Mako: Super sonic explorers
The guys in the electronic dance music duo Mako — Logan Light and Alex Seaver — first met a few years back at the Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Las Vegas. They’ve been performing together ever since, even though their backgroundsare quite different. Seaver is a classically trained musician. Logan is a veteran DJ. Their song “Head Up,” a trippy number that starts with sparse percussion before a beefy bass riff takes over, was used in the 2012 Fruit of the Loom Olympics campaign. The group’s first release “Beam” quickly circulated on blogs and YouTube where it has received more than 1.5 million views to date. “Into the Light,” Mako’s first label release (with Sander van Doorn and Dubvision) reached No. 3 on the Beatport Top 100. We caught up with Light, Seaver and Madison Beer, the guest vocalist on the poppy track “I Won’t Let You Walk Away,” while they were backstage at Lollapalooza.
You’re performing the song “I Won’t Let You Walk Away” together. Is this the first time?
Light: We’ve done it a couple of times before together. We did it at Create Nightclub and at EDC in Las Vegas. This is the third time for us.
Has it been difficult to pull it off?
Beer: We had some technical difficulties at EDC but other than that, no, not at all. It’s been smooth sailing and it’s been really fun. The fans really like it.
How did you end up working together on the song?
Light: We released the song as an instrumental before we worked on it together. Our fans said they wanted a vocal track for it and we were looking for someone. Her manager put us in touch. We did it quickly and it turned out great.
Did Madison write the lyrics?
Seaver: I wrote them through the voice of a girl. It uses fun imagery. It’s a summer-based song. It’s not too heavy. I did it in a girl’s voice initially. I was trying to pretend to be singing like that. My vocal was in the background, and she wanted to keep that in the background.
Can you all talk about your backgrounds?
Seaver: I started playing French horn when I was in middle school and it was my dream to go to Julliard. I auditioned and went there for my undergrad. I finished up in 2011. I wanted to be a professional French horn musician and wanted to write music for movies. I met Logan who introduced me from the dark ages to what is going on now. I fell in love with it and that started what we have now.
Madison: I started on YouTube and posted videos every couple of months starting in February of 2012. I posted one mash-up and I was immediately signed. It happened so, so quickly. Now, I’m with Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun and I have a label. It’s crazy how it all panned out.
Light: I played sax back in middle school. I don’t think I’m that great but that was my musical upbringing. I dropped out of college and taught myself how to DJ in my living room. I was playing the same albums over and over. My brother probably still wants to murder me for that. I just started playing basement parties and any show I could. And then we’ve tried to take it to another level.
Do you think you have a specific sound?
Seaver: Yes, it’s very song-based. A lot of it is with us singing. The songs are more indie influenced and the tracks are melodic, inspired by the Swedish DJs that Logan introduced me to when we first got into the music. Coming up, we’ll have a lot more stuff that is groovier and slightly less smoke cannons stuff. It will be more of a singer-songwriter type of vibe.
Beer: I think it’s pop R&B. It’s definitely a different sound. I’m putting out my single in the next month or so and am really excited about that.
Do you see yourselves doing an artist record?
Seaver: Absolutely. We’ll release an album in the fall through Ultra. That will be primarily dance music. In the future, I’d love to start doing some projects with alternative acts. I’m interested in recording with an orchestra and anything we can do to explore some new sonic territory.
Talk about where you see electronic dance music going.
Light: I think it’s here to stay whether it declines or not. It’s made such a big imprint on the music scene. Perry’s is as big as the main stage here at Lollapalooza, which says something. And it gets bigger and bigger every year. I feel like dance music in some form will always move around. It’s a party and everyone wants to have fun. It’s here to stay but it will always shift into new forms.
Beer: I love EDM. It’s so awesome. He has a song with a crazy violin and a drop-in. I keep yelling at him because he hasn’t put it out on iTunes yet. It’s such an awesome song. I love all that music. I love Diplo and all that stuff. I would love to start making more music with drops in it.