fortunate that he was able to help out.
Jayden Seeley from With Confidence also assisted on the writing of Home. What was it like working with him?
Jayden is not only a great songwriter, but he’s such a great dude. We sat together at his place in LA and wrote the song in a matter of a few hours. It was a great time and the whole experience felt effortless.
How close is Makeout to writing and a recording an all-new EP or album?
We’re very close. We’ve been writing and recording a bunch of new material. We’ll have an EP out sometime in the fall, but the goal is to continue putting out new music until we’re able to tour again.
What has it been like to release new music right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
I’m a glass half full kinda guy, but it’s been difficult. We had a two month U.S. / UK tour booked that we had to reschedule. Covid happened about 2 weeks before we were supposed to leave. Our drummer Scott lives in Australia, too, so we had to get creative while shooting our music video for Home. But we’ve been reconstructing our plans and all we can do is keep thinking outside of the box and keep moving forward.
When you look back on your work in The Frantic, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
Being in The Frantic definitely made me who I am today. Those were the best days and experiences of my life. It’s always funny looking back, but everything I learned back then prepared me for the opportunity to join MAKEOUT.
What was it like opening for The Adicts while you were in The Frantic and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Man, I was so young at that time. I think I was 15? What a fun show. I remember them saying hello and being surprised by our age but because of our age difference, I don’t think we had enough in common at that time for them to want to hang out with us haha
What was it like to compete on American Idol and what made you decide to go and and give it a try?
Idol was awesome! I remember the producers calling me “the punk rock kid”. I never had any dreams of being on the show, but the opportunity came and it was a way for me to step out of my comfort zone and try something different. It was my first time ever singing without a band behind me. Again, I feel like all of these experiences taught me the lessons I needed to learn to get to where I am now.
Both Makeout and The Frantic have been on the Vans Warped Tour. What are your favorite memories of Warped and how surprised were you to find that it had all come to an end?
I have so many good memories from Warped. One time, we were traveling from Cali to Arizona and we took a wrong turn and ended up at the US / Mexico border. Border patrol tore our van and trailer apart for like 2 hours while we sat in 120 degree weather. They didn’t find anything except for a bunch of nudie magazines and we almost missed the show. Good times.
Have you met Samuel Boxold the former singer of Makeout or been in contact with him?
I haven’t met Sam yet, but we have texted a bit back and forth. We talked about our mutual influences growing up and plans for the future. I wish him nothing but success.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Makeout?
Not at the moment, but our guitarist Tyler has a side project called VantaVoid. It’s super heavy. Our drummer Scott also has another project called Five North.
What’s up next for Makeout?
We’re about to drop the music video for Home and then we’ll be releasing another single shortly after.
Any final words of wisdom?
Something that helped me was to get very specific on what I wanted to achieve. Define what success means to you and once you have a vision, you can work daily on tasks that will get you closer to your goals.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! This is our first email interview with you since 2011! Stay safe and congrats on the amazing new single!
Glad to catch up again! Thanks!
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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