Brooklyn’s very own Makes My Blood Dance is doing something that this writer has never heard of: taking the sounds of disco and metal and blending them into something that is truly awe-inspiring.
MMBD (for short) has a look to them that is reminiscent of others out there like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco but with a sound that is all their own.
Take for instance their new music video “Beaming Right Up,” which was just released last week. The sound, look and feel to the song is proof that two insanely different worlds like disco and metal can come together like a wonderfully tasty peanut butter and jelly sandwich that you want to just keep eating. Yum.
Their absurdly good looking vocalist Evan Russell Saffer chatted with MD about how they came together, blending musical worlds and what’s next for this skyrocketing group from BK.
How the heck did you guys land on Makes My Blood Dance as your group name?
I remember feeling a lot of pressure to come up with a great name. We have all done this quite a few times in the past and I feel like right from the get-go this thing has been very honest, very natural and come together without forcing it. I have always felt very connected to love, to finding my higher power, to feeling energized and lifted up. I spent a long time trying to prolong that feeling with drugs, alcohol and sex. I recently posted an excerpt to our Instagram by Goethe that says: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves as well. While we were discussing possible band names I was reading one of my favorite poets (Chris Poindexter) and happened to notice a grouping of words “makes my blood dance”. The poet was describing the feeling of love when looking at his girlfriend. I thought to myself, that encompasses everything that I want to feel from music, from life, from relationships……and it’s pure. It’s him on an normal afternoon just having a feeling that’s so powerful it’s lifting his whole self to another level. It’s energy and it felt right for the group. I proposed it tucked in a list of other names just to see if it would shine without me pushing it and sure enough, the guys really all gravitated to that name.
Please enlighten me too, because I’m fascinated, on how you blend disco and metal?
My passion has always been hard rock and metal from my band beginnings. I love the power and the intensity and crowd participation. However, I always liked to dance and this whole EDM movement was super interesting as well. I tried my hat doing an electro punk record with RainMKERS but the full band thing was missing, and the power. So when Makes My Blood Dance came together I was set on keeping it super groovy while maintaining a catchy and melodic sensibility. We were listening to Rammstein a lot and their stuff is super groove oriented. Lets take that and add more high-hat and disco beats from the drummer, steal a page from the Bee Gees and add some punk flair. It wasn’t really making a recipe, it’s already who we are and what we like, it just sort of got a certain clarity when this band came together. We all get it and agree on the sound and like it so it can manifest and be what it is. Me, John, Alex and Carlos make it what you call symphonic disco metal.
How long have you guys been part of the Brooklyn music scene?
I think John and Carlos have the biggest connection to the Brooklyn scene. They both seemed to know everyone from moonlighting with other bands or touring as a hired gun. Everyone was active but looking for the right home. After John and I came together and wrote the record things fell into place. Alex was first and then Carlos. Personally I was always more connected to the NYC lower east side scene and also on a more national level from my touring days with Fixer. I was happy that we didn’t have to pull from one resource when we started reaching out for shows and getting the ball rolling. Now we are more connected regionally than locally with great networks on Long Island, Hudson Valley NY, New Jersey and we’re branching out to Massachusetts, Philadelphia and beyond. We still have the biggest draw in Brooklyn and Queens with big shows coming up at Blackthorn 51 with A Killers Confession/Eve to Adam and the Brooklyn Bazaar with Anaka as well as others I can’t talk about yet in the fall or I’ll have a misfit, misshapen, monster with his muscles in my face.
Have you seen it evolve for the better or worse?
I’m an idealist so now is always the best time. I love what Makes My Blood Dance is doing and others are seeing it as well. It’s snowballing with the fans, the shows and all the people involved working in and around this band. We donate to charities on all our headlining dates, that’s helps people come together and is a new format for me. It’s more about bringing people together, giving to a good cause and increasing the attendance while doing it.
How do you separate yourself from the pack, both in and out of BK?
By being ourselves, by performing at the top of our game, by working relentlessly and diligently for the greater good. Do not compete or compare and others will respect you. We try to help all the bands that join our shows, teach them how to sell tickets, how to improve their skills and I think that’s the only way forward. By lifting up everyone around us we get lifted as well. We’re not interested in getting to the top on a pile of skulls, doesn’t work for us. We’re blessed and it’s a lot more fun building the scene town by town and watching it take off. We’re getting plenty of help as well, it’s growing.
You just dropped your first single. Tell us all about it.
“Beaming Right Up” has been a crowd favorite from the get-go. We just write the songs and listen to the feedback. The video was super fun to make and is dropping this week. I think it’s a very strong statement from us and really has that disco metal thing happening, if you’re curious give it a listen and drop us a comment. Your opinion on music matters. The song basically says that life is relentless struggle, there is “always gonna be something” and you have to be able to thrive and transcend the chaos. Music can change molecules, it heals, if you don’t know what to do, start there until you feel strong enough to take the next right action. Just one thing at a time and you’re “takin’ strides, life’s alright”.
What else do you guys have going on music wise this year?
We’ll be releasing “Sick as Our Secrets” as the second single. The artwork is amazing and the feedback super positive, we’re most likely putting it on the next t shirt. Fire wings and a keyhole in the back, our secrets are the measure of our illness. Clean up your side of the street and be free. It’s a tall order but it seems to work from my experience. The artwork is posted on our website so check it out and blurt out your thoughts you silly bastard. (www.makesmyblooddance.com).
We’re talking to Derek Soto again about shooting the next video. We demo new songs frequently and tour dates keep pouring in all over the northeast. Track the band on Bandsintown and follow our networks. See you on the road.
For more information on Makes My Blood Dance, click here.