MakeWar
[Photo: David Toquica]

MakeWar, the punk-rock trio whose membership comes complete with visas from Venezuela, Colombia and er…uh…Florida, have their second album, Get It Together, issued by Fat Wreck Chords this Friday. And we are positively stoked to present it to your ears before its release date. 

Filled with tracks that range from NorCal punk (“No Más”) to straight-up hardcore (“Inmunda Realidad”) to the kind of riffery that would make Kurt Cobain rub the dirt out of his eyes and go, “Wow, cool!” (“Squeeze”), Get It Together is one of the most on-point, raging records to come out this year. MakeWar easily shape-shift between styles that defy the calendar while maintaining their own distinct rapport.  

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Guitarist/vocalist Jose Prieto and bassist Edwin Santacruz (the trio is completed by drummer Matty Stolpe, who replaced Greg Taylor once he played on the record and resigned to become a doctor) walked us through the 11 tracks on Get It Together, which take on everything from misguided politics, shitty TV shows and how every last damn one of us need to drop our phones and get lost in the moment of being human. Hell, we wanted to hang out with these guys before we even heard the record…

1. “Hopeless Dreamers”

This was written a day after watching one of the many Bachelor finales I’ve watched with Lili. It just made me think about how happy I am with her. Even watching a show that completely disgusts me (and her too, for the record), watching it with her, somehow, made it OK. It started with the sentence, “Roses are for posers, Lilies will go on and on and on.” It was supposed to be a silly love song, but somehow it got me to write about how completely lost and lonely I was before I met her. Still, fuck The Bachelor. I only watch it for you, babe. —Prieto

2. “My Bones” 

It’s about the uncertainty of not knowing where the feelings of panic come from. Like what the fuck? One day you are feeling your best. Maybe you’re on vacation or eating at your favorite restaurant with your favorite person when suddenly it hits you: That feeling of decay that is just so, so hard to explain. You do everything you know or were told to do. You breathe. You try to stay focused, calm. Maybe take a Xanax or two. But when nothing works… What do you do? —Prieto 

3. “No Excuses”

We are tired of people getting excused because they are in power or are white or don’t understand gender or sexual orientation because they are “old school.” It’s almost 2020. Read a book. Hate speech is not freedom of speech. Mexicans aren’t rapists. Same-sex marriage is chill. Nonbinary terms are here to stay. Get with the program. —Prieto

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4. “Squeeze”

Sleeping is really, really hard when you suffer from anxiety and panic disorders. This song is trying to illustrate that feeling. It almost makes no sense because, at that moment, nothing makes any sense. —Prieto

5. “No Más”

“No Más” [no more] talks about the old misconception or cliché against Latinos. If you are Colombian, you must be a drug dealer or carry cocaine with you at all times. It talks about how we, as Colombians, are misjudged, criminalized and put in a box based on the hostile history of our country. This song stands against it. Enough is enough. No más. —Santacruz

6. “American Fútbol”

This song is about trying to have a civilized conversation between two teams. Let’s call them red and blue. They both think they are right. They both want to win. But deep inside, they both know that they should not play against each other. They should team up and go against the bigger asshole, I mean, issue. When the oceans rise, the rest just burns. The assholes in power who don’t believe in science and facts are going to be just fine and watch us all disappear… Damn…too dark? —Prieto

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7. “Sails”

Finally, a happy song. “Sails” is about two people in love. They are both dealing with the daily grind, making ends meet and dreaming about just quitting it all and escaping on a sailboat, living life at sea. They deal with their daily grinds in different ways together. It’s about doing what you love and not what you are supposed to with a person who you love and [who] supports you no matter what and vice versa. Life is a sailboat, and sometimes you need someone to steer the boat and someone to move the sail. You can do it alone, but it’s way more fun to do it together. —Prieto

8. “Inmunda Realidad” 

“Inmunda Realidad” [horrible reality] talks about the reality of migrating to this country [and] leaving everything behind to start a new life, a “better” life. The cruel reality for most migrants when they arrived at the border is incarceration, torture, starvation—many get sick and even die. Thousands of families get separated for a long, excruciating and uncertain process that often, in the end, leads to deportation. —Santacruz

9. “Oh, Brother”

I wrote this song for my little brother. I left Venezuela 18 years ago. He was only 1 year old. Somehow he followed the same music path I did. I mean, it’s a little different: His favorite band is Ed Sheeran and mine is Lagwagon. But I love him, and he is a fantastic songwriter. I wanted to tell him the story of my life and how I became the person I am today. I also wanted to give him some advice. I love you, bro. —Prieto

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10. “Hands On The Tyrant”

I wanted to write a song about Venezuela for the people that think they know what is going on there. Every time I leave my house in Brooklyn to go to work, I walk by maybe 10 wheat-paste posters that read “HANDS OFF VENEZUELA” These make me really fucking angry. I know the people that put these up are not from Venezuela. They don’t understand what is going on. All I can say is before you start getting involved in the politics of a country you have never lived in, maaaaybe start by asking someone that has. Hear their stories first. And take these fucking posters off my street. —Prieto

11. “Get It Together”

This one goes for everyone, including myself, that is always, always looking at their phones. You are missing out on everything that is going on. Life goes so fast, and you are just Yelping or tweeting or TikToking or whatever it is that kids are doing these days. Go have a coffee and a real conversation with a friend. And give a dollar to someone who asks for one. Help your friends move in exchange for pizza and beers. Give someone a ride to the airport. Just be nice, and be present. And if you hated your meal, don’t fucking Yelp about it. Maybe the cook was having a shitty day. Oh, and tip your bartenders. Call your parents. Go to shows. Buy some merch if you can afford it. Support your local scene however you can. No race, no gods, no masters. Fuck Trump. Fuck Maduro. See you guys at the Fest! Hi, babe! —Prieto

Get It Together sees the light of day this Friday. If you want a copy for your very own, sidle on over here