Indie-electronic duo Mako, made up of Alex Seaver and Logan Light, released their debut album Hourglass this past Friday. Hourglass signifies a firm commitment for Mako to explore their truly artistic capabilities rather than bandwagon a breaking EDM trend that just broke out. Mako first took to the scene through a popular remix by Dannic in 2013.
Since then the two have released a multitude of records on Hardwell’s, Revealed Records & Ultra Records. They have worked worked on tracks with Madison Beer & Steve Angello a prominent figure in their career through which the likes of Swedish House Mafia & Avicii actually inspired them to start producing. And now they’ve evolved into a full live band, as well.
Stream Mako’s debut album Hourglass below & check out our exclusive interview with them in which we discuss: Ditching their notions of genres, finding their own sound, working with Steve Angello & much more!
How are you guys feeling right now? Your debut album, Hourglass drops this Friday. Is anything wild going on in your head right now as an artist or is it just another normal day in the life of Mako?
I would say its probably somewhere in between the two, It’s definitely not another normal day. I think we finished this album about 3 months ago and that’s the amount of time it takes for the label to process it, really put it together and get it out there so the most relevant feeling right now is definitely a sense of relief. I’m just really happy and proud to be able to get this music out to all our fans since they have been really patient.
When did the first song ideas for the album, Hourglass come about?
Some of the songs that are on the album were definitely written two years ago. A year and a half ago is when we consciously thought we want to make an album. We were thinking about the best way to go about it and the big idea was to just scrap everything about our notion of genres. We saw what everyone else around us was doing and just wanted to make a body of music that really represented us. We have been super inspired by so many other producers that have been going from the EDM circuit into their own sound and that’s a really exciting thing to see. I’m actually really interested to hear what people start to call this album because I don’t know exactly what genre it fits into but it definitely exists in a couple. I just want to let the music speak for itself and have it develop naturally rather than telling people what it is.
During the process of creating the album what would you say were the hardest barriers to overcome during the creative process?
The hardest thing is when you’re striving to be unique and you have no real grounds or roadmap with what you’re doing. Everything is just like fog and it takes so much experimentation than ever before just to get something that sounds decent. I mean when your making a progressive house track like we have been for a couple years. There’s such a mold to it where you hit all the moves & beats and you know the track is doing well because you’ve heard it some many times before but for stuff like this is just completely wide open.
What went into the name of the debut album, Hourglass?
When I was writing a bunch of these songs I started to notice this motif that kept on popping up about time. I was either writing songs about nostalgia of the past or that sort of uncertainty of the future and not knowing what’s ahead meanwhile living in the present with somebody. As soon as I figured out that this issue of time was threading all the songs I figured that an hourglass was a nice kind of metaphor that we could use for album title.
Post-album release and after you play your 2 upcoming shows in LA & San Francisco what is going to be on Mako’s radar as artists?
I’ll never take time off, I love working. We are so unaware of what people are going to think about our album or how it will be received. I think that’s one of the things that excites us about it is that its kind of an uncertain year ahead. But I’m really excited to get it out there because its like this thing that we have had on our hard drives for so long and its finally out there and we don’t have to think about it anymore meanwhile eagerly waiting on the responses from the fans!
You said you guys are very responsive and are always listening to what the fans have to say about your music. As a listener to your guy’s music I have to say “Piercing Light” from the League of Legends compilation album was one of my favorite tracks from you guys, so I was wondering will you guys ever be making anymore of those movie score-like progressive anthems.
I would absolutely love to make more music like that. I would probably describe it as being heavily influenced by cinematic music and that’s been a huge passion of mine for so long. I don’t know if it will take form in progressive house as clearly as “Piercing Light” does but some of the songs on Hourglass like “Our Story – Finale” or “Devil May Cry” has that dark cinematic epic sort of quality that I love playing around with.
How does it feel to go from listening to the likes of Swedish House Mafia & Avicii in 2011, to collaborating with Steve Angello, one of the pioneers of progressive house on “Children of the Wild?”
It was super surreal. Its like you said we admired him so much. He was a huge celebrity to us. Everything those guys did we would be consuming and loving and to all of a sudden be sitting in a studio with him and he’s looking at you like “what do you want to do with this” it was amazing. The whole experience was larger than life and he was very, very kind to us. It was a huge honor to be on Steve Angello’s album and to have the song we did with him kind of stick out is just too good to be true. So that whole experience was one of those things we’ll remember for ever.
Over the past year or so have there been any artists in specific that have inspired you guys to where possibly that inspiration is present in Hourglass?
Definitely, we have been listening to a lot of alternative music lately. Some guys that really stuck out, I mean I just saw Porter & Madeon play their show together in LA and I absolutely loved it. They have been very inspiring in terms of like branching off from them EDM scene into their own sound. I’ve been listening to artists like M-83 and a friend of ours named EDEN, I love what he’s doing. I think for us with progressive house we got a little fatigued with just the quality of what everyone else was putting out and it just started to not feel as magical to us as from when we first got into it.
You’ve clearly done progressive house in that past but now like you said you’re focusing on your own type of sound. As for the EDM scene where do you think it is currently and where do you see it going?
You can always kind of dictate where the scene is and where its heading based on the biggest crossover hits. So I think when you hear those Chainsmokers tracks just murdering the charts I think you can count on that being a particular sound of the moment. When I was in Scandinavia this past Summer, I heard a lot of this really great kind of offshoot of tropical house. I think your going to be hearing a lot more of that and bizarrely enough I don’t think we’re taking our project in either of those directions specifically because we didn’t want to feel like we were following anybody else’s sort of lead. We just wanted to make something that was unique to us.
When you met Logan is it true that the only song you knew at least from the EDM scene was, “Sandstorm?”
Haha yea that was it, when he told me he was a DJ I was like so all you do is play “Sandstorm?” I was so ignorant back then haha.
What is your guy’s favorite city to play in?
You know personally every time we go to Northern California, like the Bay Area we have these really high energy shows of just all these really passionate fans. Logan lives in New York and I live in Los Angeles and we both love playing in our hometowns.
Do you have a dream venue in mind that you guys would love to play at?
We have been so fortunate to have the ability to play Coachella & Lollapalooza. I think going back to either or those two festivals with our new live show would be a dream. I think a Red Rocks or like the Hollywood Bowl would be some a dream come true.
Lastly, do you have advice for aspiring producers today?
Make as much music as possible because your going to learn so much just by trial and error and you’re also really going to discover what your own sound is. Take chances and take risks its not about having a blow out track right now. It’s really about getting good at your craft so that when you do have something successful it is completely your own.