Being in a band is really fun y’all. Making stuff with your friends is like, really, really fun. That might read as shallow, but there is really no other way to say that sometimes. But keeping a band going is hard work. No matter how you shake it. And sometimes life calls, and you have to answer. Life might be calling to ramble about a job, or school, or family or whatever it might be, and you then have to do what you have to do. And the band gets put on the back burner. What?! Not the band! The band is hella fun. Such is the story of the last couple years in the lives of the members of Charlotte’s One Another. After a two year hiatus of doing life things, the indie-punk trio consisting of guitarist and singer Chris Thomas, bassist Jake Wade, and drummer Jason Skipper, are back with their new album “Make Not Take”. The band has been sitting on the project for quite some time now, waiting for the right time to release it, which, lucky for us all, is today. One Another was kind enough to answer some questions from us about the makings and takings of the new record. There is a lot of life in it. Get caught up with the band and listen for yourself below…
Hey guys. One Another has been dormant for some time now. What’s been up?
Jake Wade: Pretty much, Chris has been living in Durham for the last two years for grad school, so therefore One Another had to take a break.
Jason Skipper: Yeah Chris went to grad school at Duke shortly after we recorded everything for this record. Between his schedule, other projects, and the cost of vinyl we put things on hold for a couple years.
Chris Thomas: For a long time, I’ve looked up to the examples of Milo Aukerman and Greg Graffin. They’re professional punk rockers that have habitually left the fun to pursue their academic interests. Between records and shows, they’re scientists, teachers, and authors. I’ve got a similar itch and am lucky enough to have bandmates that understand. Completion of our record accidentally collided with me going back to school. Rather than putting out an album we hadn’t the time or resources to support, we waited until we could do our best to. Meanwhile, Jason’s & Jake’s other projects were doing a number of excellent releases. One Another just needed to hit pause awhile.
How did ‘Make Not Take’ come together? Is it something you guys have just been waiting for the right time to release? Or was the whole thing constructed sporadically?
CT: A little of both. It’s kinda like a painting. There are songs that have been saved specifically for our eventual full length for years and even has lyrics that date back to high school. Even though we finished it in 2014, I spent a year trying to decide on artwork. I’m totally guilty of over analysis, but hope it is something that serves the final piece in the end.
JS: The record was recorded in 2014. Going into it, the record was our most ambitious project and we were met with a lot of surprises along the way. I remember starting drum tracks in the Spirit Square building. Chris worked at a studio there at that time, but I hit the drums so hard and you could definitely hear it throughout the entire building. That didn’t work out. So shortly after that we decided to track the drums at our studio, The RadPad.
JW: The recording process for this record was probably the most difficult out of all our other releases. I think recording it at RadPad turned out for the best. At first, it felt strange sitting on it, but we wanted to wait for Chris to be done with school, and I think we’re all happy that we’re releasing now rather than two years ago.
Chris, Lyrically, the themes of a lot of these songs seem to be very humanistic, As if each is directed at one specific person or group of people. Would you care to elaborate on the lyrics of any track that might stand out to you?
CT: The song ‘Make Not Take’ came in reaction to my understanding of the global financial crisis that was taking place around the time the band started. Sort of an awakening to the gravity of certain circumstances of a moment in history. Putting it lightly, things have only gotten more complicated. Lately two lines stick out to me: “Police radio, broadcast MLK / we need a broadcast” from the title track, and “Got new millennial blues / Hit snooze” in ‘On Our Own,’ The album is loosely conceptual and based on the experience of growing up and becoming cognizant of the world around you. The complicated process of moving from being concerned with mostly one’s self and more so about the wellbeing of all others. The ‘you’s’ of the record are mostly me talking to myself as I learned to get along, figure out how to be this thing called an adult, and the things that matter the most. It’s about creating the best life despite its many repressive forces, both external and internal.
For those who might not already know, What are the origins of the Powerstance Clan?
JS: It started in 2009 as a way for us to connect the dots between all of our projects. Anything that we record we put under the label Powerstance.
JW: It basically consists of the members of One Another, Columns, and Hungry Girl. We produce everything all three bands do at The RadPad. We’re a collective, and we wanted to call it something, and Jason came up with the name.
CT: We’ve all got mad history and basically, we all wanted to be in a band with Jason. See also: Wu-Tang Clan, Crass, and the works of Bo White. Big inspirations for me at least.
We ask everyone this, but What else is cool or not cool about North Carolina right now?
JS: There’s always a lot of cool and beautiful things happening in North Carolina, it’s a great place. There are tons of talented musicians and artists. Great restaurants and breweries, and badass thunderstorms. However recently our government has sucked and it’s really making North Carolina look bad. I just hope we can get our shit together and wise up.
JW: I love North Carolina. You’ve got the beach AND the mountains, good music, good art, like Jason said, awesome food and awesome breweries. And Michael Jordan grew up here! But yeah, fucking Pat McCrory. What a loser.
CT: After a couple stints in bigger cities over the last ten years, I realized NC is this magical oasis of many things. Most importantly, barbeque. Also fireflies, front porches, and snow days for barely any snow. And the people. Yeah, again, and what’s whack is that we are quickly learning that our governor is a crypto-fascist. But I am hopeful that a new generation will inherit leadership in the state soon and that it will be a more progressive one. Make not take y’all.
You can preorder your copy of “Make Not Take” on vinyl HERE.